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Book Club! The Magicians by Lev Grossman

  • Sep 28, 2014 · 4:00 PM
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I am always on the hunt for a book remotely comparable to Harry Potter, and one series that has helped me deal with the finality of the HP series is The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It is often called a Harry Potter novel for adults with sex and drugs and draws heavily on Chronicles of Narnia, but it really is so much more than that. The last installment in the trilogy has just recently been released. I figured other people may love this series too or would love it if they have not read it yet. So for the first installment of the Book Club I thought it would be good to read the first book, The Magicians, or the most recent and final installment, The Magician's Land, by Lev Grossman. Please take the poll I created and let me know your preference, because I have absolutely no problem re-reading the first two in the series. (***UPDATE: So far the first book has 100% of the vote***)

I figured we could get coffee/tea, food, etc., and discuss!

Venue has been changed to the patio of Thorough Bread and Pastry (patio is in the back).  We won't have to worry about disturbing people working if we are on the patio.  And bring an appetite because this place has incredible pastries. They are open until 6, so we have 2 hours to chat.

Here is a synopsis of The Magicians:
Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined. Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians, the prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the forthcoming The Magician's Land, is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world-where good and evil aren't black and white, and power comes at a terrible price.

And some praise:
“The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. … Grossman’s sensibilities are thoroughly adult, his narrative dark and dangerous and full of twists. Hogwarts was never like this.”
—George R. R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones

“This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them, and tell a darkly cunning story about the power of imagination itself … An unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story.”
—The New Yorker

“I felt like I was doing peyote buttons with J.K. Rowling.”
—Mickey Rapkin, GQ

“The Magicians brilliantly explores the hidden underbelly of fantasy and easy magic, taking what’s simple on the surface and turning it over to show us the complicated writhing mess beneath. It’s like seeing the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter through a 3-D magnifying glass.”
—Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series

If you like the Harry Potter books … you should also read "Lev Grossman’s The Magicians series, which is a very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre.”
—John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars

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  • Briana

    I was wrong - the gene is dominant, but it's "single autosomal dominant gene if it is caused by an expansion of trinucleotide repeats with non-Mendelian ratios of inheritance." Got that? :)

    Here's more info about the paper that biology student Andrea Klenotiz sent J.K. Rowling:

    Had a great time discussing The Magicians today! Thanks all,

    1 · September 28, 2014

  • Prerna

    I'm so sorry I was unable to make this too - I was supposed to get some furniture delivered this morning and they got delayed :(

    September 28, 2014

  • Missy K.

    I'm so sorry I was unable to make it. I was really looking forward to this. :( But I hurt my ankle yesterday morning. Had to have xrays this morning to make sure it wasn't broken. I'm currently elevating it with ice and ibuprofin. :(

    September 28, 2014

  • WmAK

    Sorry, I'm dealing with muni delays. Again. Had a really frustrating time yesterday, too.

    September 28, 2014

  • Lindsey

    On muni, be there soon!

    September 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any possibility we could move the meeting time to 5PM?

    August 22, 2014

    • Keri

      Sorry, they close at 6 and that won't give us enough time, but you're welcome to come late.

      September 23, 2014

  • Jessica

    I'm going to have to take BART to get to this meeting. Does anybody know what the walk is like from the 16th street Mission BART station to Thorough Bread and Pantry? It doesn't look like too long of a walk, but I've never been to this part of SF before.

    September 22, 2014

    • Keri

      Jessica, it's about a 10 min walk. You just head west down 16th St. and hang a right on Church St.

      September 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Forgot it's my friends wedding next weekend. Dang! But I'm almost done with the book. Hopefully I'll catch the next one.

    1 · September 18, 2014

  • Johnna

    Unfortunately I'll be back in Texas for a wedding that weekend so I won't be able to go. I'm still going to try and read the book though.

    1 · September 7, 2014

  • Rhyschenda O.

    FYI All 3 books in the series are available as unabridged audio books from Audible.

    1 · August 18, 2014

    • Keri

      Yes! Thank you for mentioning this. Also the library has the books in print and e-books as well as the digital audio books and on CD. So they pretty much have every format covered.

      August 19, 2014

    • Missy K.

      That's how I "read" them! ;) And plan to "read" the third!

      August 22, 2014

  • Missy K.

    I am going to try my hardest to find a sitter so that I can attend this. I LOVED The Magicians, and read the sequel. I'm about to start on the third book in the series (trilogy?) and can't wait to talk to other people about it! I was introduced to The Magicians when the first chapter was slipped into my schwag bag at a HP Conference (perhaps HPEF's first con in Florida? I can't remember the name at the moment...) and read it then... but I didn't finish the novel until several years later.

    1 · August 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is our goal to have the book finished by this meeting?

    August 19, 2014

    • Keri

      Yep! I think you'll find it's a pretty quick read. Although at book clubs that I have been to in the past, often several people have not finished the book. If you don't finish, there will probably be spoilers though as we will want to talk about the ending. However we will not be talking about the second or third book, so no spoilers about those.

      August 19, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Cool just need to plan my reading because I'm currently reading two other books right now. :)

      August 20, 2014

  • Keri

    I also wanted to mention that SyFy has just greenlighted a pilot for a series based on the first book. So read the book so you can gripe about how the book is so much better years from now if it's actually made into a series.

    1 · August 19, 2014

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