20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A book you can take through life,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Magus (Paperback)
Onto a lonely and isolated island, into a mysterious domain with its enigmatic owner, comes our dislocated anti-hero, Nicholas Urfe.
Although 'The Magus' is essentially a coming of age novel, through the interweaving of the psychical, the theatrical, fantasy, illusion and reality, we are taken on a magnificent cerebral journey to self-discovery.
As the enigmatic Conchis draws Nicholas more and more into his world, so we too are manipulated along with him. We know nothing more nor less than Nicholas and so share his fate. As the plot twists and turns, we are no less hungry for clues and meanings until we become as bewildered and emotionally exhausted as Nicholas.
Fowles' expert exploration of the human psyche shows us the dark depths to which it can sink and how, against impossible odds, the human spirit can soar.
There are shades of 'The Tempest' and 'Great Expectations' and also echoes of Ibsen's continuing theme, "To be true to oneself", but nothing can prepare the first time reader for the spellbinding experience that lies within these pages. As we read, we are reminded of Fowles' alternative title, "The Godgame" and indeed we identify totally with Nicholas as he is confused, taunted, baited and made to distrust his own feelings, senses and thoughts.
Although there is a touch of envy for the first time reader, this is a novel which can be read many times and at different stages of one's life and our appreciation improves with each reading.
The ambiguous ending may seem harsh, but so is life and there is hope in the Latin footnote. There is no denying that John Fowles has created in 'The Magus' something quite rare, a work of literary genius,