The Magicians : The Magicians Series, Book 1
by Lev Grossman and Mark Bramhall

Overview - The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, soon to be an original series on Syfy
" The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this."

—George R.R.


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More About The Magicians by Lev Grossman; Mark Bramhall

The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, soon to be an original series on Syfy
"The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this."

—George R.R. Martin

"Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy."
—Joe Hill

"A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre."
—John Green

"The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I've read this century."
—Cory Doctorow
"This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them . . . an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story."
—The New Yorker
"The best urban fantasy in years."
—A.V. Club
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he's secretly fascinated with a series of children's fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .
The prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician's Land, The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr

From the cover

Quentin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.

They picked their way along the cold, uneven sidewalk together: James, Julia, and Quentin. James and Julia held hands. That's how things were now. The sidewalk wasn't quite wide enough, so Quentin trailed after them, like a sulky child. He would rather have been alone with Julia, or just alone period, but you couldn't have everything. Or at least the available evidence pointed overwhelmingly to that conclusion.

"Okay!" James said over his shoulder. "Q. Let's talk strategy."

James seemed to have a sixth sense for when Quentin was starting to feel sorry for himself. Quentin's interview was in seven minutes. James was right after him.

"Nice firm handshake. Lots of eye contact. Then when he's feeling comfortable, you hit him with a chair and I'll break his password and e-mail Princeton."

"Just be yourself, Q," Julia said.

Her dark hair was pulled back in a wavy bunch. Somehow it made it worse that she was always so nice to him.

"How is that different from what I said?"

Quentin did the magic trick again. It was a very small trick, a basic onehanded sleight with a nickel. He did it in his coat pocket where nobody could see. He did it again, then he did it backward.

"I have one guess for his password," James said. "Password."

It was kind of incredible how long this had been going on, Quentin thought. They were only seventeen, but he felt like he'd known James and Julia forever. The school systems in Brooklyn sorted out the gifted ones and shoved them together, then separated the ridiculously brilliant ones from the merely gifted ones and shoved them together, and as a result they'd been bumping into each other in the same speaking contests and regional Latin exams and tiny, specially convened ultra-advanced math classes since elementary school. The nerdiest of the nerds. By now, their senior year, Quentin knew James and Julia better than he knew anybody else in the world, not excluding his parents, and they knew him. Everybody knew what everybody else was going to say before they said it. Everybody who was going to sleep with anybody else had already done it. Julia—pale, freckled, dreamy Julia, who played the oboe and knew even more physics than he did—was never going to sleep with Quentin.

Quentin was thin and tall, though he habitually hunched his shoulders in a vain attempt to brace himself against whatever blow was coming from the heavens, and which would logically hit the tall people first. His shoulder length hair was freezing in clumps. He should have stuck around to dry it after gym, especially with his interview today, but for some reason—maybe he was in a self-sabotaging mood—he hadn't. The low gray sky threatened snow. It seemed to Quentin like the world was off ering up special little tableaux of misery just for him: crows perched on power lines, stepped-in dog shit, windblown trash, the corpses of innumerable wet oak leaves being desecrated in innumerable ways by innumerable vehicles and pedestrians. "God, I'm full," James said. "I ate too much. Why do I always eat too much?"

"Because you're a greedy pig?" Julia said brightly. "Because you're tired of being able to see your feet? Because you're trying to make your stomach touch your penis?"

James put his hands behind his head, his fingers in his wavy chestnut hair, his camel cashmere coat wide open to the November cold, and belched mightily. Cold never bothered him. Quentin felt cold all the time, like he was trapped in his own private...


"Fantasy fans can't afford to miss the darkly comic and unforgettably queasy experience of reading this book-and be glad for reality."
-Booklist (Starred Review)

"This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended."
-Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided-fantasy for grown- ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed."
-Kirkus Reviews

"... provocative, unput-downable ... one of the best fantasies I've read in ages."
-Fantasy & Science Fiction

"The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea."
-George R.R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones

"Stirring, complex, adventurous ... from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy."
-Junot Diaz, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

"The Magicians ought to be required reading for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a fantasy series, or wished they went to a school for wizards."
-Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen

"The Magicians is a spellbinding, fast-moving, dark fantasy book for grownups that feels like an instant classic."
-Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner award winning author of The Great Man and The Epicure's Lament

"The Magicians is fantastic. It's strange, fanciful, extravagant, eccentric, and truly remarkable-a great story, masterfully told."
-Scott Smith, bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan

"Remember the last time you ran home to finish a book? This is it, folks. The Magicians is the most dazzling, erudite and thoughtful fantasy novel to date."
-Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook

"The Magicians brilliantly explores the hidden underbelly of fantasy and easy magic ... It's like seeing the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter through a 3-D magnifying glass."
-Naomi Novik, author of His Majesty's Dragon

"Grossman clearly has read his POtter and much more. While this story invariably echoes a whole body of romantic coming-of-age tales, Grossman's American variation is fresh and compelling. Like a jazz musician, he riffs on Potter and Narnia, but makes it his own."
Washington Post

"Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken...beguiling."
Seattle Times

"An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting."

"Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond."
Entertainment Weekly

" doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers."
Chicago Sun-Times

"The Magicians reimagines modern-day fantasy for grownups. [It] breathes life into a cast of characters you want to know...and does what [some] claim books never really manage to do: 'get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better."
Louisville Courier-Journal - "Fantasy fans can't afford to miss the darkly comic and unforgettably queasy experience of reading t

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