Lev Grossman on drinking in THE MAGICIANS

Monday, March 23

what an author -- the post is up for a day, and he responds! just in case people don't read the comments, i'm reposting here:

Hi a.r. I hear and obey.

First I want to thank you for doing such a careful and thoughtful reading of my book. You explained what it's about better than I could. Second, to answer your question, yes, there's a lot of drinking in the book. Chalk it up to two things:

-- Insane stress. Brakebills (that's the name of the magic school they all go to) is a real hothouse. The way I imagine it, if you cram 100 type-A certified geniuses into one house and work them like pack animals until their mighty brains start to melt, the stress levels are off the charts. They'd go nuts if they didn't drink.

-- Insane boredom. One thing that makes the Magicians universe different from, say, Narnia or the Potterverse -- as you pointed out -- is that there isn't really a Big Bad. There's no ultimate evil to fight. So they've got all this power at their command, but nothing to do with it. It eats away at them, makes them feel worthless and pointless and bored. Hence drinking.

Plus, I like to drink. And you're never drinking alone as long as your characters are drinking.


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