I drank a lot on my 60th birthday; a glass of wine at the Oyster Bar, several beers and margharitas at Solas on East 9th Street, then more beer at Frank’s Lounge in Fort Greene and finally even more beer at Mullane’s across General Fowler Square. I made it back to my apartment at midnight and crashed onto my bed almost a dead man. I had certainly drank into double-digits.
The next morning I woke from my slumber without too much pain, but rewarded my survival with a daylong laydown during which I read John Fowles’ THE MAGUS. I completed the story of an selfish Oxford graduate escaping a relationship by accepting a teaching post on a remote Greek island, where he fights off suicide by entering into a series of metaphysical games with a rich tycoon mimicking the lives of the gods and heroic humans. I fast-flittered through the pages since I had read the novel in the 70s, but enjoyed it for the most part.
After finishing The Magus I remembered that it had been made into a movie with Michael Caine, as the hero and Anthony Quinn as Maurice Conchis with Anna Karina and Candice Bergen as the love interests.
The 1968 adaptation was a critical disaster and Michael Caine said that it was one of the worst film in which he had been involved.
Woody Allen topped this critique by saying, “If I had to live my life again, I’d do everything the same, except that I wouldn’t see The Magus.”
I watched a little on youtubes and it really did suck, but the book was a nice escape on a hang-over day, especially if you didn’t have to read every word.