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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The Magicians - Lev Grossman Better as an idea than in the execution. Grossman uses a fantasy frame and tropes to tell a story of youth alienation. Unfortunately, Grossman seems more contemptuous than admiring of the genre. The jokes (many Harry Potter and Narnia-based) quickly become brittle, then stale. It's too bad, because the possibilities are excellent, and Grossman's inclusion of Jewish imagery brings a fresh perspective to the genre (imagine Harry Potter thinking a magical text looks like the Talmud). The story itself is simply not able to deliver on its compelling premise, degenerating into a jumbled, boring blur of drinking and immaturity. The characters remain flat and grow unlikeable over time. Plot points amble and some are ultimately dropped, perhaps out of an authorial ennui that parallels that of his world-weary 20-something characters. The ending is pat, disappointing, and unearned.