You say you loved Lev Grossman’s “Magicians” trilogy? You want to read everything the guy’s ever written? Sorry: that’s probably not a good idea: you’d have to read Warp.
It’s just another novel about aimless slackers, like dozens of other novels written in the 90s. This time, protagonist Hollis Kessler has stayed in Boston, near his alma mater, after graduation. The problem is that Hollis is more slack than you average slacker: even his ex-girlfriend works in a sparkling modern office now.
On the other hand, Hollis spends way too much drinking and smoking and hanging out with a few remaining friends. One of them, Peters, persuades Kessler to accompany him on a late night raid: the object is to break into a suburban manse and pilfer the keys to the family’s beach house. That, dear reader, is about all there is to Warp.
Grossman spent more than ten years working and reworking Warp before it was published to resounding failure. Indeed, the novel shows traces of the talent that would win over fantasy buffs a decade later. The downside is that it’s boring and so are the characters. Worse, in an attempt at literary chic, Grossman adopted a strange stylistic trick: every few paragraphs, especially when something is happening, the story halts for a moment; a moment in which Hollis’ interior dialogue consists of lines from some log-forgotten "Star Trek the Next Generation" episode. Unfortunately, these interruptions do nothing for the narrative, which is mostly a dreary, writing exercise, a novel that disappeared more than a decade before The Magicians. And that is as it should be.