Grossman, Lev. The Magicians. NY: Viking: 2009. (Reading Level: Adult)
Narnia meets Hogwarts slams head-on into hell.
Take some treasured childhood memories, a sincere and earnest belief in magic, and add more than a dollop of gritty realism. What Alan Moore’s The Watchmen did for superheroes, Lev Grossman’s The Magicians does for alternate-world juvenile fantasy.
Quentin Coldwater has all the self-conscious, oblivious nerdliness of Oscar Wao, with an obsession with the childhood books about the fictional Fillory, a Narnia-like series he never quite got over. In a series of hair-whitening adventures he learns that even with magic, even in paradise, you can’t escape from yourself.
Witty, fun, and heart-wrenching. A book you can’t put down, and never want to end.
A sequel, The Magician King, was published in 2011.