Does The Magicians deserve another chance?

I read The Magicians (Lev Grossman) in 2012 with a bunch of other people on Twitter for an event called #1book140, and I really didn’t like it. In fact, this is what I said in my review of the book:

I read this book for #1book140, and at the beginning of our foray into The Magicians the author stated that he wrote this book because he loves young-adult fantasy and wanted to write a young-adult fantasy novel for adults, “with all the sex and drinking and other complicated adult realities that young adult authors have to leave out.” Now, I’m no judgmental prude; I’m not anti-booze, or anti-sex, and I’m definitely not anti-cussing. Have at it. However, if the only thing that separates YA novels from adult novels are booze, meaningless sex, and cussing, then we have a serious problem.

(Not to mention that many YA authors don’t shy away from those things anyway.)

And I stand by that for now. I also thought that Fillory was a lame version of Narnia, and that Brakebills was a lame version of Hogwarts. I stand by those feelings, too.


Eric and I started watching the television adaptation of The Magicians a couple days ago…

…and I like it.

While the show reminds me of the reasons I didn’t like the book (whiny, entitled characters, anyone?), I’m starting to think I need to revisit the series. I think I want to reread The Magicians and then actually read the other two books in the trilogy.

Maybe I read The Magicians at the wrong time (that has happened with other books I didn’t like the first time around)? Maybe the rest of the series will be better and I’ll end up liking it? My reading buddy tells me that lots of people didn’t like the first book. To me that implies that they did like the other two…or at least liked them more than they liked The Magicians.

All I know for sure is that the TV series is making me want to read the whole trilogy. I can’t remember enough of the details in the first book to know if they’ve changed much in the show, but I’m pretty into it. Alice is still a gem (she was basically the only character in the book I liked), and I’m interested in Julia’s storyline. She’s being super selfish right now, but I kind of get it.

TL;DR: I’m thinking about digging back into the books. We’ll see.

2 thoughts on “Does The Magicians deserve another chance?

  1. essjay January 25, 2017 / 12:21 am

    I know you didn’t like the first book, but I really did. HOWEVER, I think they got better with each book and the third in the trilogy got me through some really rough shit that was happening around that time (I know you remember). I would love it if you gave them a second chance, but if you still hate them I will hold zero ill will (obvs, can you imagine if we weren’t friends anymore cos we disagreed on a book I CAN’T EVEN).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Wildcard January 26, 2017 / 6:57 am

      You know, because we’ve *never* disagreed about a book before. Heh.


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