The Magus by John Fowles

August 2016

I’ve seen so many reviews of this book from men saying “I read this when I was in my teens/twenties and it made a huge impression on me” - and I get it. The protagonist is an unlikeable, selfish, womanizing young guy who flies off to Greece and has a series of incredible, mythically tinged, sexually charged experiences that just BLOW HIS MIND and serve as a rite of passage to his more sensitive, mature manhood. It’s very much a “guy book”. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. The book is loooong, but it kept me reading with interest right to the end. I honestly had no idea where it was going, and even once it had gotten to where I thought it was going, it kept going beyond that. Lots of twists and turns, nothing is at it seems, etc. I didn’t necessarily like the characters, but I remained curious about them. The settings (both dreary London and sun-baked Greece) were described evocatively, and the plot keeps you on your toes. Even if you’re not a dude in your twenties, there are plenty of things to hold your interest here. [SPOILER: And my first thought upon finishing the book was: “David Fincher must have read this before making The Game..]

Further reading…