Gripping 1965 John Fowles
novel about a young British teacher named Nicholas Urfe who flees a directionless life in London
to spend a year teaching at a private school on an island in Greece
. Wandering the island, he encounters a seemingly abandoned villa. On return, he finds it occupied by a fascinating old man named Conchis who introduces him to a beautiful woman, then leads him through a series of manipulative games and staged events. The story follows Urfe as he peels back the truth about Conchis like layers of an onion, and becomes enmeshed in increasinly strange and compelling events.
In the end, I found the premise of the story to be a bit conceited, but it's the kind of conceit you'd expect from a young author, and didn't stop me from totally loving this book. Plently of people consider to this to be one of the great books of the twentieth century, and the modern library called it one of the top 100. It's one of those uncommon books that qualify as great reading and great literature.