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Download The Magician Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Magician Audiobook, by W. Somerset Maugham Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,049 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: W. Somerset Maugham Narrator: James Adams Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9781470809287
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From one of literature’s finest storytellers comes an enchanting tale of secrets, the supernatural—and fatal attraction.

Renowned English surgeon Arthur Burdon is engaged to the beautiful Margaret Dauncey, who is studying art in Paris. The match is met with approval from all sides, and everyone is happy—until the mysterious Oliver Haddo enters the picture. Both Arthur and his fiancée dislike the enormously fat and eccentric Oliver but are fascinated by his stories of black magic, by his demonstrations of a power that seems inhuman. And while they scoff at his boasts, their dislike turns to loathing.

A month later, Margaret disappears. The note she leaves behind begins: “When you receive this, I shall be on my way to London. I was married to Oliver Haddo this morning.” Why? How? What mysterious power had the Magician used? What further revenge might he be plotting? The answers are revealed in this hair-raising fantasy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Maugham tells his tale of the weird and the horrible with simple sincerity and a constant matching of the unhallowed practices with the clean, sweet things of common life that make its effect uncommonly impressive.”

    New York Times

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annie | 2/19/2014

    " I thought this book was moderately engaging, especially since the magician in question is loosely based on Alester Crowley, whom the author knew and disliked. However, it started to seem very predictable and I lost interest entirely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/19/2014

    " This was so worth reading, flawed as it is, in order to get a glimpse into a historic moment when neo-Jeckyll-Hyde-ish sciencey ghost stories were so popular that a writer wishing to "sell out" would choose the Victorian culture surrounding the idea one can manipulate soul/spirit/science for genre/setting. S Maugham does a fine job impersonating any genre, even if it's not the one he writes in most authentically. Also to see Maugham's span, between this v early book and, say, Razor's Edge, is to witness someone whose life and writing style has bridged Victorianism and Modernism. Kind of a tour de force. So, Maugham here is playing with magic (in the intro he admits he's doing so because it's a popular genre). The plot is based on A Crowley's life and persona. THe narration is skeptical but also, as was the popular opinion at that moment, open to the idea that hosts and supernuminous events could actually exist/occur. It's spooky weird and a little kitsch, but very skilled and a bit ironic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali | 2/8/2014

    " This is certainly a novel worth persevering with. The beginning is dare I say dull, and for a little while it drags, but then suddenly it develops into a truly gripping read. The awfully sinister Oliver Haddo is a sly practitioner of the occult, who appears to use his skill to ruin the lives of a couple of good and innocent souls. An excellent read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil Mc | 2/1/2014

    " Maugham's study of virtue perverted is as horrific, mesmerising and compelling as the eponymous magician himself. The, at times, heavy handed imagery does nothing to detract from a thoroughly enjoyable piece of traditional gothic fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick Kelly | 1/30/2014

    " Maugham apparently met Aleister Crowley, black magician, in a cafe and hated him so much that he decided to craft an antagonist and an entire novel around him. Thus, he came up with Haddo in The Magician, who uses dark magic to try to steal away the beautiful Margaret from her fiance Arthur. Haddo is described as disgusting in character and in visage. I loved his description of Haddo and how he incorporated his absolute hate for Crowley into the character. I think this serves as a great example of how a writer can channel his adoration or hatred for another real person into a fictitious character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 1/19/2014

    " Not one of Maugham's best, but an interesting late Victorian view of evil of the Aleister Crowley type. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Aubart | 12/12/2013

    " Still pretty cool (a 3.5 really, but couldn't give it a 4), but other Maughm books are better... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Madelyn | 12/9/2013

    " I borrowed this book from Nick, who bought it at a second-hand bookstore in Rome, and I read it in Naples... This all made the book far more attractive. But it was still a very enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicatte | 11/30/2013

    " Although I liked it, I can't recommend it because it didn't start rocking until more than halfway through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meghan | 11/27/2013

    " Interesting story...you can tell that it's one of Maugham's earlier books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 11/24/2013

    " I cannot get over the prose. I found myself literally gasping, crying, and screaming at my Kindle all through this one. Had Maugham written for me, he could've destroyed my life, too. So exciting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tosh | 10/25/2013

    " Jimmy Page and Kenneth Anger fans beware! The main character is based on Alistair Crowley, the mad (and media smart) magik guru of the early Twenties and thirties. British to the core and fascinating! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 9/10/2013

    " excellent story. such good writing. and mystery all around. what fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Syco | 7/8/2013

    " W. Somerset Maugham is consistently one of the most fascinating writers I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 6/22/2013

    " A bit slow\hard to get into, but worth it in the end. Well crafted. I learned a few new words too! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K.B. Hallman | 11/29/2012

    " Brilliantly done, and I would have given it 5 stars if the end didn't feel so abrupt. As I was reading, it came to me that if this were a movie, I'd cast Oliver Platt as Haddo. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 10/2/2012

    " I adored this book. I could visualize every scene and when you realize that Maugham had actually lived with Aleister Crowley it makes the book even more terrifying. The scene toward the end of the book with the hommunculi was completely prescient. It perfectly predicted our fears of human clones. "

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About the Author
Author W. Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) was born in Paris, the son of a British embassy official, and grew up in England. He studied medicine and officially qualified as a doctor before turning to writing. One of the twentieth century’s most popular novelists as well as a celebrated playwright, critic, and short-story writer, he also served as a secret agent for the British during World War I.

About the Narrator

James Adams is one of the world’s leading authorities on terrorism and intelligence, and for more than twenty-five years he has specialized in national security. He is also the author of fourteen bestselling books on warfare, with a particular emphasis on covert warfare. A former managing editor of the London Sunday Times and CEO of United Press International, he trained as a journalist in England, where he graduated first in the country. Now living in Southern Oregon, he has narrated numerous audiobooks and earned an AudioFile Earphones Award and two coveted Audie Award for best narration.