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meganbaxter

meganbaxter

I'm a grad student, an avid reader, a huge nerd, fervent roleplayer, wife, cat lover, tea snob, and obsessive keeper of lists.
The Magus - John Fowles I'm not exactly sure how to rate this book. But I have a sneaking suspicion that I might read it again at some point, which is generally my personal line for four stars.

I picked this up as one of the books on the BBC's Big Read list, which I am slowly making my way through. I am not sure what to make of it.

The Magus is the story of a young English teacher in Greece, who is ensnared in the machinations of a local millionaire with an unfathomable plan.

For the first half of the book, I was struggling with a lack of identification with the main character, not because he's a bit of a prick, which he is supposed to be, but because every time Conchis messed with him and Nick kept coming back for more, it drove me crazy. I kept feeling that if someone kept doing inexplicable and possibly malicious things to me, and refused to tell me anything or even any of the rules of the game, I'd be out. Walk away, don't come back, live with the curiosity. Because in that kind of game, you're set up to jump through hoops without choice or understanding, and forget that nonsense.

So there was that.

But I kept reading, which is saying something, anyway. I guess I did stay in the game, by reading the book. I certainly never had any more idea what was going on than Nick did. And in the end, I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced by Nick's journey of discovery, because frequently I wasn't sure why the lessons he was taught were the lessons they were, or why he would change in that particular way.

This book is opaque, and frequently frustrating, but interesting enough. And I may try it again some day and see if I get more out of it. But not in the near future.