Tag Archives: Grossman

You by Austin Grossman (review by Tasha M. ’20)

YouYou by Austin Grossman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Austin Grossman’s You promises a fresh perspective on video games, with emphasis on how they are created and how they affect players, but ultimately fails to deliver. Russell, the protagonist, begins working as a game designer and attempts to find a bug in the code by playing through other games by the company, Black Arts Games. The writing is mostly descriptions of Russell’s experiences with the games, and almost nothing significant happens in the book’s reality.

The storyline started out a little far-fetched and rapidly devolved into a baffling wandering between several video games (each of which had enough description to bore but not enough to fully immerse the reader), Russell’s imagining of the characters in the video games, and Russell’s attempt to fix the bug. Also disorienting are the many sudden time and point-of-view shifts, and the incredibly blurred distinctions between the games, Russell’s imagination, and reality. The characterization was not much better. The reader learns almost nothing about Russell; the supporting characters, while very cookie-cutter, at least had definable personality traits.

In short, You spectacularly failed to live up to the high expectations it established, leaving me disappointed and at a loss as to what the purpose was. – Tasha M. ’20

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The Magicians by Lev Grossman (review by Monica K. ’14)

The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)The Magicians by Lev Grossman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is almost impossible to enjoy. The darker, more mature cross between The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, The Magicians follows the school years of Quentin Coldwater, a miserable, isolated genius who is admitted into a secret university of magic. It unflinchingly (and increasingly depressingly) depicts his constant quest for happiness as he navigates his way through classic adult rites of passage. Despite its admirably ambitious thematic goals, the book fails to maintain a strong, engaging plot and ultimately loses the reader. – Monica K. ‘14

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Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman (review by Mrs. Vaughan, Harker librarian)

Soon I Will Be InvincibleSoon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The world’s population includes nearly 2,000 super-powered beings. Some, like the recently escaped from high security prison Dr. Impossible, intend to rule the world. Fortunately the Champions, the world’s most famous team of superheroes, are bent on saving it. Narration flips between the obsessed evil genius Dr. Impossible and rookie Champion Fatale and leads us on a break neck ride through Impossible’s latest attempt at world domination in which he threatens a self-engineered ice age. The story includes wonderful action sequences, an imaginative set of beings that only a die-hard comic book fan could dream up and the very human side of these personalities. A pure delight from beginning to end, fans of Artemis Fowl, Ender’s Game and Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld novels will love Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible. – Mrs. Vaughan, Harker librarian

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