Friday, March 5, 2010

Book Notes: The Magus

The Magus by John Fowles was my least favorite book on the Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list.

I could not stand The Magus! It may be the only book that I actually hate. Pompous nitwits running around a stupid island playing games with each other! And all the time spouting humanistic gobblygook about the death of God, or whatever they were prattling on about. It has a cult following, but I thought it was overwrought nonsense.

So no full-length review -- just my gut reaction.


  1. Thanks for being so honest about your reaction to this book - I have never read it and don't really intend to now...

    thanks for sharing


  2. I read this and wrote that rant a couple of years ago. I didn't post it because it isn't very constructive, but I am trying to add information to my Modern Library post.

  3. I find that it is good to trust the gut reactions:)

  4. This is on my long, long list of books to read. Or at least: it WAS.

  5. I always wondered about this book, The Magus. I would pick it up and put it down for years. Thanks for your honest review.

  6. I had it recommended to me a long, long time ago and for some reason I've never gotten around to it. No need to now!


  7. This is just my opinion. You can find a hundred or so people who disagree with me over on the amazon review page. :)

    I have a high tolerance for reading books that I don't really enjoy. But this one really drove me bonkers.

    And the thing is, his French Lieutenant's Woman is a real favorite! I've read it twice.

  8. I like The French Lieutenant's Woman a lot and was so-so about The Collector. I never read this because well, I'm not terribly attracted to the title. And now with your review I'm even less attracted.

  9. I don't even know what The Magus is about but I do see if often in lists. I've read The Collector which was pretty good and I have The French Lieutenant's Woman sitting on my shelves.

  10. Bybee -- The Collector is on my TBR shelf, but I've been avoiding it since I read The Magus. I'll get to it one of these days.

    Mad B -- I had never heard the word "magus" until I read this and learned that it is the singular form of "magi" -- as in Gift of the Magi or the three wise men of Christmas.

    But the "wise man" in the book is just some old rich coot on an island, manipulating a bunch of people into pervy sex shows. At least, that was my "take away" point. :)


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