The Magus is a postmodern novel by British author John Fowles , telling 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. Considered an example of metafiction , it was the first novel written by Fowles, but the third he published. In he published a revised edition. He started writing it in the s, under the original title of The Godgame. He based it partly on his experiences on the Greek island of Spetses , where he taught English for two years at the Anargyrios School.
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Return to Book Page. Preview — The Magus by John Fowles. The Magus by John Fowles. This daring literary thriller, rich with eroticism and suspense, is one of John Fowles's best-loved and bestselling novels and has contributed significantly to his international reputation as a writer of the first degree. At the center of The Magus is Nicholas Urfe, a young Englishman who accepts a teaching position on a remote Greek island, where he befriends a local mill This daring literary thriller, rich with eroticism and suspense, is one of John Fowles's best-loved and bestselling novels and has contributed significantly to his international reputation as a writer of the first degree.
At the center of The Magus is Nicholas Urfe, a young Englishman who accepts a teaching position on a remote Greek island, where he befriends a local millionaire.
The friendship soon evolves into a deadly game, in which reality and fantasy are deliberately manipulated, and Nicholas finds that he must fight not only for his sanity but for his very survival. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 4th by Back Bay Books first published More Details Original Title. Greece , London, England , Other Editions Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Magus , please sign up. I loved "The Magus" because it is exceptionally well written, and also because the "psycho-social" context resonates so strongly with the culture of those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s. Beautiful and the lead characters remind me of each other. Has anyone here read the original version and the revised edition?
I have heard the original version is superior but I only heard that after buying the later edition and I decided to sally forth with it. I have a little less than pages left. Without spoiling it, can anyone give opinions on which version you feel is better and why? What is the difference between the two? John King This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ The Magus is my favorite novel. I've both versions for a total of 13 times and even taken many notes.
If you've read one version then the other is sli …more The Magus is my favorite novel. If you've read one version then the other is slightly spoiled. No getting around that. My first reading was the original which I found more supernatural than the revised. However, I think that was due to the fact it was my first reading and the mystery was overwhelming.
On rereading the original I no longer find it as supernatural. To answer your question I prefer the revised version. The differences are that Fowles changed a couple of words here and there for most of the book as his style had improved.
He rearranged a few scenes and added some. Sister Rose has more to do in the revised, and instead of just teasing Nicolas, Lily let's him have sex with her. Fowles said that he regretted not being so bold in the original. Also, the ending in the original infuriated some readers because of its ambiguity.
So in the revised Fowles give hints that Alison and Nicolas will get back together but he is not sure if they will last. Fowles wrote that an ending is like a death so he liked to leave his stories open-ended.
That way they live on in the mind. See all 13 questions about The Magus…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Magus. Aug 24, Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing. It fits no neat category; it is at once a pyrotechnical extravaganza, a wild, hilarious charade, a dynamo of suspense and horror, a profoundly serious probing into the nature of moral consciousness, a dizzying, electrifying chase through the labyrinth of the soul, an allegorical romance, a sophisticated account of modern love, a ghost story that will send shivers racing down the spine.
Lush, compulsive, richly ""The Magus" is a stunner, magnificent in ambition, supple and gorgeous in execution. Lush, compulsive, richly inventive, eerie, provocative, impossibly theatrical--it is, in spite of itself, convincing. Let me tell you folks, this was one powerful literary experience - not only did I read the book but I also listened to the outstanding audio version, read by Nicholas Boulton.
This pager begins with Nicholas Urfe recounting his background as an only child of middle class parents, stickler brigadier father, an officious military man down to his toes, a man forever trotting out words like discipline and tradition and responsibility to undergird his position on any topic, obedient housebound mother, public school education what in the US is called private school , short stint in the army during peacetime and then reading English at Oxford.
When one day at Oxford he receives word that both his mother and father died in an airplane crash, Nicholas feels a great relief since he no longer is obliged to carry around a huge sack of family baggage. Ah, family! When leaving England, Nicholas calls to mind how he needs more mystery in his life. Well, he certain gets his wish when he meets old Maurice Conchis and is initiated in unexpected ways into the atrocities of World War I and then the Nazis, the vitality of Greek theater and mask acting, isolation and religious fanaticism, hypnotism and mysticism, Freudian psychoanalysis and Jungian archetypes, ancient pagan religions inexplicably mingling with science and humanism.
Pulled into the vortex of the brutality of recent European history and pushed out to hidden spiritual realms with a dose of romantic love thrown in along the way, Nicholas is forced to confront his basic philosophic assumptions: How free are we? How much influence does our culture and historic epoch have on our values? Is there a universal foundation of morality beyond social convention? What is the connection between truth and beauty?
Toward the end of the novel, we as readers join Nicholas in asking: Ultimately, what was the real intent and purpose of Maurice Conchis and his so called godgame? Are we delving deeper into the mysteries of the universe or the mysteries of a detective novel, or both?
View all 68 comments. Jul 24, MacK rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , brit-lit. My students like to use the made up word, "unputdownable. I can always put down a book, I can even put down this one.
The problem is, I can't seem to stop picking it up again. We are thrown, whether we like it or not into the addled frantic mind of Nicholas Urfe, a man in the middle of a suspenseful psychological experiment. The only problem is, without telling us, Fowles turns it into a suspenseful philosophical experiment as well. We are left never fully knowing what is My students like to use the made up word, "unputdownable. We are left never fully knowing what is to come next, what is real and what is unreal.
And we become so attached, so dependent upon Urfe, his reactions to the moments, his arrogant assumptions about what is true and what is false, that we become as mentally addled as he is and as incapable of leaving the invented world of the magus behind as he is.
My mother managed to put it down and leave it down. I drove on, like Urfe, deeper and deeper into the tormented abyss that is compulsion and an inability to accept freedom. All the while questioning everything I knew about love, about obligations, about intelligence, trust, truth, fiction, theater, and of course freedom. I don't know if I fully understand the book, just as Urfe doesn't fully understand the experiment. But I knew I wouldn't stop, that I was free to stop, but that, rather than feeling obliged to finish or understand, I exercised my freedom to explore and discover.
Rather than repeating the "unputdownable" line, I think this book can best be described as a Niel LaBute play put into prose or rather, LaBute is Fowles put into the theater. You are never sure of your footing, never confident in your stance, and sure, that no matter how you love the journey you will receive a wicked kidney punch in due course. And that love, and freedom, means that you are willing to accept the kidney punch, if that's what it takes to understand.
View all 16 comments. Aug 14, Jaidee rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: seekers of rebirth. Shelves: five-stars-books. I started this book at a remote location with very small font that hurt my trifocal vision I returned to an e-copy on my return.
Magicianul John Fowles PDF