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Leftover Magicians

While I've spent the last 3 days tearing through The Cut by George Pelecanos, I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about the previous two books I read (outside of Robinson Crusoe, which we just read in my British Novel class and about which I need to write a paper by Wednesday)...

I read Lev Grossman's The Magicians around the time it was published two years ago. In fact, I wrote a little about it here. While I liked the novel and found the ideas to be interesting, I didn't love the main character, Quentin Coldwater. That concern completely disappeared in the just-published sequel, The Magician King. King Quentin has actually matured since the events in the first book and while he isn't perfect, he was much more readable. The new novel also alternates the action in the present with chapters of Julia's story, which runs concurrent with the first book. The Magician King just felt stronger overall and it not only makes me ready for the third book in the series but makes me want to reread The Magicians. Highly recommended.

I came to Tom Perrotta through a movie adaptation. Election is one of my all-time favorite movies and when I discovered it was based on a book, I'd found a new writer to check out. I can't remember if I read that book or his Little Children first but I've been a fan ever since. His new novel is The Leftovers and it's the story of a family dealing with the aftermath of the Sudden Departure, which was maybe/maybe not the Rapture. The Garvey family came through the even intact but have since fractured, searching for relationships that will allow them to make sense of what happened to their friends, acquaintances, the world. The choices they make are not always good ones but in the end they all find a measure of peace, even if that peace isn't rational. Also recommended.

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