LevGrossman

Friday, August 12th, 2011

The Cat is Out of the Bag, and the Cacodemon is Out of the Tattoo

The Magician King is out, and I am three events into the tour. Though it hasn’t really started in earnest because I haven’t gotten on a plane yet. Or consumed my first Ativan.

The reviews so far: really really good. NPR, the AV Club, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, Tor.com, SF Signal…I haven’t actually read them, because as pathetic as it sounds, I can’t read any of the media coverage at all, not one word, or I will be consumed with anxiety the way a niffin is consumed by magic. (See what I did there…)

Another gorgeous piece of fan art by Cecilia Bohlin

(Actually I did read the Washington Post review. Sing along with Morrissey: “I’ll never make that mistake again …

If I were a responsible author without a day job I would aggregate all the interviews I’ve done — CNN, CBS, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Wall Street Journal, etc. — into one handy guide. But I’m just not that guy. I do want to call out a few things though. One is a post I did on Tor.com that’s a guide to the semi-hidden allusions in The Magicians. I also wrote an essay about the process of writing The Magician King for Fantasy Matters — it’s here.

Also I wrote an introduction for a new deluxe edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with a beautiful cover by Ivan Brunetti. Probably you’re not lacking for copies of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But if you are, I recommend this one.


12 comments on “The Cat is Out of the Bag, and the Cacodemon is Out of the Tattoo

  1. Jaimie says:

    Finished the book. It was beautiful, beautiful. Ugh. It was both mesmerizing and exhausting in a way that good books are. And I think the ending was perfect, and I can’t wait for the next book. But I would give my left foot in some kind of ancient deity protocol #2 transaction (pause to sink in) to read a chapter where Eliot goes to the Truthwater islands. Because I adore Eliot. Can’t get enough of him. I guess if you just can’t be writing shit for random fans, I might be able to find some such scenario in fan fiction in a year or so.

    One of my favorite non-spoilery lines: “Turns out you can cast some truly amazing shit in your dreams. But after you wake up it all seems kind of pointless, and nobody really wants to hear about it.” Biggest laugh.

    You know, I think I liked this one better than the first. You can really see how Quentin is growing as a person. It was very inspirational.

  2. Vincent S says:

    I couldn’t read reviews of my own work either…I think. I just read Magician King in 2 days. I couldn’t put it down. For someone like me who reads almost nothing but fantasy it’s great when someone (you) does it differently and with such commitment. I’m inspired.
    Oh, and thanks for writing such entertaining stories.

  3. amybillingham says:

    I agree with Jaimie; more Eliot would be excellent! Despite his somewhat limited presence in The Magicians, it’s his letter to Quentin near the end that just wrecks me every time. (Also at the end of The Magician King, when he figures out what’s about to happen to Q.)

    The portrait of Quentin is amazing. It does look a lot like I pictured him in my head too, except I always forget that his hair is now white. I think this image will stick in my head, so, problem solved. And this *totally* looks like the beginning of a series, so perhaps there will be more? (she said hopefully?) The Kings & Queens of Fillory — Collect the whole set!

  4. John Henning says:

    “But I would give my left foot in some kind of ancient deity protocol #2 transaction (pause to sink in) to read a chapter where Eliot goes to the Truthwater islands. Because I adore Eliot. Can’t get enough of him. I guess if you just can’t be writing shit for random fans, I might be able to find some such scenario in fan fiction in a year or so.”

    Or write it yourself.

    If you haven’t read it you should check out Grossman’s FanFic article.

    Halfway through the novel, and it’s started grabbing me. It was the same with Magicians. I read the first fifty pages or so, put it down and didn’t think it was for me. Picked it up again months later and couldn’t put it down again.

    Knowing that, I stuck with Magician King until now it’s revved up momentum so I feel the need to find out what next after each chapter.

  5. amybillingham says:

    Apparently I’ve seen one too many Gray Goose vodka commercials, because I’m now convinced that there needs to be a Brakebills cocktail (or two). This is a little odd because I don’t actually drink much myself, but I do have a bit of a fascination with “drinks” — as in, recipes for various odd combinations of liquor with amusing or inexplicable names. So, for your consideration:

    The Brakebills = Bourbon + Grapefruit Soda + ??? (Triple Sec or something, or nothing)

    The Brakebills South = Gray Goose Vodka + Half & Half + ??? (Cinnamon Schnapps maybe)

    Can someone who knows this kind of thing (or is inclined to experiment along these lines) comment on the viability of these possibilities, or suggest missing ingredients?

    : )

  6. Jaimie says:

    “Or write it yourself.”

    I can’t. I suck at writing fan fiction because I can’t rationalize not writing my own damn story. The only fan fiction I ever wrote was Star Trek (a little thing with Picard and Q) because I was so depressed after finishing my first novel, which sucked. Maybe I’ll get there again, but I doubt it. … or I hope not.

  7. Alex B. says:

    Lev,

    I enjoyed reading your latest novel very much. I was completely absorbed by it and read it with the same kind of frenzi that overtook me in the first installment.

    But I’m unsure weather I might have skipped something important. Did you ever got to reveal to us what was Quentin’s Discipline, if any? I was really looking forward to that revelation, specially after Elliot mentioned it at the end of The Magicians.

    Is it offensive magic by any chance?

    In any case, I’m very grateful to you for the great moments that you created with your novels. Looking forward for more of your writing.

  8. Jean-Daniel says:

    Thanks for that tor.com essay. Wish I’d read it when I translated THE MAGICIANS. I will keep it and use it when the book is reprinted in paperback. Haven’t got THE MAGICIAN KING yet, but I hope I’ll get to translate it.
    BTW, I grasped some of the allusions/nods, but some escaped me. Google doesn’t give all the answers, more is the pity. And I didnt’ get the nod to your brother, though I also translated his book! Drat.
    Jean-Daniel Brèque

  9. Jaimie says:

    Alex – I got the idea that Quentin doesn’t have a discipline. Like most people, he doesn’t fit into any one category. It was just another way THE MAGICIANS was a real-life-meets-fantasy story. I can’t remember what Eliot says, but maybe he was just making a joke about it and that was all.

  10. Alex B. says:

    Jaimie,

    I can see I did miss the point there then. Now that you put it like that, it makes perfect sense. And I coincide with you, it’s actually pretty cool.

    Thanks a lot Jaimie. I feel much more at ease now :)

  11. trevorpolcyn says:

    The portrait of Quentin is fantastic. My only quibble is that Quentin is supposed to have shoulder-length hair. But the rebuttal to my own quibble is that that was in The Magicians and since nothing specifically is mentioned in The Magicians King about his current hair length, it’s not that big of a quibble. Very well done though, regardless.

  12. [...] Gorgeous fan art by Cecilia Bohlin. [...]

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