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Download The Magician Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Magician, 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 Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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