Warp by Lev Grossman


Warp by Lev Grossman

Published 1997



Warp by Lev Grossman.  This will be difficult for me to review since  I love “The Magicians”.  Supposedly this debut novel inspired him to expand and write that trilogy.  If that is the case, then I love Warp — which is one of the main reasons I’m giving it 3 stars.  Otherwise, not so much.

It is a relatively short (thank goodness) story about a few days in the life of 20-something Hollis Kessler and his friends.  They are out of college, and most of them have moved into a grown-up mode of a steady job and common sense.  Hollis has not.  His parents have finally stopped giving him money.  He lives in a dump, is out of work, and his waking and sleeping thoughts are of Star Trek.  Basically, he is a loser.

In the forward of this book, Grossman hints that Kessler is the basis for Quentin Coldwater in the Magicians, and you can imagine the relationship, so in that regard it is interesting to see from a literary viewpoint.  The writing is definitely the same, and good.  Further, some people will be able to relate to the frame of mind of our hero — the awkwardness, depression, self-consciousness and fear of growing up.  

Grossman also states in the forward that “Hollis is mentally adrift on a choppy sea of imaginary adventures that echo and mock and annotate the dreary real world around him.”   Yeah, so that may be why the book is rather depressing.  

To recap,  I love the magicians, and can see Hollis as an even more confused Quentin.  However, if there had been a true plot to this book, or some action, it would have been nice.


Favorite Quotes from Warp:


“Maybe there’s resistance, and you have to keep pushing all the time, or you just slow down and stop. What if warp isn’t all just coasting along all the time?”

“With some things it’s just not worth thinking about them too carefully before they happen. They almost never turn out to be as horrible as you think they will.”


Read: December 2016


About the Author:  LEV GROSSMAN is the award-winning author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy, which is now an hour-long drama series on Syfy.  Born in 1969, he attended Harvard and Yale and has been Time magazine’s book critic since 2002. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family.




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