And then everything changed

Freitag, 1. April 2016

The Magicians by Lev Grossman - Told in Quotes

I'll be on vacation next week, so to fill your freetime, as I won't be putting up new posts for a week, I'm giving you my favourite quotes of The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman. You might have noticed that I absolutely adore these books. I have reviewed part 1+2, as well as part 3+the tv show before, but I think that the best way to show you what these books really mean to me and why I love them so much, is to let them speak for themselves. Enjoy!

The Magicians:

"Quentin knew he wasn't happy. Why not? He had painstakingly assembled all the ingredients of happyness. He had performed all the nessecary rituals, spoken the words, lit the candles, made the sacrifices. But happyness like a disobedient spirit had refused to come. [...] All of it just confirmed his belief that his real life, the life he should be living, had been mislaid through some clerical error by the cosmic bureaucracy. This couldn't be it. It had been diverted somewhere else, to someone else, and he had been issued this shitty subsitute faux life instead." (p.12)

"She seemed to know everything about Quentin, everything he was thinking and feeling, sometimes before he did, and she wanted him in spite of it - because of it." (p.182)

"Just for one second look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. This is it: there's nothing else. It's here, and you better decide to enjoy it or you're going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever." (p.327)

The Magician's King:

"What was the point of all this when you could just drop dead, just like that? That's what he wanted to know: What was even the fucking point?" (p.32)

"That was the thing about the world: it wasn't that things were harder than you though they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways you didn't expect." (p.97)

"It was magic. Real magic! And she was doing it! Hakuna fucking matata. Either she wasn't crazy, or she'd finally gone well and truly around the bend, and she wasn't coming back. Either way she could have died for joy." (p.121)

"He wanted to go back, but there was no back to go to. The only way out was through. Onward and downward." (p.144)

"What was so great about magic anyway, compared to love? Seriously, what?" (p.171)

"She opened herself up to them in a way she never had to anyone: no irony, no caveats, no regrets. She poured out her broken heart to the Free Traders, and they took it and cleaned it up and fixed it up and gave it back to her fresh and bloody and pumping again." (p.174)

"She hadn't run far enough, or fast enough, or hid herself well enough, and the disaster had tracked her down and it had found her. It wasn't going to let her go." (p.179)

"So the journey is the arrival kind of thing?" Josh said. "I hate that stuff. I'm an old-fashioned arrival-is-the-arrival kind of guy." (p.227)

"The first time he's seen the Neitherlands he'd felt, maybe for the last time in his life, pure joy: the kind of uncut, pharmacy-grade, white-hot joy that comes with believing, or not just believing but knowing, that everything was going to be okay, not just then or for the next two weeks, but forever." (p.269)

"He was never going to lose this, he thought. He was going to enjoy everything exactly as much, as Benedict would have enjyoed it if he could have come back from the underworld. And Alice, and all the rest of them. It was all he could do for them. Earth or Fillory, did it even matter? What was the huge conundrum? Everwhere you looked there was so much richness, you could never exhaust it. Maybe it was all a game, that got crumpled up and thrown away at the end, but while you were here it was real." (p.344)

"This now, this stopped him. He'd known that adventures were supposed to be hard. He'd understood that he had to go a long way and solve difficult problems and fight foes and be brave and whatever else. But this was hard in a way he hadn't counted on. You couldn't kill it with a sword or fix it with a spell. You couldn't fight it. You just had to endure it, and you didn't look good or noble or heroic doing it." (.360)

The Magician's Land:

"Maybe when you give up your dreams, you find out that there's more to life than dreaming." (p.35)

"Doing magic was like finally finding the words you'd been groping for your whole life. You'd always known what you wanted to say, it was at the tip of your tongue, you almost had it, you knew it a moment ago but forgot it - and then there it was. Casting a spell was like finally finding the words: there, that's what I've meant, that's what I've been trying to say all along." (p.37)

"Elliot thought it spoke well of Poppy that he saw the point of Josh, which not everyone could. He wasn't handsome, and although he was as clever as any of them, he didn't walk around making sure everybody knew it all the time. No, the point of Josh was that he had a big and noble hard. It had taken Elliot literally years to figure that out. Poppy was a quicker sutdy." (p.70)

"Maybe that's what the ghost was trying to teach her: it's all pointless. Fate is coming whatever you do, so quit wriggling around, it's only making you look more ridicolous than you already do. We're all ghosts here, you just don't look like one yet. But she wasn't having that. If that was true, than what was the point of anything ever? She was going to wriggle a bit longer anyway. Who the hell cared how ridicolous she looked?" (p.105)

"That was magic for you, right? The thing about magic, the real kind: it didn't make excuses and it was never funny." (p.243)

"Magic was decidedly imperfect, but the really funny thing, she thought, was that if it were perfect, it wouldn't be so beautiful." (p.246)

"He'd wanted to create something, make something new, be somebody new, but it was becoming apparent that he couldn't, not until he'd dealt with something old." (p.268)

"Usually in moments of crisis he was lost in a swarm of choices, paralyzed by the possibility that he might do the wrong thing - there were so many wrong things to do, and so few right ones!" (p.270)

"Janet had to give him credit: when he understood something, he really understood the hell out of it." (p.286)

"Something began dying a little inside Janet. Oh yes - hope. That's what people called it." (p.291)

"It was ending too soon, the way everything did, everything except ebola viruses and very bad people like psychopaths, those things never ended. How was that fair? Fuck it, it was stupid. Theories about life were always bullshit." (p.315)

"He wished he could tell him that none of it was going to turn out anything like the way he hoped, but that everything was going to be alright anyway." (p.360)

"He didn't disagree with him - he still felt solidary with him on major points. The world was fucking awful. It was a wretched, desolated place, a desert of meaninglessness, a heartless wasteland, where horrific things happend all the time for no reason and nothing good lasted for long. [...] He wasn't desolate and he wasn't empty. He was full of emotion, full of feelings, bursting with them, and when it came down to it, that's what being a magician was." (p.369)

All quotes by Lev Grossman


  1. I really like this quote: "Maybe when you give up your dreams, you find out that there's more to life than dreaming."

    I'll probably never give up on dreaming, lol, but it does make me think!