When and how many times read

Discussions relating to John Fowles' novel The Magus.

When and how many times read

Postby RBFrankenstein on Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:10 pm

After talking to you today, Bob, I got inspired to read the Magus again. I think I'll pick it up soon! :D
(When I'm done with my current reading of On the Road: Scroll Version (unedited version) by Kerouac. Almost done.)

I've read The Magus twice - original version in early 2004 and the revised in early 2005. So it's been almost 3 years! :o
Too bad I can't erase it from my memory so I can read it again for the first time :!:

Do you always read the revised one when you pick it up?
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Re: When and how many times read

Postby Magusbob on Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:40 am

Having just finished reading The Magus again, for probably the 12th time over the past 30 years, I can honestly say it was as exciting and enjoyable as ever. This time I read it concurrently with my friend Jen--we divided it up into sections and each week read that part, then discussed it over the phone. Quite interesting. Makes me wonder if at some point a "group" reading, with comments posted to the Board as each section is completed, might be interesting. Anyone else have thoughts on that?
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Re: When and how many times read

Postby drkellyindc on Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:20 pm

I read "The Magus" twice (once in each version) many years ago, but I'm having deja vu now while watching the third season of ABC's "Lost." The behavioral experiments, the struggle of the captives to make sense of their situation, the role-playing, power struggle, and possible duplicity among the captors--all of this is strongly reminiscent of Fowles's novel. There was also a 1997 Michael Douglas movie, "The Game," that played out a lot of "The Magus"'s themes in a mostly urban setting. I take this as a sign that Fowles's ideas are being more broadly disseminated.

--Kelly
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Re: When and how many times read

Postby Magusbob on Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:08 pm

Yes, "The Game" is a shameless rip-off of The Magus...albeit an excellent film. They even had the audacity to name the main character Nicholas. I actually spoke with Fowles shortly after the film came out in 1997, and he had considered suing those involved. But ultimately he decided that it would be difficult to prove and more trouble than it was worth. For more on this, visit the page "Is the 1997 Movie The Game a Rip-Off of The Magus?" on the web site.
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Re: When and how many times read

Postby D.A.Pratt on Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:23 am

Greetings from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

I have read *The Magus*, so far, just twice ... once in my twenties and again when I was probably in my forties. I had heard, whether this is true or not, that Fowles was somewhat concerned that the novel was a book that would only appeal to the young ... I loved it both times! I had wanted to write to him to tell him that I had thoroughly enjoyed it as an older reader but failed to do this ... I am planning to re-read it in 2008 (and possibly do a comparison of the two versions). I'm now in my late 50s, sooooo the upcoming reading will be from yet another perspective, in terms of age. I also have plans to read (re-read in some cases) other works by him soon, including the two volumes of his journals. Regards, DaP (D.A. Pratt)
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Re: When and how many times read

Postby s. boatright on Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:04 pm

My first reading was in 1980 at the age of twenty. It was a revised edition making the rounds of our group of nine as we trekked around the Annapurna Massif in Nepal. A life-changing experience defined by the ongoing discussions surrounding The Magus...everything from the title pronunciation (mag-u v. mag-us) to the Nicholas/Allison reconciliation/non-reconciliation ending. One of our party had read the original and threw us some crumbs but only whetted my appetite for a reading of the original (which I found in Shakespeare and Co. in Paris four months later).

My second reading (of the same book I had appropriated in Nepal) began less than a month later on Paros in the Aegean with an australian woman I met in Piraeus on my way to the ferry (named Grace, not Allison!) and I annotated various portions which had affected me most during the original reading. Grace was simply bored by my literary enthusiasm, despite her countrywoman's pivotal role and my enraptured comments of the story's depth, which increased with the amount of retsina consumed. I soon went west and she went east, but our affair did not mirror the intensity or the angst of the Nicholas/Allison liaison. She has since read the book and was excited to report to me how she wished she had listened to me all those years ago, and even threw in some wry comments about the parallels to our brief relationship...she felt the women in the story were treated exceptionally well and appreciated their evident power and insight, unlike the women on the trek in Nepal, who had assumed victimhood for each of the female characters.

I have since read the book, both editions, easily 12 times and make new discoveries through each reading. My feelings from my first reading are still evident, but remarkably I can catalog them with my current impressions and twenty-nine years worth of perspective. I am amazed at the changes time and experience have brought. And those changes are viewed not with judgment, but with and understanding of personal growth. As a twenty year old, I identified with the ego and male attitude Nicholas so ably portrayed. As I developed a conscience later in my twenties, I was then glad maturity had come without the necessity of the God Game and mystical (i.e. not understood) outside influences to prod me along. In my early to mid-forties, I would almost have preferred to have undergone the trial of the God Game, although with the common plaint of hindsight, so long as I knew then what I know now.

It has been over three years since my last reading of The Magus. I find it comforting to have a touchstone in this book in which I can revisit my past world view with remembered impressions inspired through its pages and compare them to my present sense of reality. I feel another reading coming on as this messageboard has whetted my appetite for a further review of my personal growth yardstick. Thank you one and all.
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Re: When and how many times read

Postby chum on Tue May 25, 2010 5:33 pm

I have read it about 5 times. I first read it when I was a teenager in the 1970s. I had an older cousin, who was somewhat of a mentor to me, and found the book in his collection. I asked him about it. I loved his short synopsis...it's about some people playing mind-games with a guy to teach him how much of a conceited bastard he is....
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Re: When and how many times read

Postby Nicole34 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:38 pm

Having just finished reading The Magus again, for probably the 12th time over the past 30 years, I can honestly say it was as exciting and enjoyable as ever. This time I read it concurrently with my friend Jen--we divided it up into sections and each week read that part, then discussed it over the phone. Quite interesting. Makes me wonder if at some point a "group" reading, with comments posted to the Board as each section is completed, might be interesting. Anyone else have thoughts on that?
Thanks....
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Re: When and how many times read

Postby BlueLotus123 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:55 am

'The Magus" is a brilliant work done by John Fowels. I first read the reviews for The Magus and I got inspired by the reviews, then got the book from my near shop. I have finished reading it in a single stretch. I found the book very hard to put down.



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Re: When and how many times read

Postby chum on Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:32 pm

Read in early 70s on my cousins recommendation. (He was kind of my Mentor). Read about once every 10 years or so since.
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