Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way

100 Books by 40: THE MAGUS

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That book was like a slap in the face, but only if by some perversion it’s enjoyable. I don’t think I know what happened. I certainly didn’t know what was happening while I was reading it. I thought things would become clear once I reached the end of the book. That’s just not the case.

Usually, I don’t Google books before I write my reviews, but this one left me so confused that I needed to be reassured prior to putting my thoughts out there. The book is about a young British man who teaches abroad on a little island in Greece. Everything gets confusing from that point on.

The young man meets an inhabitant of the island and then witnesses and ultimately participates in something that I will describe as live theater for economy of words. That’s not exactly accurate, but it gets close enough to the concept for you to understand what I am about to say. Reality gets difficult to identify. I think some of the confusion and disorientation that the main character experiences, is meant to rub off on the reader. The main character can’t make sense of what is happing to him in spite of his relentless search for coherence. As a reader, I was also on a relentless search for coherence. In that sense, I was in the book with the character.

I enjoyed this aspect of the book immensely. I liked the experience enough that I would like to read it again in a decade. I suspect that the experience of the book is colored by what the reader brings to it. I suspect I would feel differently about this book at other phases in my life. I’m excited to revisit this book in the future and test out my hunch.


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