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Description

John Fowles’ The Magus was a literary landmark of the 1960s. Nicholas Urfe goes to a Greek island to teach at a private school and becomes enmeshed in curious happenings at the home of a mysterious Greek recluse, Maurice Conchis. Are these events, involving attractive young English sisters, just psychological games, or an elaborate joke, or more? Reality shifts as the story unfolds.

The Magus reflected the issues of the 1960s perfectly, but even almost half a century after its first publication, it continues to create tension and concern, remaining the page-turner that it was when it was first released.

©1977 J. R. Fowles Ltd (P)2012 Naxos AudioBooks

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Notations

Global

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Histoire

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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • W Perry Hall
  • 24/03/2014

Mystical Morality Tale of Love, Reality, Fidelity

John Fowles’ now underappreciated novel is a mystical morality play on love, truth, maturity, reality and sexual and emotional betrayal. "The Magus" is set on a Greek island lush in the legends of Apollo, Artemis, Orpheus and Eurydice, and involves our protagonist, Nicholas Urfe, a mysterious island local and pretty young English ladies. While the year of the story is 1953 in the aftermath of WWII, in many ways it seems as timely as today.

If you read reviews, you won’t get much more of a description, other than below a Spoiler Alert heading. To explain it more would require pages and would, in many ways, be like explaining the recent novel “Gone Girl” or the movie “The Sixth Sense”: it would ruin the whole experience for you.

Like Gone Girl, I could NOT put it down. Truly in its own league, particularly considering it was published nearly 50 years ago.

14 sur 14 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thosigmar
  • 01/11/2014

Brilliant book, incomparable reading

Where does The Magus rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

First.

What other book might you compare The Magus to and why?

"The Magus" is something in itself. I think Fowles used to express his admiration for "Le Grand Meaulnes", which I read decades ago and can't remember (oi). Have bought the Audible version, though, and still need to listen to it. Perhaps a reading of Fowles's "The Aristos" (his second book, published two years before "The Magus"), might not be a bad idea in preparation for "Magus".

Have you listened to any of Nicholas Boulton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not yet, but looking at his other readings. Incidentally, he is particularly good at reading female voices. In some other audiobooks (e.g. two versions of "The Alexandria Quartet") the male readers would have done better in keeping to a more normal pitch.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There are several brilliant moments and parts, but the scene in which Conchis hypnotises Nicholas was particularly masterfully done. Boulton's reading makes one aware of something magical, "metaphysical", totally illusory, and irresistible. Perhaps fatal, too. The reading achieves what the printed word can't do quite as well: mesmerise the listener.

Any additional comments?

Boulton's reading made me aware of many things that I missed in my own readings of "The Magus". For me, his reading made this book shimmer all the more.

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 29/01/2014

One of the best novels that I really think I hate.

What is written here must remain hidden. So now that you've scrolled down, let the game begin.

Hurry, let's unpack this quick. I felt like I've already spent far too much time being frustrated by the many curves, mysteries, deceptions in this book. I loved 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' and really, really liked 'The Collector' and there were many parts and many scenes from 'the Magus' that I really, really liked and even loved. But reading 'the Magus' reminded me of those novels one reads, and are far better read, when one is a nubile Freshman in college or a precocious HS Senior. I'm thinking of most of Tom Robbins, Chuck Palahniuk, JD Salinger, Ayn Rand, and Camus (to a certain extent). These are books that indeed can be considered literary (except for Ayn Rand), and have some form of magic buried within them that attracts the 20 y/o literary set. These are books that become fetish items. Carried, dog-earred, and flashed between the group to communicate their fealty to a group, game or club.

But looking back, they just don't seem to have the same magic or mystery for me. I should have read 'the Magus' in HS. I should have tried it all on sometime before I turned 30. It was smart, but the magic was gone, burned off, disappeared. The lights have been turned on. The big questions (for me, at this time in my life) seemed answered or perhaps just not that damn important. So, death.

Again, I love Fowles' prose, but part of this book felt like wading through azure pudding in a chemical fog. There were pages and pages where I just felt tired, exhausted, with burning eyes wondering why I kept turning the pages. Part Marquis de Sade, part 'Eyes Wide Shut', part PoMo philosophical exploration of freedom and love. Again, this ranks up there (I mean top, top tier) with the best novels that I really think I hate.

I did find a tidbit that might help those who are contemplating finishing this. In trying to explain different approaches to 'the Magus' Fowles explained to a young girl:

"But two approaches - The Magus is trying to suggest to Nicholas that reality, human existence is infinitely baffling. One gets one explanation - the CHristian, the psychological, the scientific ... but always it gets burnt off like summer mist and a new landscape-explanation appears. He suggests that the one valid reality or principle for us lies in eleutheria - freedom. Accept that man has the possibility for his actions. To be free (which means rejecting all the gods and political creeds and the rest) leaves one no choice but to act according to reason: that is, humanely to all humans."

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roderick
  • 24/02/2016

A fantastic psychological mystery

John Fowles best work, one of the best pieces of literature ever written, any reader would love his work!

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Darryl
  • 02/03/2013

beautifully written

if you are willing to let yourself get immersed in the world Fowles creates you should be as mesmerized as i was. i read this a long time ago and enjoyed it then, thinking it was one of the better things i've read and now after much time has elapsed i think so again. it is steeped in mystery, existentialism, Greek mythos and more. Fowles is an intelligent writer and a fine craftsman and leaves you with questions to ponder but gives you many clues along the way. I left it this time thinking that the Orpheus and Eurydice myth was key, but there are so many references to Greek myth sprinkled throughout that it may be a blending of several with Orpheus, Hades, Persephone, etc., the fertility strain being the key. I love it, and look forward to revisiting more Fowles. very intellectual and nice to be challenged to puzzle it all out for myself, no easy answers.

13 sur 15 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cassandra
  • 01/02/2013

I hated it, then it intrigued me

If you could sum up The Magus in three words, what would they be?

Read the whole thing. Yes, I know, 4 words.

What about Nicholas Boulton’s performance did you like?

Wonderful voices, male and female, different accents, brings the book alive.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely not.

Any additional comments?

This is a hard book to review without being a spoiler, so I'll limit myself to the process of the reader/listener. I spent at least the first third of the book developing a thorough dislike for the protagonist, as Fowles intended. I hated him so completely that I asked myself why I was still listening. This is not a women's novel, no surprise considering the author penned The French Lieutenant's Woman, and more's the pity: Fowles advanced about 85% to where he needed to go. Still, not bad, in the scheme of things, i.e., judged from the perspective of 2013.The remainder of the book builds the major theme, an examination of... individual ethics (now called "personal responsibility") ... in a modern way, considering the book was written in the 60's. That's a poor summary but all I'm willing to give away. It reads and feels like a 60's period piece to one who lived through the era. Don't worry, it's not preachy. A reader who likes to anticipate plot twists will have plenty of material to work with. Ultimately, this is not a novel about plot. That's all I can say. Finish it.

I do have a quibble about the production of this reading. It included numerous quotations in foreign languages without translations. My understanding, not to mention my enjoyment, would have improved with translations!

13 sur 15 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • BHMMary
  • 31/10/2015

Thrilling narration.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The Magus is the best novel I have ever read. The narration by Nicholas Boulton was exciting and suspenseful despite my having read the novel twice in the past. If one has never read The Magus, I would recommend listening to this audio performance first as the interpretation is perfect and the storyline via this narration is thrilling.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Graham Polando
  • 15/03/2016

Perfect Narration

Long time Audible member, and this is the best narration I've ever heard. More like acting than a reading, but still keeps the text central. Amazing voices that add to, rather than distract from, the story. Simply perfect.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Yennta
  • 11/09/2017

The book that never ends but endlessly frustrates

I got two thirds of the way through. Then I skimmed through a hard copy to find out what finally happened. I liked the first third. There's one character I liked. Then she disappears. Then the story started going in circles with such a gang of awful people! Spending all that time with them (including the so-called hero) was a kind of torture. If I hadn't persevered, I'd return it, but I can't, in conscience, do it. At least I can say that now I've read John Fowles. Sort of. The reader was wonderful.

3 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tesla
  • 19/09/2016

excellent book

the story kept me guessing and it was good the whole way through. I really enjoyed the narrator as well.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Manda
  • 19/03/2016

Großartig!

Für mich eine der genialsten Novellen der letzten 50 Jahre .. hier vorgetragen von einem kongenialen Sprecher

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.