Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson asked:

Here is my request: Assuming that I love "The Magus" (which I do), please recommend one novel which I might enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed "The Magus". (Background ... 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. I have, BTW, read "The French Lieutenant's Woman".) ??

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Felicia Moursalien A Secret History by Donna Tartt. Beautiful and the lead characters remind me of each other.
Denny Hi Mike,

I could only think of two books I've read that are similar to _The Magus_: _Tropic of Night_ by Michael Gruber and _The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana_ by Umberto Eco. And actually, much about _Tropic of Night_ reminds me of Eco's _Foucault's Pendulum_, which upon further reflection does share some similarities with _The Magus_ as well. Here's a URL to a list of novels other readers think are similar to _The Magus_: http://www.fowlesbooks.com/novels.htm

Happy reading!

Denny McBride
Janie I recommend The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies. It's an richly written and deeply inspiring story of a man's search for answers to questions about the meaning of events in his life, and how they determined its course. Davies employs mystery, symbolism and Jungian therapy in the story.
Boy Blue Go for Norwegian Wood. In many ways it's a similar kind of story but told from a different cultural perspective. Or if you really like the surreal side jump in the deep end with the Wind-up Bird Chronicle. I also think you'd quite like Shadow of the Wind as well, which has a bit more mystery and intrigue than Norwegian Wood. Everyone is saying The Secret History which is a pretty good match but with less magic-realist elements. Also Les Grand Meaulnes is what Fowles attributes as his major influence but I don't think the stories are that similar.
Krys Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
Kira You're probably done with this by now, but in case you're still looking try Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being. Same mix of bizarre and profound that I found in The Magus. Also really fun to read.
Constantine I may sugest Flicker by Theodore Roszak, even though it would be a stretch to relate it to The Magus. Yet does share few similarities with Magus and Eco's Pendulum.

Jon Glatfelter In his later years, Fowles' viewed this one with a sort of favoritism and I think he's right to do so, but "The Collector" {1963} and "The Ebony Tower" {1974} deserve to be read too. Collector was his first published book about a butterfly collector who kidnaps a young woman he's obsessed with to keep in his home under lock and key. It's told from his perspective for the first half, and hers from the second. Ebony is a compilation of one novella, a translated medieval legend, and three short stories. The novella's ending is brilliant and the most tragic I've ever come across.
John King I suggest Alberto Moravia's Contempt. It's one of my favorite novels. The Magus is my favorite. Contempt does not have the length and level of mystery of The Magus but it explores the deteriorating relationship between a married couple. The mystery is why does the wife suddenly start disliking her husband. Her husband can't figure it out.
Not to plug my own book, but I unintentionally modelled my narrator, Ben, in Maid of Honor on Nicolas in The Magus. I only saw their similarities when some readers described Ben as unlikeable in his use of women. As Mrs. de Seitas tells Nicolas, the Godgame developed for him was to teach him that sex is not love and vice versa.
Craig Stoll I guess I'd recommend Shadowland, by Peter Straub. It owes a great amount to The Magus, although it's in a different genre, being to a certain extent and out and out horror novel. Still, the first two thirds of Shadowland are pretty inspired. I found it to trail off a bit toward the end, which felt similar to The Magus.
idiffer Library at mount char
Deborah Still looking?
( Anne michaels) Fugitive Pieces
(Marisha Pessl) Special Topics in Calamity Physics
(John Irving)
A Prayer for Owen Meaney
The Cider House Rules
(Gunter Grass) the Tin Drum
All are great coming of age stories , rich, strange , and swooningly well written. Books to sink into.
Plony Den Haag By the same writer: "Daniel Martin" and "The maggot". The first tittle will give you that exceptionally well written text and a very interesting story, but no psycho-social context. "The maggot" will leave you thinking: What was all this about? Could be "out of this world".....
Marta Kule The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
Vivian Zenari John Barthes's The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor
Astrid The Secret History, Le Grand Meulness, Brideshead Revisited.
Matt Cooper Secret History will let you down after The Magus. Vice versa, I've been recommending The Magus to those that have said they enjoyed The Secret History. Invitation to a Beheading by Nabokov is full of the "psycho-social," and is well-written, but is extremely surrealistic.
Peter Sherwood The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch, Philosopher's Pupil by her as well. Try John Banville in general, perhaps Ghosts in particular, also about an island and a Prosper-type figure plucked from The Tempest! And I agree with Janie below, The Deptford Trilogy!
Per Brastad I find The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davis a good suggestion, but not quite there.
Sadly, all of the below which have been suggested and which I've read will fall short, enjoyable though they may be:
A Secret History by Dona Tartt
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco
The Shadow of the Wind
Les Grand Meaulnes (translated)
A Prayer for Owen Meaney
The Tin Drum by Günther Grass
A Little Life (not enjoyable. Why the hell was that suggested???)

I might give some of the other suggestions a spin - - -
Charles Thanks for asking this question. Gives me a lot of ideas on what to read. My answer: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. I liked both books immensely
avni A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, and If We Were Villains by ML Rio are my favourites! They remind me a lot of the Magus. I would also suggest The Secret History, although chances are that you've already read it, given its popularity.
William Lewis How about a biography about a real live Magus. Living today in America, including how he became a real live Magus. You might find Magic of Reading intriguing since it is not fiction and reveals the real world of real magic hidden purposely from the 98%. By the lie told thousands and thousands of time: there is no such thing as real magic....
Veebee Richard Adams Girl in a Swing, Hector Macdonald The Mind Game, and Graham Swift Shuttlecock fall into a similar category. But The Magus also remains my absolute favorite.
Mark Haydon As someone else said: The Unbearable Lightness of Being .... For whatever reason I also thought of two other completely different books in different genres - Weaveworld which is sci-fi/fantasy/horror, but a great great read. And Tigana. Also fantasy but I found really well written!
Raluca Damian Try "Daniel Martin".
Galina My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator) - well written (translated), the story starts in the 60s.
Yvonne Jonathan Coe's The Rotters Club, Kate Atkinson's Life After Life.
Lesley Moseley 'A little Life' and 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay'.. are unlike the Magus , in setting or premise, but I enjoyed both 5 stars worth.. Maybe the older 'Zen and the art of Motor Cycle Maintenance ' is closer and also a 5 star for me.
Tom Daphne DuMaurier, Joseph Conrad, Algernon Blackwood and Dorothy Sayers have all written stuff that directly reminded me of the Magus.
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