The stranger the book, the better I like it. And this book is strange. As all good stories — well-written stories — have some overriding mystery involved, we readers are pulled along by characters who don’t much know themselves why they do what they do. It’s call “personality.” Now isn’t that the essence of life? So for THE MAGUS, the mystery is a step onto a wire, a thin wire, that gets longer and thinner, and higher, as you move with the characters.
What I liked most about the story was that, once I realized there was a veil between what I thought I knew (usually, dramatic irony) and what was really happening (fictively), the more I liked the book. Not all books can do this effectively; not just any writer can take the care which this type of story needs.
THE MAGUS is a well-written, well-crafted, and thoroughly original book that should be on your reading list. It has history, psychology, love, sex, intrigue, betrayal, and redemption.
august 16, 2012
“There are three types of intelligent person: the first so intelligent that being called very intelligent must seem natural and obvious; the second sufficiently intelligent to see that he is being flattered, not described; the third so little intelligent that he will believe anything. I knew I belonged to the second kind.”
“Freedom was making some abrupt choice and acting on it.”
– John Fowles, “The Magus”
The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.