Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Magicians

Lately I've been reading a lot of plot-driven novels as opposed to "literature" and feeling defensive about this guilty pleasure. I'm always making excuses as to why I read so much fiction that is classified as YA and why my novel is intended for that audience. This article, Good Books Don't Have to Be Hard, in the Wall Street Journal explains how I feel in a way that makes me much less ashamed of my plebeian tastes.

The article is written by Lev Grossman who wrote the novel, The Magicians, which I just finished. It's definitely not a YA novel. The concept behind the book got me; the setting and plot are deliberately reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, but with a wicked little twist. The first third is like fantasy-land crack for those us who resent being Muggles. Then it gets weird. Then it gets weirder.

This quote kind of sums it up: "I got my heart's desire, he thought, and there my troubles began."

Or Ed Park put it this way: "The novel manages a literary magic trick: It's both an enchantingly written fantasy and a moving deconstruction of enchantingly realized fantasies."

I'm laughing at myself because I told a few of you that I wasn't going to talk about this book since I didn't want to be associated with its depravity. Luckily, I feel fairly safe since no one listens to my recommendations anyways. :)


Rachel said...

"depravity?" great, now i HAVE to read it! haha.

Catherine said...

After reading the reviews, now I really want to read it too (skip the "depravity" part...) Do you have a copy-- or isn't it the kind of book a person should own?-- Mom