esmenet: Kanae standing at a window (kanae)
Today I came across a post about how Lev Grossman's The Magicians is a flawless allegory for grad school. Not having been to grad school, I couldn't tell you one way or the other whether this is correct, but I can definitely say I don't want to read that book or anything like it again to check.

I'd rather go to grad school, I'd rather go to ten grad schools. Better have your own shitty experiences (and maybe get something out of them -- education, networking, nervous breakdowns, anything) than spend time reading about someone else's.
esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (anthy~)
It was worth reading. Lev Grossman's prose has sparks of absolute beauty in it—descriptive moments especially— and he writes excellent action scenes. The final Alice-vs.-[spoiler] scene was wonderful to read; I immediately forgot all the things I hated about the characters and just enjoyed. I loved watching her fight for and with not love & justice but anger and skill. Positively badass. The end of the fight, though . . . let's just say 'not to my taste' and 'rather problematic' and leave it at that. Combined with the book's other issues with female characters, it feels like a retreading of an old sexist trope. And everything after that was pretty much downhill; I ended up hating Quentin even more. What a jerk.

Also, I can't help but reflect that the thing Elliot does at the end of Book 3 would have been profoundly satisfying and not a little triumphant in something like Utena or Princess Tutu. (There's a quote from the Utena movie I want to compare it to, but it's kind of a spoiler for this here book.) It was written to be painful and hollow and it does read that way, but that's not at all how I am used to reading that sort of thing. Nor the way I like to.

I did enjoy Elliot's "I thought about being a queen," and [spoiler]'s reappearance at the very end, though.


Verdict: Lev Grossman should write lots and lots more books, provided we can get someone else to do the plotting & characters.
esmenet: Fuu, Mugen, and Jin, all doing that ridiculous peace-sign-over-eyes pose (*dorky pose*)
My library got two new volumes of Hikaru no Go in! It is a nice antidote to The Magicians, being all about people with a deep abiding love for a board game.* But I can't stop bursting into laughter every time I see Ko Yeong-ha's face, because I keep thinking about him being a model or boyband member in his spare time. He has the pretty-boy face—I mean, there are an awful lot of good-looking people in Hikaru no Go, but Ko Yeong-ha is gorgeous. If this were shoujo, he'd be the rival love interest with all the smooth moves and the pretty eyelashes.

He even poses like a model. Brb, laughing even harder.

But even apart from all that, it's lots of fun watching all my favorite characters talking and playing midnight speed-go and going I MUST DEFEAT HIM. Oh, Hikaru no Go, you will always have space in my heart. <3


*Someday I will stop griping about that book, perhaps sometime next week. But it is full of people who have no *~deep feelings~* about anything, which annoys me, especially in the context of all the manga I am reading. It's just not a real story unless someone's being a giant dork about things they love, okay? *disapproving frown*
esmenet: Yuki Onna from Nurarihyon no Mago blowing through her first two fingers (yuki onna fuck yeah)
I really, really hate characters who don't care about anything. Like, you could give me the evilest dictator in the world and I would not hate them that much. I think it's partly a) why should I care about someone when they don't care about anything at all? and partly b) ye gods, do you even have the tiniest inkling of all the awesome things I could do with your resources? With your life? No, you obviously don't, because otherwise you would be doing them.

In related news, Penny has reappeared in The Magicians and I have something about that book to enjoy again. This is the man who just walked up and punched someone in the face because he was angry at them! That was such a departure from the rest of the book, someone actually having serious in-depth emotions and acting on them. It was very enjoyable. So you can see: SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Possibly even something exciting!

I think I'm going to need some A:TLA or something on hand to dose myself with, though, because this book is just so full of white people, it's disgusting. The only magical school in North America and it is like all white people. Eugh. (And don't think I didn't notice the serious lack of East and South-East Asian languages in all those magical incantations, book. Or African ones, either. Or, really, anything not European or 'Near Eastern'. When the book whose plot hinges on the total nonexistence of Native Americans is better at multicultural representation than you, you'd better believe you're doing something wrong.)

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