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review 2017-07-19 09:07
Ist Magie ein Vorrecht der Kindheit?
The Magician's Land - Lev Grossman

Wieder einmal steht Quentin Coldwater vor dem Nichts. Aus Fillory verbannt, ist er gezwungen, zur Erde zurückzukehren. Er muss sich ein neues Leben aufbauen, noch einmal von vorn anfangen. Fast von selbst lenken ihn seine Schritte zum Brakebills College für magische Erziehung. Der verlorene Sohn geht heim. Seine alte Schule empfängt ihn mit offenen Armen und langsam beginnt Quentin, sich in der irdischen Realität zu akklimatisieren. Er arbeitet hart und bleibt meist für sich. Doch seine Vergangenheit lässt ihm keine Ruhe. Noch immer quält ihn der Gedanke an Alice, seine große Liebe. Entschlossen, herauszufinden, was mit ihr geschehen ist und unterstützt von der begabten Schülerin Plum wagt sich Quentin in die zwielichtigen, gefährlichen Gefilde der Magie, in der Hoffnung, Alice vielleicht zurückzuholen.
Währenddessen spitzt sich die Lage in Fillory zu. Das verzauberte Land stirbt. Verzweifelt begeben sich Eliot und Janet auf eine letzte, alles entscheidende Quest, um ihr Königreich zu bewahren. Allein können die beiden allerdings wenig ausrichten. Sie brauchen Hilfe. Hilfe von dem einzigen Menschen, der mehr über Fillory weiß, als irgendjemand sonst: Quentin, dessen Schicksal untrennbar mit dem magischen Land verbunden zu sein scheint. Welten und Leben stehen auf dem Spiel. Wird Quentin Fillory retten können und endlich Vergebung für seine Sünden finden?

 

Das nenne ich mal einen Abschluss! Lev Grossman versteht es wirklich, eine Geschichte emotional befriedigend zu beenden. „The Magician’s Land“ ist meiner Meinung nach mit Abstand der beste Band der Trilogie „The Magicians“. Ich bin begeistert und war am Schluss sogar zu Tränen gerührt. Während all der Zeit, die ich mit dem Protagonisten Quentin in den Vorgängern „The Magicians“ und „The Magician King“ verbrachte, war ich enttäuscht von ihm, weil er einfach nicht zu schätzen wusste, welche Privilegien ihm zuteilwurden. Seine ziellose Rastlosigkeit faszinierte mich, entsetzte mich allerdings auch, da ich nicht verstand, was er denn eigentlich noch wollte. Er wusste es ja selbst nicht. Jetzt wird Quentin endlich erwachsen und schließt mit all den losen Enden in seinem Leben ab. Zum ersten Mal habe ich ihn als echten Magier wahrgenommen, der begreift, mit welchen Kräften er arbeitet. Aus Fillory rausgeworfen zu werden, war das Beste, das ihm passieren konnte. Andernfalls wäre er auf ewig der kindliche, naive Träumer geblieben, der sich stur weigerte, sich seiner Vergangenheit zu stellen. Er konnte dort nicht leben, er musste raus aus diesem zauberhaften, magischen Land, weil er es viel zu sehr brauchte. Er war zu abhängig davon, was ihn ausgerechnet mit Martin Chatwin verbindet, der ebenfalls nicht loslassen konnte und wollte, als es Zeit war. Martins zerstörerisches Schicksal, das Grossman in „The Magician’s Land“ erfreulicherweise noch einmal ausführlich beleuchtet, hätte ebenso gut Quentins Schicksal sein können. Er klammerte sich so fest an Fillory, dass er gar nicht merkte, dass es ihm irgendwann nicht mehr um das Königreich an sich ging. Es ging um ihn selbst, um seine egoistischen Empfindungen und Unzulänglichkeiten. Ich denke, das ist der Grund, warum jedes Kind, das Fillory besucht, nicht mehr eingeladen wird, sobald es beginnt, erwachsen zu werden. Das ist keine willkürliche Grausamkeit, wie Quentin behauptet, sondern ein Schutzmechanismus. In Fillory kann man nicht erwachsen werden. Das Land ist dafür nicht geschaffen. Es ist der Unschuld der Kindheit vorbehalten. Magie dieser Art verdirbt durch die Anwesenheit irdischer Erwachsener, was der Verlauf der Regentschaft von Eliot und Janet eindrucksvoll beweist. Obwohl sie Fillory niemals direkt schadeten, kann es kaum Zufall sein, dass ihr Königreich nur wenige Jahre (in der Zeitrechnung Fillorys) nach ihrer Machtübernahme im Sterben liegt. Es war nie vorgesehen, dass Erwachsene die Throne beanspruchen. So läuft das nicht. Ich bin fest überzeugt, dass Quentin Fillory gerade noch rechtzeitig verließ, um endlich die längst überfällige persönliche Entwicklung zu durchleben, die ihn paradoxerweise als den einzigen Menschen zeichnet, der Fillory retten könnte. Grossman beschreibt seine Entfaltung brillant, zeigt all ihre schmerzhaften, desillusionierenden Facetten extrem ehrlich und realistisch. Endlich ist er der Magier, der er immer sein wollte: er gebietet über die düsteren, unberechenbaren Mächte der Zauberei, indem er sich ihnen mit einer Mischung aus kindlicher, begeisterungsfähiger Neugier und erwachsenem Verantwortungsbewusstsein nähert. Ich bin unglaublich stolz auf ihn.

 

„The Magician’s Land“ vermittelt eine andere Atmosphäre als die vorangegangenen Bände der Trilogie. Diese ist zwar noch immer bedrohlich und verdreht, doch darunter liegt eine gewisse majestätische Ausgeglichenheit, die meiner Ansicht nach aus Quentin als Protagonist entspringt. Ich habe mich ihm so nahe gefühlt wie noch nie zuvor und mache mir keinerlei Sorgen um seine Zukunft. Er wird seinen Weg gehen. Ich bin sehr glücklich mit dem Finale dieser bizarren Geschichte, die über das Motiv des Zauberlehrlings weit hinauswächst und diesem eine Tiefe verleiht, die ich am Beginn von „The Magicians“ niemals erwartet hätte. Lev Grossman hat ein Epos erschaffen, das meinem Empfinden nach tatsächlich der würdige Nachfahre der „Chroniken von Narnia“ ist, wenn auch erwachsener, moderner und ernsthafter. Subtil stellt er sich der philosophischen Frage, ob Magie ein Vorrecht der Kindheit ist und ob der Verlust der Unschuld beim Erwachsenwerden den Verlust der Magie impliziert. Natürlich gibt es auf diese Frage keine einfache Antwort. Ihr werdet den verwirrenden Fall durchs Kaninchenloch gemeinsam mit Quentin selbst wagen müssen, um sie zu finden. Geht es nach mir, solltet ihr das unbedingt tun, denn gerade Bücherwürmer, die mit einer reichen Fantasie gesegnet sind, können durch die Trilogie viel über die Träume ihrer Kindheit lernen.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/lev-grossman-the-magicians-land
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review 2017-07-17 13:53
A Disturbingly Charming Read
Eileen: A Novel - Ottessa Moshfegh

Reading Eileen is a challenge of acceptance. One that is far from being the norm, especially when it comes to understanding human nature at its worst flaw. I read Eileen because of an upcoming book discussion and one of the things that caught my attention was the analytical approach of its description of why 'people are the way they are' in the things they do we are ashamed to talk about. I try to find the main plot line on this book but its actually about a girl (title character) on her last days on a fictional place of what had happened to her and the people she meets along the way before she leaves town. There isn't much of a plot but there is some thing about the writing that is honest and truthful that I tend to agree that what was not dared said is bare here.

 

Eileen is written in a first person of a past memory that she wants to share with the readers. Why she wanted to leave the place she was born, her relationship with her father, her infatuation with a prison guard, her lifeless job in a children's correctional prison and her habitual past-time habits she isn't ashamed of (like stealing a scarf from a store). Then came a new counselor named Rebecca, a young and beautiful girl who give her more attention than others. What happens next lead to a crime that just give a good reason to leave her home town and never look back. Sounds simple and yet uninteresting right?

 

To be fair, I do find the writing and description so well-written that the one thing that did not escape me is how ugly she made out in words makes it so beautiful and honest. There are things we might be ashamed of writing but Ottessa Moshfegh truly embodies the truth of what we don't talk about with other people. You'll get my meaning when you read it. The other thing was not entirely interesting were the dialogue. It felt flat and fake, which is a contradiction in her writing. On one hand, the description of Eileen's feelings and place and the actions she do was very good but on the other hand, the dialogue is surreal. Its like how bizarre the exchange was between father and daughter is unusual. I just can't picture it too well and that really pull part of the book down. By 2/3's of the book, that's where it becomes interesting. Although it was predictable, its just how well Ottessa capture's Eileen's character at its fullest.

 

While this is actually her first book, its a fast read and an interesting one. I can't help but read it to find out where it is leading and part of me felt this is like American Psycho plotline indie kind of story. As realism gets, its the purpose of Eileen on why she need to leave town that makes it understandable on her reasons of doing that. This is some thing I would recommend people to read because to me, its refreshing. Unlike some authors I read when it comes to writing disgusting scenes, Ottesa makes it sound beautiful in her own way of acceptance, like 'yeah, we do that and that's okay'. For me, it deserves a 4 out of 5 star rating and its a book I would recommend for any readers that accepts true reality of life.

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review 2017-07-10 03:18
A Historical Young Adult Novel Introducing An Incorrigible and Loveable Thief That Could Steal Anything...
The Thief (Queen's Thief) - Megan Whalen Turner

I love a good fantasy historical stories. There wasn't any thing that interest me that is simple and enjoyable (although I know there are some good historical fiction novels that are good) but there is one that caught my attention that has a simple title - The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. What was more interesting was how it was written and the characters that are so loveable and incorrigible, I wanted to know more about the world of The Queen's Thief series. But first - The Thief.

It started with a simple setting - a thief was imprison because he got himself into trouble and when a king from Sounis send him a task to steal a legendary stone that was near impossible to obtain because its a tale of legends, the king believe that this thief can steal anything. Accompanied by a magus and two apprentice - their mission is off to Attolia where the legendary stone is.

 

Yes, the plot may seem boring and plain but it was the written and delivery of the work that is most impressive. I was astound by the description of the place, characters and the scenes (action or other wise) as it was so well-written. And then of course, the characters! I love Eugenides - he is witty, funny and (to me) loveable with sarcasm when he delivers smart remarks. Then of course, the tall tales of legends, given in historical form that is interesting, even though have done before. Given much on 2/3 part of the book, there is a twist I did not foresee. Maybe I was too busy dwelling into the world of Attolia but it was done well. Although the introduction of the characters were brief (not much depth is known about the rest of the characters or even Eugenides), I am looking forward for the next book to see what happens next, even though it does feel like it ended in one book (and rather, not in an exciting way).

 

To me, The Thief is well-written. Its not exciting but it does has a way to capture my attention as I read. Its direct to a point, which I like when it comes to reading books, and it doesn't waste a lot of time in explaining back stories or flashbacks. What was more interesting is how Megan Whalen Turner manage to even fill a normal daily chore scene that makes it interesting. For that, The Thief have my 4 out of 5 star rating. On to the next book.

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review 2017-06-27 14:20
A Book About Existence Found In A Place That Nobody Knows It Exist.
Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

Stories of slice of life may not be anyone's cup of tea (or coffee). There are times when I read such stories, I don't get move by how its meant to be written. When I read My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, it was messy to me. Yes, its the point of view from a 7 year-old girl that her grandmother send her a quest of fairy tale stories that sort of mixed up with reality... for me, I can't tell which is which. Then came the unexpected spin-off - Britt-Marie Was Here and I find it much better than Fredrik Backman's previous book before this one.

 

Britt-Marie Was Here focus on the title character herself. In the previous book (not a sequel, mind you), she was annoyingly weird (to me that is), a nagger and fussy like hell. But here we get to see and understand who Britt-Marie truly is. Her life, what she was before and who she is now is deeper than we think. After what happen to her in My Grandmother Asked Me... , she traveled to Borg, a fictional place that nobody knows of and literally, its like non-existence. As Britt-Marie gets a job in a recreational center, she encounters unexpected characters that will change her life or how she change theirs. Plus a conversation with a rat, soccer and lots of baking soda and Flaxin plus cutlery. Oh yes - this book and like all Fredrik Backman's books has that same formulated story and theme. In A Man Called Ove, we have those kind of unexpected characters and a cat. In My Grandmother Asked Me..., we have an apartment of unexpected characters too and a dog (even the car Renault is a character of its own). There's no difference here. I can see how his books are written now. But is Britt-Marie Was Here a one-trick pony? Well... yes and no.

 

You see, there's some thing I enjoy reading this book and its just what message Backman is trying to say here. Its a good one and there's some realism about how people are too comfort in their current lives and afraid to break free and do some thing for themselves when their whole lives are about doing some thing for others. When we try to assure ourselves that the right way is to go back what it was before, its what's happening now. The book does show us that scenario... but of course, I can't give out that ending but I can say, its one I believe that is good. And then of course, Britt-Marie always felt nobody thinks she exist that she makes herself known she does and in the end... well, I can't reveal that either. What I enjoy most is how now the chapters are short and direct, it is a much easier feeling of reading that I took my time no longer than I had with the last book.

 

I can't say that this book is great but its a read that gives me a subtle warmness towards it, that I like when it comes to slice of life. And this is one of those books that I would say its worth reading for those who are lost in a course of their lives should pick this up.

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text 2017-02-05 21:37
Akata Witch
Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor

Just not grabbing me.  Throwing back onto the "Maybe I'll give it another try later" pile.

 

I do plan to pick up Binti, the 2016 Hugo and Nebula award winning novella, sometime soon.

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