Harry Potter With Drugs

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1. A dynamic trio: Allen, Rob, and Erin. 2. Sarah and Kevin enjoyed the free drinks.

A few years ago, when author Lev Grossman lived in an apartment overlooking a Barnes & Noble, he hoped that someday the chain would carry copies of his books.

Shortly after that, his novel The Magicians became a New York Times bestseller, and on Tuesday night, a standing room only crowd gathered at WORD bookstore to celebrate the release of its sequel, The Magician King.

As she introduced Grossman, events manager Jenn assured his fans that the new novel would live up to their expectations. She also reminisced about the well-deserved hype that initially convinced her to pick up The Magicians. “I kept hearing it was Harry Potter with drugs. And I thought, that sounds AMAZING!”

1. Lev Grossman’s post-reading powwow. 2. Steven is ready to start The Magician King.

Although a gracious Grossman spent more time thanking those who helped with The Magician King than he did reading from it, he was happy to answer questions. “Who’s got Qs? Because I am teeming with As,” he said.

1. Suzanne and Krista braved the long line to get to Grossman. 2. The sign says it all.

The audience members were either too starstruck or too eager to drink to bother asking much, but a gentleman gave me goosebumps when he told Grossman, “Thank you for writing The Magicians. It’s my favorite book in the world.”

I had chills, people. Chills. New York is a magical place.

As usual, WORD set the standard for what a literary event should be. They served complimentary cake (!) and beer (!!), and reminded everyone to enter their names in the raffle. Before the reading started, they hosted a round of The Magicians-inspired trivia, which quickly turned into Harry Potter trivia. Most importantly, they created an opportunity to appreciate that we live in a place where it’s not unusual to meet the author of your favorite book (in the world!). Long live WORD.

— Lauren Dlugosz writes about her bookmark collection and Gilmore Girls.

Related: Lev Grossman’s writing room on Write Place, Write Time.

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