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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't write them like this anymore!
This is one of Mary Stewarts best novels. Why is nobody today able to write a good story without meaningless sex, gratuitous violence or employing expletives regularly? This was written in a bygone age, a mixture of adventure (the Corfu setting was probably very exotic for its time), suspense and romance (handsome, obfuscating stranger). Alright, its not profound, and...
Published on 1 April 2003 by Myrtle

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Old 'Classic'
Having reread Mary Stewart's Airs above the Ground I decided to try another title. This is now on my Kindle waiting to be read.
Published on 30 Sep 2012 by Mrs. J. K. Kelly


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't write them like this anymore!, 1 April 2003
This review is from: This Rough Magic (Paperback)
This is one of Mary Stewarts best novels. Why is nobody today able to write a good story without meaningless sex, gratuitous violence or employing expletives regularly? This was written in a bygone age, a mixture of adventure (the Corfu setting was probably very exotic for its time), suspense and romance (handsome, obfuscating stranger). Alright, its not profound, and it won't extend your vocabulary, but make sure you read it, followed by The Moonspinners and My Brother Michael!!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Captures a Time & Place ... ..., 1 Aug 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: This Rough Magic (Paperback)
This book has drama and excitement. For me this story creates a time capsule - a time now past, where everything moved more slowly and travelling away from home was a new cultural adventure into the unknown. Mary Stewart has created in the main character a very "likeable heroinne" - who is quite ordinary but yet very brave in unusual circumstances - the sort of character whose company I enjoyed in the pages of this book, and who I would enjoy meeting again in another book. I also think the story would make a great movie. The story created beautifully a picture of the island in my mind and was very entertaining. The book has everything - travel, culture, thrills and even some romance! It's a book I would read more than once.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lashings of Shakespeare, Scenery and Adventure, 28 Mar 2003
This review is from: This Rough Magic (Paperback)
Another fun read from the mistress of well-written adventures... The Tempest is my favourite Shakespearean play and this is a worthy addition to the Canon of books, films and music inspired by Prospero's Island.
Highly literate, loads of fun - summer holiday excapism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful! Mary Stewart's magic is endless, 22 Sep 2013
This review is from: This Rough Magic (Mary Stewart Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Mary Stewart is in her 90s and, at the time of writing, was still alive. She is an early expondent of romantic adventure. Her genre always has a young woman travelling to what would have been, when Stewart wrote her books, exotic locations; in this case, Corfu. Beautifully written with a wonderful vocabulary. No overt sex, violence or vulgar language; this is a well written delight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good read, 18 Nov 2013
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A friend recommended this book as I have just returned from Corfu and would recognize most of the places described.The book, as you would expect from Mary Stewart , is well written , holding your interest from page one. There is enough intrigue to keep you guessing as to the identity of the real villain. I read 'Thornyhold' years ago but 'This Rough Magic is even better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joyous rediscovery!, 5 July 2014
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I'm currently rediscovering the joys of Mary Stewart's work, after a long gap. This book is a great example - wonderful descriptive prose evoking the sights, sounds and even smells of the place, a heroine who isn't ashamed to admit to fear, and of course a satisfying ending. It's a pleasure to read a book by such a well educated and articulate woman, who doesn't need to pepper her work with obscenities to keep it interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic is in the writing, 8 Feb 2014
By 
Dolphin (Stuck inside a cloud) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: This Rough Magic (Paperback)
Lucy Waring is a young struggling actress who is left depressed and out of work when the latest play she was in folds prematurely. When her pregnant sister invites her to keep her company at her holiday villa, Lucy is happy to leave the soggy London spring for the sunny paradise that is Corfu. The lavish property includes two modern villas, built on rocky outcrops at opposite ends of an idyllic private beach, and the ancient, crumbling Castello dei Fiori in the middle, still boasting an enchanting old-world rose garden. The two sisters occupy the villa Forli, the villa Rotha is rented by Godfrey Manning (a suave, good-looking writer/photographer who is working on an illustrated book on the island), while the Castello is home and refuge to the theatrical icon, Sir Julian Gale, mysteriously retired amid talk of mental illness, and his tough and protective son, Max, a musician who has made it clear that trespassers are unwelcome. Lucy's hopes for a restorative holiday are dashed by news of a tragedy: a local teenager, curiously linked to Sir Gale, has been lost at sea while out on a boat trip with Godfrey.

The early delightful scene with the dolphin sets this book apart from most other novels of a similar genre and the unforgettable character of Sir Julian Gale adds a strong theatrical dimension which supports the many Shakespearean references and lends weight to Lucy's actress persona. From his very first appearance, I could not help picturing Sir John Gielgud in the part and indeed the beautiful voice and general demeanour would be a fit (not to mention his initials?!). Lady Stewart surpasses herself with some of the most evocative and poetic descriptions I can remember, of people as well as places. This book has everything I love: a fabulous setting, intriguing storyline, well-judged pacing (the second half is a real page-turner), excellent character development, favourite subject matter (Corfu, antique roses, dolphins, stylish Italian interiors, the theatre) and enough surprises to keep the tension going to the very end. This novel contains some of the strongest and nastiest content from this author, yet handled with superb restraint. Sailing enthusiasts will enjoy the accurate and believable on-board scenes and I am glad that Lady Stewart did not dumb down the specific language of sailing for the sake of making it understandable to the uninitiated. I know nothing about boats but found the fast-moving action perfectly easy to follow, in fact it made me curious to learn more.

All the elements that we have come to expect from this author are here: the heroine is beautiful, feisty and intelligent but very likeable, all the supporting characters have a very good reason to be there, the story is original and plausible, the romantic thread is subtly woven, the sense of place beautifully developed with lovely but economical descriptions, and the conclusion satisfactorily ties up all the loose ends. I could easily imagine how, in different hands, this book could have been fifty pages longer without adding anything valuable to the whole. It's one of the few Stewart novels I had not yet read (almost afraid I would not like it as much as the rest) but I would now rate it with the very best from a superb story-teller who consistently surprises me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical escapism, 16 Aug 2013
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This is my favorite Mary Stewart, the atmosphere that is woven by the story is truly magical, even if you have never visited the island it should make you feel like you have lived there all your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Rough Magic - Mary Stewart, 11 Aug 2010
I read this book 25 years ago and I love it. Romance, mystery and dolphins. I booked a trip at Corfu and I'll read this book again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly dated but with real charm, 30 Dec 2012
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Rough Magic (Mary Stewart Modern Classics) (Paperback)
When I was in my teens I devoured almost all of Mary Stewart's books and this was my favourite. Re-reading it now, it's held up pretty well and still weaves its particular charm, transporting you to a sunny and idyllic Corfu.

Our narrator is Lucy Waring, an actress, who goes to Corfu to keep her pregnant sister Phyllida company. Phyllida's husband's family own three houses in Corfu, one of which is their holiday residence. The other two houses are let out to Godfrey, a photographer, and to Julian Gale, a famous actor, who is living with his son. Shortly after she arrives a local fisherman drowns, and after a second accident Lucy begins to suspect that one of her neighbours may know something about the disappearances.

Written in the mid-60s, this book has a slightly dated but very real charm, much like Daphne du Maurier's or Agatha Christie's books. The central mystery is not terribly mysterious, but there are moments of genuine tension. There is also a central romance which doesn't feel terribly plausible but is quite satisfying to read. It's like watching an Audrey Hepburn or Shirley MacLaine caper movie - and best accompanied by a glass of prosecco whilst reclining on a sun lounger.
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This Rough Magic (Mary Stewart Modern Classics)
This Rough Magic (Mary Stewart Modern Classics) by Mary Stewart (Paperback - 17 Mar 2011)
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