Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman portrait image to appear alongside the Lev Grossman biography.

Lev Grossman was born in 1969, the son of two English professors, and grew up in a suburb of Boston. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in literature and went on to the Ph.D. program in comparative literature at Yale, although he left after three years without finishing a dissertation.

After Yale Grossman worked for a string a dot-coms while writing freelance articles about books, technology and culture in general for numerous magazines, newspapers and websites, until he was hired by Time in 2002 and became the magazine’s book critic as well as one of its lead technology writers.

He is also the author of the international bestseller Codex.

“Once I'd figured out that I wasn't going to be an academic, I set about gradually turning myself into a journalist. I worked for a string of dot-coms while writing free-lance articles about books, technology and culture in general for various magazines, newspapers and websites, including Lingua Franca, the Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York, Salon and the New York Times. In 2002 I was hired by Time and became the magazine's book critic as well as one of its lead technology writers. The New York Times says I'm “among this country's smartest and most reliable critics.”

Lev Grossman books reviewed

Bibliography

  • Warp (1997)
  • Codex (2004)
  • The Magicians (The Magicians) (2009)
    Quentin Coldwater’s life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter when he turns up for his entrance interview to Princeton he finds his interviewer dead – but a strange envelope bearing Quentin’s name leads him down a very different path to any he’d ever imagined. The envelope, and the mysterious manuscript it contains, leads to a secret world of obsession and privilege, a world of freedom and power and, for a while, it’s a world that seems to answer all Quentin’s desires. But the idyll cannot last – and when it’s finally shattered, Quentin is drawn into something darker and far more dangerous than anything he could ever have expected…
  • The Magician King (The Magicians) (2011)
    Quentin Coldwater is king of the bizarre and wonderful land of Fillory, but the days and nights of royal luxury are losing their appeal and Quentin is getting restless. Even in heaven a man needs a little adventure. So when a steward is murdered on a morning’s hunt that is exactly what Quentin gets. But this quest is like no other. What starts as a flight of fancy, a glorified cruise to faraway lands, soon becomes the stuff of nightmares when Quentin is unceremoniously dumped at his parent’s house in a decidedly un-magical suburb in Massachusetts. Back in this grey reality, Quentin has never wanted his magical kingdom more. Fortunately he is accompanied by his old friend Julia, who learned her own brand of black and twisted magic outside Brakebills College at an illegal, underground school in the real world. As they struggle through the paranormal alleyways, past Venetian dragons and fairytale houses, it becomes clear that only Julia’s black arts can save them. But there is a greater power at work, one that is threatening to destroy Fillory forever, and to defeat it they must unravel the secrets of Julia’s tragic past, and the terrible pact she made to gain her power.
  • The Magician's Land (2014)
    Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can't hide from his past, and it's not long before it comes looking for him. Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of grey magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Netherlands, and buried secrets, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory - but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything.

Critical acclaim

... on The Magicians ...

“The Magicians brilliantly explores the hidden underbelly of fantasy and easy magic, taking what's simple on the surface and turning it over to show us the complicated writhing mess beneath. It's like seeing the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter through a 3-D magnifying glass.” Naomi Novik