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The Magus

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  40,064 Ratings  ·  2,228 Reviews

Other cover for ISBN 9780099478355
On a remote Greek Island, Nicholas Urfe finds himself embroiled in the deceptions of a master trickster. As reality and illusion intertwine, Urfe is caught up in the darkest of psychological games. John Fowles expertly unfolds a tale that is lush with over-powering imagery in a spellbinding exploration of human complexities. By turns distu

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Paperback, 656 pages
Published 2004 by Vintage Books (first published 1965)
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Steve There are several analyses out there (you can Google to find them). I have only read the "revised" version--just finished re-reading it today (first…moreThere are several analyses out there (you can Google to find them). I have only read the "revised" version--just finished re-reading it today (first read it shortly after it was released). The book still haunts me, but I will say that I think Fowles understands the existential male better than he understands the existential female.(less)

Community Reviews

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MacK
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, brit-lit
My students like to use the made up word, "unputdownable." I always laugh at this. 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
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Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος   Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο   Αμούν Arnum
Ανήκει στην κατηγορία των βιβλίων που δεν θα ξεχάσεις ποτέ όταν το διαβάσεις. Έχει μια μυστηριακή πολύπλοκη και πολυεπίπεδη γοητεία που διεισδύει στο μυαλό και σε παρασύρει σε μια δοκιμασία αυτογνωσίας.

Με ολοφάνερη την αγάπη του συγγραφέα για την Ελλάδα της απόλυτης γεωφυσικής και πολιτιστικής θεϊκής κληρονομιάς της, μας μεταφέρει σε ένα ελληνικό νησί όπου συντελείται το μυστήριο-φαντασία-πραγματικότητα,απόκρυφη ανθρώπινη φυση-ελευθερία και αυτοπραγμάτωση- διαλογισμός.

Ο φλεγματικός Άγγλος καθη
...more
Glenn Russell
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FINAL REVIEW



""The Magus" is a stunner, magnificent in ambition, supple and gorgeous in execution. 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, compuls
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Jessica Baxter
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book fucked me up. i suppose it could be defined as a "psychological thriller" but its very jungian, steeped in metaphor and symbolism and eroticisim and mythology and shakespeare. its also an intense love story of sorts, the main character is a completely fleshed out, real, flawed person who you relate to and fear for and empathize with. the premise is that this british guy gets a teaching job on a small island in greece soon after WWII ends and becomes intwined in the lives/mind games of ...more
Shovelmonkey1
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like to be bamboozled in extremis
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Here on Goodreads, rather than judging a book by its cover, it is always handier to judge a book based on what your friends and people you are following had to say about it after it had passed under their beady eyes.

I have 91 friends here on Goodreads and follow 6 people and of the 12 friends and three people I'm following, only one (Kingfan30) wrote a review. Even the more loquacious members of the group have chosen to remain silent - Karen, Mike and PetraX - not a jot or a scribble (yet). I c
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Julie Christine
Oh boy. Here's the thing: If you read this novel as a citizen of 2010, a member of our hyper-speed, uber-connected modern society that navel-gazes in 140 word bytes with little interest in true introspection, The Magus will seem almost comical in its psycho-thrilling, Jungian dribbling plot and Baroque-meets-mod writing style.

If you, dear reader, consider that The Magus was partially written nearly 60 years ago (begun in the early 50s, published in '65, revised in '76), its risky political and
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Beth
Jun 12, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what this book was about. The prose style was nice, but the plot was completely unfathomable. I decided about a third of the way through the book that it was one of the worst things I had ever read. But, due to some strange self-flagellatory compulsion, I told myself there was no way I was going to let it beat me, so I slogged through, teeth clenched, until the end. I found out later that they actually made a movie out of it. About the film, Woody Allen is to have said, "If I could ...more
❄️Nani❄️
3.75⭐

Yes. Yes. Yes! I made it!!! My final book of 2017!!💃🏻

Oh and Nicholas, You deserve everything!😡

RTC
...more
Simon
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
SPOILERS!


Well, everything one might say about this book could be taken as a spoiler, including this very remark.

The book is a pretty good read, or it would have been if it had weighed in at two hundred or so pages shorter. And, given that the book is entirely a gradual denouement, one has to admire Fowles's skill in controlling it over such a long span, like a musician making a hugely long crescendo.

But I guess in the end, I didn't much like the book. In the 'trial' scene, a report is read out a
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Deniz Balcı
Kitap sanki benim kitabımmış gibi sayfasına girip okuyucular ne demiş, beğenmiş mi beğenmemiş mi diye kontrol edeyim demiştim ki, yorum yapmamış olduğumu gördüm. Çok şaşırdım. Bu kadar çok beğendiğim, beni bu kadar derinden etkileyen bir kitaba nasıl yorum yapmam diye kendime kızdım. Herhalde okuduğum dönemde kitabın hemen ardından bir şey demek istemedim, çünkü ciddi etkilenmişliğimle sağlıklı yazamazdım. Fakat aradan onca zaman geçti, bende ki fikirler, duygular, izlenimler hala aynı.

Bazı arka
...more
Sawsan
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
الساحر أول رواية كتبها الأديب الإنجليزي جون فاولز
يتتبع فيها حياة شاب يسافر إلى جزيرة يونانية للعمل كمدرس للغة الإنجليزية
بعد فترة يتعرف على كونشيس أحد أثرياء الجزيرة ويدخل في عالمه الغامض
يكتب فاولز عن عالم غريب من الحيل والتلاعب والأوهام الخادعة والشخصيات المتنكرة
يتوه فيه نيكولاس بطل روايته وكأنه يشاهد عرض تمثيلي وفي نفس الوقت هو طرف فيه
إلى أن يصل لحالة من الغضب والحيرة محاولا البحث عن الحقيقة وسط الأكاذيب
قد تكون أسباب التجربة التي مر بها غير مهمة لكن الأهم كانت موضوعات وإشارات السرد
الرواية ت
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Szplug
Dec 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have rarely been so unpleasantly surprised - and bitterly disappointed - by the sudden turn that a novel takes as with the abrupt shift that occurs roughly mid-way through John Fowles The Magus. The first half introduced the ethereal, creepy and gripping experiences of the young Englishman Nicholas Urfe, estranged from his Australian girlfriend Alison and teaching at a boys school on the remote Greek island of Phraxos. Thoroughly disenchanted with the course his life has taken, and gauging wit ...more
Darwin8u
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“There is no plan. All is hazard. And the only thing that will preserve us is ourselves.”
― John Fowles, The Magus

description

What is written here must remain hid(view spoiler)
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Joey Woolfardis
Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003.

Nicholas Urfe, an Oxford graduate post-war, with no direction and a slight hint of nymphomania, travels to Greece to work as an English teacher on the remote island of Phraxos, mostly to get away from an Australian girl he shagged but doesn't love and wants to ditch.

Unsurprisingly, the remoteness is boring and he is drawn to browsing the island, where he finds an even more remote house in which lives
...more
Vaso
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brace-18
Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο είναι αρκετά ιδιαίτερο, περίπλοκο ως την εξέλιξη και την πλοκή και σίγουρα δεν μοιάζει με κανένα άλλο.
Ένα βιβλίο στο οποίο είναι διάχυτη η αγάπη του συγγραφέα για την Ελλάδα.
Ένα βιβλίο που η πραγματικότητα με τη φαντασία εναλλάσσονται.
Ένα βιβλίο με ιδεολογικές και υπαρξιακές προεκτάσεις.
Ένα βιβλίο, που δεν υπάρχει περίπτωση να ξεχάσεις.

Oriana
Oh god, I totally totally hated this boring, rambling, long-as-shit book.
Perry
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mystical Sirens on Lush Greek Isle Toy with Reality, Fidelity

description
"We've all been playing those mind games forever
Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil
Doing the mind guerrilla
Some call it magic, the search for the grail"
Lennon, Mind Games, 1973.
[[4.25 stars]]

John Fowles’ now underappreciated novel, where not much is as it seems, is a mystical morality play on love, truth, maturity, reality, and betrayal, both sexual and emotional. The Magus is set on a lush Greek island, limned by the legends o
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Gorkem Y
Maestro Fowles

2015 yılında ingilizce olarak okuduğum Büyücü, benim en çok etkilendiğim kitaplar içinde yer almaktadır. Yorum kısmında ingilizcenin de yer almasının temel nedeni bundan kaynaklanıyor.

Öncelikle bu eseri yorumlamak haddim değil cidden eserin büyüklüğünden dolayı; fakat eserin halen geçmişte olduğu gibi hakkının yendiğini görünce ve "hatta sıkıcı" olarak adlandırılması içimi parçalanıyor ve ister istemezi Fowles'in avukatı olma isteğine sürüklüyor beni.

Bu nedenle bir yerden çok fa
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
The Canon is What Our Friends Write

“The Magus” is a novel that achieves everything that most of the books pushed and promoted by white American male post-modernists fail to.

It’s genuinely innovative in form. Its form follows and complements its substance. Its narrative style reflects its metaphysical concerns. It doesn’t just name-drop post-modern philosophers or concepts, resembling a cut and paste from an undergraduate philosophy textbook. It genuinely explores the issues in a fictional way.

Th
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Mona
Sep 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strangely Disturbing Novel, Many Possible Interpretations


This novel is particularly tough to review. It's even tough to rate. I'm very ambivalent about this book. It was interesting, but also frustrating.

The Magus certainly won't be suitable for people who have Twitter-induced Attention Deficit Disorder and must have quick action and a fast pace.

The book's pace is majestically slow, and it takes quite awhile for anything to happen.

It's wordy, too.

In short, it's an old-fashioned novel and it's a
...more
Smand
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kitaplık, favorites
Beş ay önce kitabı okuduğumda 3 yıldız vermiş ve sevip sevmediğim konusunda emin olamamıştım. Tahmin ettiğim gibi, zaman içinde 3 yıldızı hak etmediğine emin oldum ve favorilerimden biri haline geldi. Okurun zihnini aylarca meşgul edebilen kitaplar iyi ki var!
_________________________________________

Büyücü hakkında ne düşünmeliyim bilmiyorum. İlginç bir okuma deneyimi oldu benim için. Kısa bir sürede okuduysam da bunu hikayeye bayıldığım için değil, ufak çaplı bir sinir harbine girdiğimden başa
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Banushka
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
yıllardır beklettiğim bir romandı. her gece 150 sayfa kadar okudum, bir gece sağdan bir gece soldan tokatlandım. fowles ana karakteriyle birlikte okuru da duvardan duvara çarpıyor.
psikoloji, insan davranışı, aşk, kimlik... bunun yanında ingiltere tarihi, 2. dünya savaşında yunanistan'da yaşananlar... yok yok romanda.
mutlaka ve dikkatle okunması gereken bir başyapıt.
Maria Clara
Con sinceridad, no sé qué decir. Después de haber leído La mujer del teniente frances supe que volvería a leer otra novela de este escritor. Lo que ignoraba era que este no era el libro que tendría que haber leído. Si tuviera que definir en una palabra cómo me siento ahora, solo podría decir que CANSADA. Cansada de tanta mentira. Cansada del juego de Conchis. Cansada de los actores. Cansada de todo.
Kelly
Its like if you took that Most Dangerous Game story and RUINED IT FOREVER.
Evan
Reading The Magus was like holding a mirror up to my life, not knowing who it is I'm looking at, not fully understanding where I am or where I've been, and even less certain of where I am going -- not certain of what lessons I've learned or am supposed to be learning, adrift and perplexed about issues of morality/immorality/amorality, not wholly certain if the things I seek and desire aren't already right here in front of me.

I think it's safe to say that The Magus was one of the most profoundly
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Robin
Conspiracy Theorist Fantasy

Oh, brother.

I had high hopes for this book. Such high hopes.

I read and really enjoyed The Collector. John Fowles is a wonderful writer. This book is no exception. This story takes place mainly in Greece, on the island of Phraxos, where English 20-something misogynist Nicholas Urfe goes to escape his recent relationship with his Australian girlfriend, Alison. He meets an enigmatic man who looks like Pablo Picasso, named Maurice Conchis. And then the inexplicable, the su
...more
Laila
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Yıldız!

Okuduğum en sürükleyici, sonana kadar final hakkında tek bir fikir bile yürümediğim, yüksek tansiyonlu kitaptı.

Kendime notlarım:
(view spoiler)
...more
Megan Baxter
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not exactly sure how to rate this book. But I have a sneaking suspicion that I might read it again at some point, which is generally my personal line for four stars.

I picked this up as one of the books on the BBC's Big Read list, which I am slowly making my way through. I am not sure what to make of it.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entir
...more
Sinem A.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
modern ve sıradan insan üzerine yazılmış bir destan. akılcı akıcı sürükleyici masalsı ve sade.
Jake
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, travel
John Fowles started writing the Magus in the mid-1950s, and struggled with it off and on for the next twelve years. After his first novel, The Collector, became a best-seller, he finally finished the book and published it in 1966. But then, eleven years later, he issued a revised edition, reworking a number of critical scenes. All books reflect the times in which they were written, and this one is no exception. The early scenes are very much a meditation on breaking away from 1950s conformity an ...more
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John Robert Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea, a small town in Essex. He recalled the English suburban culture of the 1930s as oppressively conformist and his family life as intensely conventional. Of his childhood, Fowles said "I have tried to escape ever since."

Fowles attended Bedford School, a large boarding school designed to prepare boys for university, from ages 13 to 18. After briefly attendi
...more
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“The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed."

"I suppose one could say that Hitler didn't betray his self."

"You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil. But that millions had not the courage to be good.”
379 likes
“To write poetry and to commit suicide, apparently so contradictory, had really been the same, attempts at escape.” 202 likes
More quotes…