Books & Bars


Lev Grossman's The Magicians (Viking) was written for adults who grew up on a steady diet of fantastical worlds featuring gateway wardrobes, Quidditch matches, Elvish, and talking animals. The key phrase here is "grew up." The main character, Quentin, matriculates after a series of grueling tests into Brakebills, a college for magicians (not the G.O.B. kind of magician, but real magicians practicing real magic). The students drink and smoke and have sex a whole lot more than any Hogwarts students ever did, and there are no kindly professors guiding them gently from above. In this world of magic there are no moral absolutes and no one is destined for greatness by birthright. Graduates of Brakebills struggle to find their purpose in life. Grossman's magical world is, in other words, very much like our own. Reality plus magic plus Grossman's comparative-literature background (the book practically drips literary reference) is sure to make for a lively discussion at Books and Bars (including a video conference with the author). (Image by Elena Siebert)
Tue., July 13, 7 p.m., 2010

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