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The Illusionist

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This is a novel about Simon Magus who was a Samaritan magus or religious figure and a convert to Christianity, baptised by Philip, whose later confrontation with Peter is recorded in Acts 8:9-24. In apocryphal works including the Acts of Peter, Pseudo-Clementines, and the Epistle of the Apostles, Simon also appears as a formidable sorcerer with the ability to levitate and ...more
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Holt Rinehart & Winston
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  81 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Nicolas Lontel
Rien dans ma vie ne m'aurait destiné à lire ce roman/réécriture du mythe de Simon le Magicien (ou Simon le Mage, Simon de Samarie ou Simon de Gitton). Je ne suis pas fan de roman historique, je ne connais pas Anita Mason, la période d’expansion du christianisme ne m'intéresse vraiment pas plus que ça (bien que les réécritures chrétiennes m'intéressent un peu), et donc une personne considérée comme hérétique à l'Église catholique n'est probablement pas une figure que j'aurais avidement cherché. L ...more
David Grieve
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book which left me wondering how much was true and how much was invented by teh author. The story concerns Simon Magus, a real person, and his travels around the middle east in the first centry AD. He was an illusionist or magician and made his name and money using these skills. Some thought too highly of his triocks and he was considered by some as the deliverer. However, this was a time of religious ferment and not everyone agreed.

This story follows Simon on his travels and his c
...more
Colin Davison
Simony, the sin of buying ecclesiastical powers, was named after Simon Magus, the dictionary tells me, the Samarian magician who offered money to the apostles Peter and John to confer the Holy Ghost on whomever he pleased.
He is referred to in Acts, but Mason invents an entire history for this intriguing figure set in a post-Crucifixion Holy Land swarming with mystics, fanatics, miracle-workers and charlatans.
Simon performs astonishing tricks – levitating and making animals, people, palaces appea
...more
Michael Uzlaner
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Книженция довольно скучная и рассчитана на особую публику. На ту, которая любит заниматься религиозной и философской болтологией. Действия в книге почти нет, зато имеются многостраничные философские и религиозные споры в рамках почему-то средневековой схоластики. Очередная ловушка для ума, чтобы ищущий истину завяз в этом болоте надуманных терминов, символов и теорий.
Книга с явным антихристианским душком. Поэтому не советую исто верующему читать сие произведение, дабы не оскорбиться нападками да
...more
Victor Smith
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
An intriguing fictional novel about a dark fringe figure of Simon Magus from the Acts of the Apostles and other early Christian source documents. Like most characters from that era, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction in the extant writings anyway.
While sticking with the reported details, which I verified from additional research, but avoiding the orthodox view that demonizes Magus for trying to buy Peter the Apostle’s power to bring down the Holy Spirit with the laying on of hands, M
...more
Donal O Suilleabhain
Started well but faded a bit for me. Good book though.
Robert Lukins
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Magic, Jesus, kinky sex; it's got it all and it's great.
Paul Greaves
The elements are all there: Expansive, rich and imaginative setting, complex flawed exciting characters with kinky sex and murder, magic and ritual, religious rapture, paradigm shifts, superstition and double cross. And to top it all, its crux is the origin of a world religion in its nascent rebellious marginalised form... Somehow with all this, the novel falls flat, and is ultimately a massive chore.

The capricious emperor gladiatorial slave torture party scene is quite fun and the polysexual o
...more
Mandy
Jan 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, fantasy
Intriguing, provocative, and bizarre. I should point out that this isn't in any way related to the movie that came out a few years ago. It took a while to really get into it, most of it dragged with no apparent purpose, and then the ending was abrupt. I can't say or explain much about it. You'd just have to read it.
verbava
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: retellings
начебто спроба передати історичну атмосферу. начебто реконструкція релігійних суперечок. начебто ще одне переосмислення історії, яку тільки й роблять, що переосмислюють. але щоб позбутися отого "начебто", чогось йому таки бракує.
Erin Knight
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
bahhh
Sara
Jul 29, 2011 marked it as to-read
83 shortlisted for booker prize
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Anita Frances Mason is an English novelist. Her work includes science fiction, speculative fiction and historical fiction and explores questions of alternative communities, the tension between the individual and the collective, religion as a force of meaning and oppression, the politics of sexuality, and the relevance of history to the present.

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