The lost literary origin story of #1 bestseller Lev Grossman - including a new foreword about how and why he wrote his first novel: "It is the intense, concentrated, boiled-down essence of the unhappiest years of my life."
Twenty-something Hollis Kessler languishes in a hopelessly magician-less world (with the exception of a fleet-footed nymph named Xanthe) not too far from where he graduated college. His friends do, too. They sleep late, read too much, drink too much, talk too much, and work and earn and do way too little. But Hollis does have an obsession: there's another world going on in his head, a world of excitement and danger and starships and romance, and it's telling him that it's time to stop dreaming and get serious.
This re-publication of Lev Grossman's debut novel, Warp, shows the roots of his Magicians hero Quentin Coldwater in a book that is for anyone (and everyone) who has ever felt adrift in their own life.
Recent Harvard graduate Hollis has been kicked off the mommy-daddy train for bad behavior in Grossman's low-key, witty first novel about a melancholic upper-middle class rebel without a cause. Cashing in his last stocks, hiding from his landlord, mourning a failed romance and up for anything but a real job ("these hands were never meant for toil"), Hollis helps break into the house of friends of friends for a weekend of luxury and "screen time" with their cable TV. That's where he meets an unlikely partner in crime. A pastiche of pop-cult references--Star Trek, late-night B movies, historical romance, Sherlock Holmes, 15-year-old Top-40 hits--intrude upon Hollis's stream of consciousness as he hangs out with Cambridge pals, reminisces about his ex and lets a beautiful, mysterious stranger take him home. But the familiar technique feels new enough in Grossman's hands to inspire affection for his unlikely protagonist, whose gentle despair recalls the heroes of Ann Beattie's Chilly Scenes of Winter and Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim. Like those debuts, this one relies on its strengths--deadpan comic dialogue, trivial irony and faultless, unostentatious evocations of place--without any of the efforts to preach or shock or amaze that plague so many chronicles of generation X.