The Guardian asked writers to share their most memorable holiday reads, and a title that came up more than once was John Fowles’ The Magus. As a fan of holidaying in Greece (I’ve done so for the past 10 years) I’m interested in books set there. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a selection to suit various tastes, from general fiction and literary novels to touching and bizarre short stories.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
A love story set in occupied Kefalonia during World War 2. Fans of the book will warn against watching the film due to the massively altered ending.
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
Four foreigners come together in a Greek village after witnessing a tragedy
and work through their own personal crises one summer.
The Island by Victoria Hislop
A young, modern day British woman visits Crete and discovers the secrets of her mother’s family history at the leper colony of Spinalonga.
Love in the Snow by Alexandros Papadiamtis
A strange short tale from 1896 written by Skiathos’ most famous resident (the main street is named after him) which tells of loss and love.
The Magus by John Fowles
Teaming with tricks and twists, Fowles’ novel set on a remote Greek island is a gripping story of sexual politics and psychological games.
Little Infamies by Panos Karnezis
Set in a nameless Greek village inhabited by quirky characters both human and animal. A magical realist collection of stories by a contemporary Greek author.