Saturday, February 11, 2012

Short reviews

I’ve finished three books in relatively quick(ish) succession – for me, at least so I’ve decided to do a bit of a review-dump and kind of lump them all together.

Partly also I’m not entirely sure how  I feel about The Magicians by Lev Grossman and don’t really know what to say about it, so I sort of waited till I’d read a couple more books so I could go “hey, short reviews” and coward out that way – lol.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
This is magic, but not as we know it. Quentin accidentally stumbles across a magic school in the middle of Manhattan, and finds out he has a real gift for it.

Seventeen and already somewhat disaffected, Quentin falls easily into the world of Brakebills.

I have many and varied feelings about The Magicians. I’m just not sure what they are. The obvious comparison, of course, is Harry Potter,  but there’s little resemblance between the world J K Rowling created and Quentin’s world at Brakebills and beyond, where he finds just how difficult it really is living in the real world while keeping most of your life secret.

There’s a quest, of sorts, that goes rather badly, after Quentin discovers that Fillory – the world of a favourite series of children’s books – is real.

Then things really go to hell in a handbasket.

The Magicians is, I don’t even know. It’s certainly not sunny and optimistic. It’s rather grim for the most part and honestly Quentin is kind of unpleasant and self-absorbed but I couldn’t stop reading.

So. I liked reading it. I just kind of felt like I’d set my fingernails on fire.

From one cheerful little read to another …

Burial by Neil Cross

Oh, Neil Cross. You made Luther and therefore I love you because Luther is awesome. And then you write these awesomely chilling novels that are designed to do nothing so much as make the reader go what the – and then check and make sure ALL THE DOORS ARE LOCKED.

A young girl dies at a party. The two men who were present at the time, agree to hide the body and cover up the crime. And swear NEVER TO SPEAK OF IT AGAIN.

Which, you know, never goes well.

When Bob, one of the men turns up on the doorstep of the other, Nathan, things start to spiral downhill rather fast.

Burial is just the right amount of creepy – enough to keep you reading and to double-check your doorlocks. Maybe sleep with a teddy bear but that’s between you and Mr Snuggles, I don’t judge.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

To me, you are perfect. And I will love you forever, Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth.

(Okay, that’s not really a review, it’s a paraphrased quote from Love Actually. LOOK, KITTENS!)


Ana S. said...

I'm reading The Magicians right now! I'm enjoying it so far, in the sense that I keep wanting to go back to it, but I can see what you mean about the grimness. And I'm not entirely comfortable with the implication that fantasy is an escape for those dissatisfied with life - though I need to finish it before I can make sense of how the narrative will handle this theme. Anyway, the reason why I'm reading it is because I have to read the sequel for the ILAs, and people keep saying it's actually much better than the first book.

Care said...

I go back and forth on wanting to read The Magicians books. Hmmm.

(how is 1Q84 going?? do share!)

Maree said...

Nymeth ... wait, there's a sequel???

Care: ahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa D:

Ana S. said...

Yep :P It's called The Magician King.

Jodie said...

Oh, Persuasion :)

Maree said...

Nymeth: yay thank you!

Jodie: *SWOON*

Eq McFly said...

great reviews definitely checking some of these out!