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Extended Audio Sample The Magicians: A Novel Audiobook, by Lev Grossman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.06896551724138 out of 53.06896551724138 out of 53.06896551724138 out of 53.06896551724138 out of 53.06896551724138 out of 5 3.07 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lev Grossman Narrator: Mark Bramhall Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Magicians Trilogy Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781101079423
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The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world

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. 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, 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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. Salon
  • Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond. Entertainment Weekly
  • ...no 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
  • 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 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
  • 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 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
  • ... provocative, unput-downable ... one of the best fantasies I've read in ages. Fantasy & Science Fiction
  • Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided-fantasy for grown- ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed. Kirkus Reviews
  • 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)
  • “Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • “An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting.”

    Salon

  • “While this story invariably echoes a whole body of romantic coming-of-age tales, Grossman's American variation is fresh and compelling.”

    Washington Post

  • “Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken...beguiling.”

    Seattle Times

  • “This is a book for grown-up fans of children’s fantasy...Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided—fantasy for grown-ups...Very satisfying indeed.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Mark Bramhall, a smooth baritone with a supple speaking voice, reads carefully, with a slight air of heaviness and sorrow. He pauses frequently and freights the silences with a tenderness well befitting a coming-of-age novel.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “As Bramhall depicts this Narnia-like land, he fully portrays the heroes, villains, even the secondary characters such as the cruel mage, a drunken bear, and a timid tree person. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the August 2009 Indie Next List
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 2010 YALSA Alex Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Scott Holland | 2/15/2014

    " As a previous said, too pessimistic for a main character. Made the book very painful to get through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica O'Shea | 1/17/2014

    " The story is engaging, though slow to start; I'm 3/4 through and it's just now starting to pick up. I've heard the second book is better so I will persevere "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dinsdale | 1/11/2014

    " I gave up. Awful, awful book. I hated everyone and everything in it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kirsty | 12/29/2013

    " an interesting concept , several of them actually, are shoehorned into this book with an extremely unlikable lead character and scarcely fleshed out secondary characters. ugh could have been so much better. didn't live up to the hype. at all. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ash | 12/26/2013

    " This is kind of an unfair book for me to rate. It was fine, I guess, but pretty much the opposite of what I look for in a fantasy novel. I liked (view spoiler)[the scene where the otherworldly wizard appeared in the classroom (hide spoiler)] but not really anything else. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nadia | 12/15/2013

    " I honestly was ready to like this book, until the ending came around. I kept waiting for our main character to be satisfied with what he had or to grow or something! He didn't change at all, started out depressed..ended up still depressed and complaining. The guy needs to go to therapy!I just couldn't stand him and the only character I actually liked ended up sacrificing herself for this pathetic guy after he cheated on her. The book would have been better from her point of view honestly. I just felt empty and indifferent after I finished reading it and that's not what I expect from a good book. I don't think I will be reading the next one because I expect he will not go through any personal growth. This book just wasn't for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eryn Paull | 12/3/2013

    " A good story, but clearly a rip off of Rowling, Tolkein, and Lewis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Loretta Beretta | 11/30/2013

    " I liked both these books. Quick reads and very engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terence | 11/27/2013

    " Adult Harry Potter. An equally inventive magical universe with more drama and serious subject matter. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Holly Barentine | 11/10/2013

    " So far the main character reminds me of my sister's ex who I hated and is a loser...I hope my opinion changes soon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison Mckaig | 11/4/2013

    " I liked this book for the first half and then really hated the second half but I'm somehow left with this need to continue the series. While I was reading it, I was so distracted by the fact that it was so much like other books i could almost not get into it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thara | 8/30/2012

    " Again, maybe the magic of audiobooks makes me love it, but I really, really loved it. I want to go to Brakebills and then disappear into Fillory forever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian Dunn | 7/13/2012

    " A quirky, strange amalgamation of the Harry Potter and Narnia books, with a little dose of The Talisman, but written by/for jaded hipsters. That may sound like an insult, and it kind of is, but I still enjoyed the book for the most part. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew | 3/28/2012

    " Literary fiction trying too hard to pass itself off as genre fiction and instead falling flat at both. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katerina | 3/25/2012

    " I put off reading this book because I've seen lots of bad reviews. I'm glad I finally read it. This book is brilliant! Great characters, great story and beautiful writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah Dodd | 1/29/2012

    " The entire time I was reading this, I couldn't tell if I hated it or loved it. For those of you who have seen the Silver Linings Playbook, the scene where Pat throws the book out the window is precisely how I felt at the end. Nonetheless, I will be proceeding to the Magician King. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rohit Thawani | 8/31/2011

    " Like Harry potter, but with drugs and sex "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaworu | 5/22/2011

    " Extremely interesting premise and first half of the book, but it seemed to become incredibly boring and fell back into the cliches which it tried so hard to avoid. Not bad, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miriam | 5/22/2011

    " It took me some time to get going on this novel, but once I was into it, I loved the story. I wanted to see where Quentin and the rest of the magicians went and how they got there. Really compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 5/19/2011

    " Lev's writing is beautiful. The story combines magical realism and fantasy, and I dare say that it took a bit of magic to turn out a story this layered and thoughtful and emotionally satisfying. I am looking forward to the sequel, and I'm searching out Codex, Lev's previous work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Birdy | 5/17/2011

    " liked but didn't love. must be getting old. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 5/17/2011

    " I'm ambivalent about this book. Some parts were excellent (the first scene with the Beast freaked me out) but it didn't quite hang together and felt like three books smooshed together. I would have preferred more interesting characters and more world building. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 5/17/2011

    " This was a good fantasy read - it is definitely it's own unique story although the back cover of the book compares it to a Harry Potter for adults. It is not like Harry Potter. The book really picks up steam toward the end of the story and leaves you hanging - now to wait for the sequel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 5/13/2011

    " Interesting and a bit strange - sort of like The Chronicles of Narnia mixed with Harry Potter and a bit of gratuitous violence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jolene | 5/12/2011

    " Stunning, wonderful book. It's a fantasy book for obsessive fans of fantasy, and it's a fantasy book for anyone who dislikes fantasy. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved it, and I've been waiting for the sequel since the night I stayed up all night to finish reading it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 5/12/2011

    " There were parts of this book that I truly enjoyed, the setting, supporting characters, and overall plot were great; however the main character was not hard to overcome. I was very unhappy with him as a character and his growth (often lack there of) throughout the novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Letty Nardone | 5/11/2011

    " Overall I liked this book. I liked the adventure. I liked it as part thriller, part teenage angst novel. There really isn't one character that I could say I related to or even liked. Each one had some some self imposed agony. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Molly | 5/10/2011

    " I couldn't finish it. Quentin, the main character was a pompous jerk and I was getting tired of his whining. Maybe fantasy isn't my thing; the plot was too slow to arrive and just got too cheesy for me. "

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About the Author
Author Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman is a senior writer and book critic for Time magazine. His books have been New York Times bestsellers, and in 2011, he was awarded the John W. Campbell Award from the World Science Fiction Society. A graduate of Harvard and Yale, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.

About the Narrator

Mark Bramhall has won eighteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Audiobook Publishers Association’s prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been named by Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine among their “Best Voices of the Year” in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.