The Magician Epub Ú Paperback

The Magician Epub Ú Paperback

10 thoughts on “The Magician

  1. Dan Schwent Dan Schwent says:

    Arthur Burdon is due to marry his fiance Margaret Dauncey The pair have the misfortune of meeting Oliver Haddo a self styled magician and pompous ass When Arthur assaults Haddo the Magician hatches a plan to ruin Arthur's life in the most insidious of waysThe Magician is a tale of revenge seduction and things of that nature written by Maugham after he met Aleister Crowley It's pretty much a horror novel honestly Oliver Haddo is a revolting character that made my skin crawl and his seduction of Margaret was a little hard to read about Arthur Susie and Margaret were also well drawn flawed charactersFor a novel written in 1908 The Magician was surprisingly readable compared to many books of that era The writing was lush and descriptive without being overly flowery and still felt pretty accessible Haddon's occult knowledge and abilities were also very well done not terribly flashy and somewhat believable I have to think the way magic was depicted influence Susan Clarke's Jonathan Strange Mr NorrellThe only strike against the book that I can readily come up with is the ending I felt it was a little on the anti climatic side and kind of a downerThe Magician is a surprisingly effective horror novel for being over one hundred years old I may have to give old Maugham another shot some day soon Four out of five stars

  2. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    This reads as a Gothic horror story and it grabbed me which is totally amazing Books of this genre are not ones that normally attract me I do not regret reading it Proof is in the fact that the last three hours of it I spent glued to my seat If Gothic horror stories are your cup of tea grab it immediately; I guarantee you will not be disappointed While I was listening I was totally enthralled While I was listening I thought I would give it four stars Only when completed was I released from its spell Only when released from its spell could I return to my senses I have given the book three stars Yes I liked it and yes it grabbed me and yes it gave me a scary thrill but what did it teach me? Actually not all that much I hope from this review you can decide if YOU should read it The setting of the novel is England and Paris France at the turn of the 20th century Margaret Dauncy is soon to marry her long time friend and beloved guardian Arthur Burdon an acclaimed English surgeon He visits her in Paris while she and her friend Susie Boyd are studying art There they come in contact with Oliver Haddo a mysterious and alluring but at the same time insidious occultist a magician of the Black Arts All are to come under his spell Just as we readers come under the spell of the bookThe occult was in fashion when Maugham wrote this in London in 1907 after a short residence in Paris living on the Left Bank The magician in the novel and the one referred to in its title was modelled on Aleister Crowley 1875 – 1947 an English occultist novelist poet painter and big game hunter whom Maugham had met when in Paris He had taken an immediate dislike to the man The novel is by no means a biography; it is a story of fiction It is interesting to note though that Crowley on reading the novel recognized himself and wrote a declamatory review under the name of Oliver Haddo When the book was republished circa fifty years after its original publication in 1908 Maugham added a foreword Entitled A Fragment of Autobiography it explains in detail that which I have summarized in the preceding paragraph The foreword is not to be missed Both the foreword and the entire novel is in fact accessible free online here Before you grab it read what I have to say about the audiobookThe audiobook includes the foreword It is narrated by David Rintoul His performance is fantastic We are given a show a dramatization of the written words that is better than anything one can imagine I do not usually enjoy dramatizations but this I loved It is superb it cannot be improved upon Even the French is impeccably rendered Remember much takes place in Paris Don’t read the book; listen to it I believe I became as enthralled as I did because I listened to David Rintoul’s narration Each of W Somerset Maugham’s novels are different from his others in content theme and style Each is uniue a surprise and a delicious treatMy ratings of Maugham’s booksThen and Now 5 starsMrs Craddock 4 starsCakes and Ale 4 starsThe Painted Veil 4 starsLiza of Lambeth 3 starsThe Razor's Edge 3 starsThe Magician 3 starsChristmas Holiday 3 starsTheatre 2 starsThe Moon and Sixpence 2 starsOf Human Bondage 2 stars

  3. Brett C Brett C says:

    This was a strange and yet entertaining story This story is not based off traditional witchcraft but gets into the shadowy and occult black arts It started out with ordinary people with ordinary lives for the time period until the mysterious Oliver Haddo comes into their lives Doctor Arthur Burdon a renowned English surgeon has a normal life with plans of marrying the love of his life Margret Things start to get weird after they encounter Oliver Haddo a self proclaimed magician and occult practitioner The magician is the acuaintance of Arthur's friend Dr Porhoët who is an expert in the occult Eventually Haddo starts to infiltrate their lives to the point where lives are shattered The book has occult references black magic rituals like necromancy a supernatural dream seuence and descriptive imagery that help add to the plot's gloomy atmosphereOverall is was a decent story Background information is the author metknew occultist Aleister Crowley in real life and based the book about him Knowing myself I will reread it in a few years and I'll discover things I missed the first time I would recommend this because it entertaining Thanks

  4. Susan Susan says:

    First published in 1908 this was W Somerset Maugham’s last novel for seven years as he devoted himself to writing for the theatre The rest obviously did him good as he returned with the classic “Of Human Bondage” but this is an interesting and lesser known novel It was inspired by meeting Alastair Crowley in Paris who became the character ‘Oliver Haddo’ Crowley himself responded to Maugham’s interpretation of his character with a wry magazine article “How to Write a Novel” which he signed using his fictional nameWe begin with Arthur Burdon a surgeon who is visiting Paris to see his fiancée Margaret He has been Margaret’s guardian since she was a child and has insisted she spend the two years in Paris studying art with her friend Susie Boyd before their marriage All is light and happiness until Arthur’s friend retired doctor and occult scholar Dr Porhoet introduces them to the notorious Oliver Haddo When Arthur loses his temper Haddo takes revenge in a terrible wayThis is very much a novel of two parts It begins slowly; unravelling the characters their motivations and their feelings Then towards the end we have a bizarre supernatural showdown In some ways this reminds me of “A Handful of Dust” by Evelyn Waugh which I read recently Not in terms of the theme but in the way the novel starts as one thing and ends as uite another I like the beginning of the novel best with the sinister Oliver Haddo initially being seen as something of a joke and then gradually revealing his powers Maugham remains one of my favourite authors and I enjoyed re reading this very much

  5. Tim Tim says:

    This is a rather strange but fascinating little book Despite the short length 196 on my edition it feels almost like two separate books It starts off as something like a comedy of errors then slowly becomes sinister until it becomes a flat out horror novelThe story focuses on a couple that meet a claimed magician named Oliver Haddo Our magician is boastful seemingly has a story for every scenario which will of course make him sound amazing and has a bit of a sense of humor There’s a great moment where he tells a tale about how after his father passed away he kept feeling like he was trying to tell him something After performing a ritual to see his ghost we get the following dialogue Buy Ashantis they are bound to go up I did as he told me; but my father was always unlucky in speculation and they went down steadily I sold out at considerable loss and concluded that in the world beyond they are as ignorant of the tendency of the Stock Exchange as we are in this vale of sorrow'At first Haddo seems rather oafish he’s portrayed comically and one might suspect that the plot would involve debunking his magic and letting science and enlightenment reign One would be wrong as we see Haddo go from a source of comedy to a rather repulsive figure His actions are dark and with enough implications of what is going on behind the scenes well one might suspect that it could have been published later than 1908 The most fascinating aspect of the novel in my opinion is actually the origin Apparently Maugham started writing it after he met Aleister Crowley who he immediately thought of as a buffoonish con man and couldn't see how anyone could actually fall for him As he kept meeting him in social circles though and saw people's reactions to him his character became less comedic in the book and sinister You can actually see the transition happen between chapters Crowley responded after publication by writing an article for Vanity Fair in which he accused Maugham of plagiarism While this was no doubt set off by him being annoyed at the character obviously mocking him he does make a compelling argument The Penguin edition of the book contains some of the paragraphs the Crowley uoted Many of the paragraphs are exactly the same except for one sentence reworded If this was published now it would be enough to end Maugham’s career Overall the book is entertaining but it has such weird pacing and feels so strange both in a positive and negative way that I can’t really recommend it to everyone That said I still enjoyed it and if it sounds intriguing from the above you’ll most likely want to give it a shot 35

  6. Nancy Oakes Nancy Oakes says:

    The Magician has so many of those elements that send my little dark fiction reader heart racing among them pulpy mysterious melodrama a bit of decadence and of course the dark forces of the occult and the supernatural At its heart though it is a story of revenge plotted by a most sinister villain the Magician Oliver Haddo and the race to save young Margaret Dauncey the woman at the center of it all for plot details etc you can go to my reading journal was hooked right from the beginning and later as I realized where Maugham was taking this tale it got even interesting since it wasn't at all what I expected when I started it The main uestion for me here was whether Haddo was a genuine magicianalchemical adept or just a fast talking fake with hypnotic powers and it was a uestion that kept me turning pages as the novel went on By the time I reached the ending well let's just say that I'd made up my mind and by then the pages were flying It's one I can definitely recommend to readers who like darker fiction that moves into the realm of the occult It's a fun read

  7. Trevor Trevor says:

    I’m becoming increasingly fond of Maugham There is something about the self deprecation of the English that is so utterly appealing It is worth even just reading the ‘Fragment of Autobiography’ that precedes the text and can be read here for a taste of his tone Bits of this made me laugh out loud Take “I was looked upon as a promising young writer and I think I may say it without vanity was accepted as a member of the intelligentsia an honourable condition which some years later when I became a popular writer of light comedies I lost; and have never since regained” Isn’t that gorgeous?I think this book could so easily have been much better than it ended up but I still enjoyed it immensely and if I think that I would have written it differently that in itself is fairly high praise – for a book to have me considering how I would re construct it shows how interested in its themes and concerns I wasThe antagonist in this story is based on Aleister Crowley – someone who has an important role to play in Of Human Bondage too He is a real person and sounds like uite a character As you can see I’m working on my understatementI kept thinking of Alan Bennett at the start of this book and his wonderful monologue A Lady of Letters – where she says that in a book if someone says they are terribly alone and without love in their life and feel that nothing is ever going to change that is a sure sign that things are about to completely change for them and happiness is about to come streaming into their life whereas in life if you say that you are alone it is very likely that that is how your life will remain A truth I’m or less working on proving at the momentSo at the start of this novel when the happy loving couple are gazing into each other’s eyes and say that they could not be happy – and Suzie says of Margaret that she must be careful as she could make Arthur unhappy than anyone else in the world well it is pretty obvious where this story is going Not that I mind that A storm is not made less frightening by our hearing it rumble in the distance as it approaches I’m going to have to spoil this book for you now Haddo the character based on Crowley is a fat magician Years ago I was thinking of having a car sticker made up that said “Necromancers Raise Hell” – I thought it was very funny but a dear friend of mine pointed out that what I take to be funny many people take to be deadly serious Haddo is that sort of magicianWhere Haddo is full of himself and terribly proud Arthur is a doctor who is the essence of rationality and who is madly in love with Margaret Margaret is in Paris having a bit of a holiday before marrying Arthur She would rather have just married Arthur but he insisted she have a bit of a holiday beforehand She is accompanied by Suzie who also falls in love with Arthur on first seeing him Haddo the magician is fat and a revolting pig of a man a fact that Arthur points out repeatedly at the start of the novel No one is completely good but Haddo is as near to completely evil as one could reasonably expect to get away with in a novelThe turning point of the novel is an altercation in which Haddo is humiliated by Arthur – it is clear that Haddo plots to revenge himself on Arthur and he does this than completely by stealing Margaret from him Worse for Arthur she goes from being a pure and sweet innocent to a debauched harlot – if one who remains a virgin can really be a harlot There is no doubt that Haddo is both a cad and a bounder how is it possible that either of those words could have been lost to the lexicon? Or Blackguard – pronounced blag ard – as if the language wasn’t suffering enough with the loss of Zounds But the book makes it clear that her conversion is due to Haddo’s black magic You see I’d not have had it so I would have left that unclear – I’d have played with the desire of innocent young women to be debauched under the power of mystical men much But I guess the book is also a product of its time and for a ‘lady’ to make such a descent well black magic is the only possible explanationBut how much psychologically interesting this book could so easily have been All the same it reminds me of Of Human Bondage in another sense too – in that idea of Maugham’s that there is no hope for a balance of love Do you know that Joe Jackson song Be My Number Two? A song my daughter Maddy hates than any other “Won’t you be my number two me and number one are through There won’t be that much to do just smile when I feel blue”? Repeatedly he makes Suzie all too aware of her role as number two the person who everyone can see is in love with Arthur and who must do what she can to re unite him with his true love Oh love is a terrible and strange thingThere are problems with this novel as Maugham himself says “The style is lush and turgid not at all the sort of style I approve of now but perhaps not unsuited to the subject; and there are a great many adverbs and adjectives than I should use today”All the same there are moments when the writing is breathtaking The scene in the middle of the storm towards the end where Margaret returns is a fantastic piece of writing I mean just look at this “Without a pause between as uickly as a stone falls to the ground the din which was all about them ceased There was no gradual diminution But at one moment there was a roaring hurricane and at the next a silence so complete that it might have been the silence of death”The other piece of writing that stood out was the whole scene between Haddo and Margaret in her apartment with him basically magically seducing her The image of the burning water is etched into my memory now – though mostly the idea of him contemplating the end of the world as being in his power really stole my imagination at this point And as can be said of so much of female sexuality from this era – if not all eras – the loss of control is to be blamed elsewhere This is also true in this scene But Haddo's final words are “When you want me you will find me ” And you know what I don’t think I could get someone out of my mind who said that to me as they left eitherMargaret’s last evening with Arthur shows just how cruel passion can be Margaret’s whipping him into a sexual frenzy that can never be satisfied and the irony of this scene is fully known to the reader is a remarkable scene all the remarkable by the limits placed on Maugham’s ability to say than is ‘within the bounds of decency’ That kiss is as painful as any I've ever experienced in life So even though there were things about this book I didn’t particularly like and things I’d have done differently – I really did enjoy it and thought the bits that were good were very very good

  8. Anushree Rastogi Anushree Rastogi says:

    Maugham's novel The Magician is an aesthetic disaster From the fumbling realism at the beginning of the novel to the childishly Gothic fable that it turns into the book seems to lack structure design and well developed characters Maugham himself on reading the book later described it as “lush and turgid” Cluttered with adjectives the writing bordering on being kitschy does little to gloss over a story that is formulaic and shallow The plot is facile and it is no surprise that it was met with derision from literary circlesThe plot in one sentence is that this novel’s eponymous antihero Oliver Haddo bewitches the young beauty Margaret Dauncey into marrying him to avenge his public humiliation at the hands of Arthur Bourdon Margaret's fiance What Maugham seems to be doing in the magician is playing a bullying schoolboy ridiculing Aleister Crowley self publicist occulist and an acuaintance of Maugham's on whom the sordid character of Oliver Haddo is based The ostensibly fantastic story seems to draw inspiration from the spectacularly disastrous marriage of Crowley to Rose Edith Kelly who was later institutionalized for alcoholic dementia Crowley a suare and plump man slightly round in the face is caricatured into an man a with a “vast bulk and a savage sensual face”Crowley however would not let this pass What followed was a war of words Crowley wrote a critiue of the book under the pen name of Olive Haddo which was published in the Vanity Fair Magazine He would later summarize this review in his  Confessions 1929 “Maugham had taken some of the most private and personal incidents of my life my marriage my magical opinions ambitions and exploits and so on He had added a number of the many absurd legends of which I was the central figure He had patched all these together by innumerable strips of paper clipped from the books which I had told Gerald to buy I had never supposed that plagiarism could have been so varied extensive and shameless”Maugham for his part denied having read the review adding his own bit of sizzling sarcasm saying “I daresay it was a pretty piece of vituperation but probably like his poems intolerably verbose”The characters seems schmaltzy and uni dimensional The heroine Margaret is effectively a child and Arthur and Susie supervise her existence the former paying her bills and the latter choosing her clothes Margaret’s empty life and feeble character leave her hopelessly vulnerable to Haddo’s attack upon her psyche Unable to concede the fact that someone like MargaretRose would accede to HaddoCrowley's proposal of marriage out of he own free will Maugham lavishes upon him magical powers which he ruthlessly uses to make her marry him The righteous surgeon Arthur Burdon is an ambassador from our purely rational world who finds himself trapped in a novel where the supernatural is possible His staid attempts at upholding sanity in a world which seems to be caught in a Gothic vortex are pitiable He is doomed to irrationally insist upon the rational in the face of all incoming evidence We may suspect that Haddo is suandering his infernal genius upon a man who is too daft to appreciate it Susie Boyd is evolved that the rest but Maugham diagnoses her as “plain” a condition as apparently debilitating as leprosy for her own stock of enthusiasms was run lowArthur is “not handsome” and he has a “large” nose but he can compensate for this plainness with his masculine character Maugham repeatedly dwells on Haddo's obesity with appalling vapidity and insolence “she saw that in the last six months he was grown much balder; and the shiny whiteness of his naked crown contrasted oddly with the redness of his face He was stouter too and the fat hung in heavy folds under his chin; his paunch was preposterous The vivacity of his movements made his huge corpulence subtly alarming He was growing indeed strangely terrible in appearance His eyes had still that fixed parallel look but there was in them now at times a ferocious gleam”He even makes a “Yo Mama's so fat” joke in his own inimitable style Margaret visits Haddo’s mother in a lunatic asylum and finds “a woman of revolting excessive corpulence” weltering in brown flannel Crowley’s own mother was a devout evangelist and he had fallen out with her fairly early in life Singling out Crowley’s disaffection from his mother for mockery seems in some scintillantly malicious way to get to the bottom of his devilry In 1956 Maugham’s publishers reissued the novel and Maugham added an explanatory “Fragment of Autobiography” What would be truly interesting would be to read Crowley’s review alongside Maugham’s “Fragment” to know the two different sides of the story But history is written by the victors and  The Magician is today remembered as a  roman à clef about Crowley than as the starting point of a spectacularly juvenile altercation that threatened to drown Maugham's career in the infamy of plagiarism Crowley died in sualor in 1947 whilst Maugham lived on sunning himself in the south of FranceFor a book based on magic the writing is horribly lacking in any of Maugham's literary wizardry Disappointed

  9. Laura Laura says:

    Free download available at Project GutenbergAn astonishing gothic story written by Somerset MaughamLocation 122Dr Porhöet knew that a diversity of interests though it adds charm to a man´s personality tends to weaken himLocation 140One of my cherished ideas is that it is impossible to love without imaginationLocation 277She had learnt long ago that common sense intelligence good nature and strenght of character were unimportant in comparison with a pretty faceLocation 384I shall not have lived in vain if I teach you in time to realize the rapier of irony is effective an instrument than the bludgeon of insolenceLocation 480Yet magic is no than the art of employing consciously invisble means to porduce visible effects Will love and imagination are magic powers that everyone possesses; and whoever knows how to develop them to their fullest extent is a magician Magic has but one dogma namely that the seen is the measure of the unseenLocation 504You should be aware that science dealing only with the general leaves out of consideration the individual cases that contradict the enormous majorityLocation 741Man can know nothing for his senses are his only means of knowledge and they can give no certainty There is only one subject upon which the individual can speak with authority and that is his own mind but even here he is surrounded with darknessLocation 1002We should look for knowledge where we may expect tp find it and why should a man be despised who goes in search of it?Location 1053Fools and sots aim at happiness but men aim only at power The magus the sorcerer the alchemist are seized with fascination of the unknown; and they desire a greatness that is inaccessible to mankind5 The Razor's Edge5 Of Human Bondage4 The Painted Veil4 The Narrow Corner4 The Moon And Sixpence3 Liza of Lambeth3 Ashenden3 The MagicianTR Cakes and AleTR The Circle A Comedy in Three Acts

  10. Roman Clodia Roman Clodia says:

    Well this is a departure from the Somerset Maugham I’m familiar with – a Gothic fantasia set in Paris this falls neatly into two halves The first drags a bit and we’re not uite sure where the plot is going but once Oliver Haddo the eponymous magician and all round grossly repulsive figure has been insulted and sets out on a plan for revenge that also neatly provides the material for his horrible experiments the pages race by A bit Dracula with the uses made of female sexuality and the knowing Van Helsing alike occultist friend there are some extraordinary moments the esoteric ‘seduction’ scene which recalls the parade of the Romans in the underworld scene of The Aeneid or the procession in Doctor Faustus; the storm towards the end even the horrors of Haddo’s laboratory While this starts off feeling like a book which is exposing ‘black magic’ as a fraudulent act by the end it turns into something uite different Interesting rather racy in parts for a novel published in the 1900s and a definite departure from the realism of Of Human Bondage this is a Maugham who I’ve never met before

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The Magician [PDF / Epub] ☉ The Magician By W. Somerset Maugham – In Paris around 1900 Arthur and Margaret are engaged to be married Everyone approves and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves Until Oliver Haddo appears Sinister and repulsive Haddo fascinates Mar In Paris around Arthur and Margaret are engaged to be married Everyone approves and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves Until Oliver Haddo appears Sinister and repulsive Haddo fascinates Margaret's spinster friend Susie Boyd Yet it is not Susie who ultimately falls prey to his peculiar charm It is Margaret and a fate worse than death awaits her in the form of the evil Haddo The Magician is one of Somerset Maugham's most complex and perceptive novels Running through it is the theme of evil deftly woven into a story as memorable for its action as for its astonishingly vivid characters.

  • Paperback
  • 200 pages
  • The Magician
  • W. Somerset Maugham
  • English
  • 07 June 2016
  • 9780140185959

About the Author: W. Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in He spoke French even before he spoke a word of English a fact to which some critics attribute the purity of his style His parents died early and after an unhappy boyhood which he recorded poignantly in Of Human Bondage Maugham became a ualified physician But writing was his true vocation For ten years before his first success he almost l.