June Group Read: The Magus (John Fowles)

75 Books Challenge for 2016

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June Group Read: The Magus (John Fowles)

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May 30, 2016, 5:13am

The group read for June is The Magus by John Fowles, published in 1965.

According to Wikipedia, The Magus " tells the story of Nicholas Urfe, a young British graduate who is teaching English on a small Greek island. Urfe becomes embroiled in the psychological illusions of a master trickster, which become increasingly dark and serious." The Magus is critically acclaimed and appears on several "best novels" lists - both ones chosen by critics and by readers.

It was adapted for a film starring Michael Caine and Anthony Quinn in 1968, which performed terribly and was disliked by critics.

Jun 1, 2016, 11:54am

I picked my copy up from the library and wow! It's longer than I imagined. I knew it was long, but holy crap. My edition (which is translated so not sure how long the original is) is 780 pages. I've read the first chapter and it seems interesting so far. I appreciate the short chapters, especially in books as long as this one. It makes it feel like you're reading faster then it the chapters were like 30 pages each.

Jun 4, 2016, 2:53pm

First read the original edition at age 17--tough read then. Reread it at age 65 in revised version. He's a magnificent prose stylist with an exceptional vocabulary. Knowing the basic plot did not seem to detract from the pleasure of the read. I highly recommend it.

Jul 1, 2016, 8:07pm

I'm afraid this was another non-finish for me. Not a non-starter but I never got more than a few chapters into the book. I think it's just way too long for me at this point in time. I enjoyed Fowles' style of writing and have checked The Collector (which is MUCH shorter than The Magus) out from the library so maybe I'll get through that one.

Jul 26, 2016, 7:00pm

I finally got through this sucker and must say that I wish I'd given in to the impulse to quit after the first hundred pages: Urfe kept on being immature and self-absorbed and Conchis just would not stop monologuing. I'm surprised I didn't end up with eye strain from all the eye rolling it inspired.