Words matter. These are the best Lev Grossman Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Book tours are excellent things, and one is lucky to get to go on one, but they have a way of leeching away one’s will to live.
I’ve stayed in houses that were in the country, and in England, but I’m still not sure that I’ve stayed in an English country house.
The novel is a highly corrupt medium, after all – in the end the vast majority of them simply aren’t that great, and are destined to be forgotten.
I started thinking about the endings of novels not because I think endings are so important, but because I think they’re actually not as important as they’re sometimes given credit for.
It’s not really possible to open ‘The Casual Vacancy’ without a lot of expectations both high and low crashing around in your brain and distorting your vision. There’s no point pretending they’re not there.
When I left college I thought – based on a staggeringly inadequate understanding of how the world worked – that I might like to go into book publishing.
I never thought about doing a sequel when I was actually writing ‘The Magicians.’ I only ever considered it a standalone.
And I’m not as young as I once was. At my age, I don’t have time to be bored.
I ought to at least be able to read literature in French. I went to an enlightened grade school that started us on French in fifth grade, which meant that by the time I graduated high school I had been at it for eight years.
A novel with a bad middle is a bad book. A bad ending is something I’ve just gotten in the habit of forgiving.
It’s natural for a child to assume that his or her own childhood is unremarkable.
Growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, science fiction and especially fantasy had such a stigma attached to them. I felt so punished and exiled for being devoted to these things.
Becoming an author changes your attitude too. Once you see where books come from, and how they’re made, they never seem quite as sacred again.
I love rare books. Not that I own a lot of them, mind you. You couldn’t quite call me a rare-book collector. But I did once work in a rare-books library, and I wrote a novel about a rare book.
When it comes to true humility in the face of history, nothing beats complete silence.
I read a lot of literary theory when I was in graduate school, especially about novels, and the best book I ever read about endings was Peter Brooks’ ‘Reading for the Plot. ‘
Hating a book is not unlike hating a person; in fact it’s tempting to just go ahead and hate the author personally, by proxy, qua human being, except that I know that would be a mistake.
I recognize that on paper, you can’t really tell that I’m a fan or a nerd.
I went to college at Harvard, then did three years of graduate school at Yale. At both places I studied comparative literature. People find it odd that I went to both Harvard and Yale, and I guess it is odd, but that’s just what people did where I grew up.
Supposedly I’ve got traces of an English accent, though I can’t hear it. I must have inherited it from my mother, who’s English, and then I think it was exacerbated by the fact that I live with an Australian.
I’ve read plenty of J.G. Ballard, but I’m not really a Ballardian. I’ve met Ballardians, and I know when I can’t compete. I like Ballard in his relatively unchallenging apocalyptic mode: ‘Vermilion Sands,’ ‘The Drowned World,’ ‘The Burning World,’ ‘The Crystal World.’
It’s a great thing when you feel that you recognize yourself, deeply and movingly, in a work of literature.
There’s a special gut-check moment the first time you write a scene in which somebody casts a spell.
I don’t know if I’ve ever derived such an immediate sense of calm and well-being from any book as I did from ‘Right Ho, Jeeves.’ It was like I was Pac-Man and the book was a power-up.
The real world is horrible.
I guess I was raised in a household with a lot of reverence for the physical sanctity of books. You didn’t destroy books.
Being a writer can be isolating. It’s good to be among readers and booksellers.
It seems to me that the novel as a medium has a very low signal-to-noise ratio. By which I mean: there are a lot of novels published, but the vast majority of them don’t represent major contributions to the medium.
It’s no longer possible to simply build English country houses out of words, because they’ve already been so thoroughly described that all the applicable words have been used up, and one is forced to build them instead out of words recycled and scavenged from other descriptions of other country houses.
I have spent many, many hours reading J.K. Rowling’s work. I am a known ‘Harry Potter’ fan.
Oddly, the meanings of books are defined for me much more by their beginnings and middles than they are by their endings.
I used to write in a local coffee shop, but there was another guy, another writer, who kept sitting in my favorite seat. I would show up, and he would be there, and I would get exiled to a couch or something, and it would throw me off my game.
I got my first whiff of what big-time adult literature was all about when I was in 8th grade. I got it from Mark Linn-Baker. You know – the guy from ‘Perfect Strangers.’