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Summary

Set in the bohemian café society of Paris at the turn of the nineteenth century, Maugham's exploration of hypnotism and the occult was inspired by the sinister black magician Aleister Crowley. At the start of this compulsive gothic horror story, Arthur and his beautiful, innocent fiancée Margaret look forward to an idyllic life together, until they encounter the mesmerising and repulsive Oliver Haddo...

©2012 W Somerset Maugham (P)2012 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

“You will acknowledge Maugham as the Master” (New Statesman)
"[Maugham is] a great artist . . . a genius." (Theodore Dreiser)

What listeners say about The Magician

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dr
  • 21-02-13

Great narration, beautiful language

I was immediately hooked- partly because of the descriptive prose and partly because of the wonderful narration. David Rintoul's narration was so beautiful that I could have listened to the whole book just to hear him speak. He certainly did justice to the grandiose language and tone of the book.

The plot, though not boring, was not as solid as it could have been. The idea behind the story is brilliant and went on quite well until the last part of the book. The climax fell flat and was a total let down. That still did not diminish the curiosity the story arouses and the beauty of the narration.

Now I am going to look for other books narrated by David Rintoul.

3 people found this helpful

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Thrilling period piece

In the introduction Somerset Maugham reflects on this novel from his early years - freely admitting that it is a little laboured - but also saying how he was gripped when he re-read it many years later. I would wholeheartedly agree: there are elements of the melodrama & some patches are a little dated & overwritten and stylistically stodgy - but it's also hugely atmospheric and quite a thriller toward the end. A good tale - in its day it must have been quite a shocker.

The reading by David Rintoul is absolutely fantastic - giving a huge dramatic depth to the narrative....

I shall now explore some other recordings of WSM's work.....

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Maugham struggles with the Gothic

Less successful than his works focussing on decaying imperial grandeur, the introduction is nevertheless fascinating.

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  • Natalia Pilipenko
  • 29-09-17

A wonderful narrator David Rintoul

I don't know why there are no either reviews or ratings, the David Rintoul's performance is just great. I have been fully involved into the story with his voice and performance, and while listening to the book, especially last chapters, I was not able to do any routines (as I usually do) but staring in front of me and eagerly waiting for the next word. As I am an English language learner, I had bought a hard copy of the novel to accompany, but have not even opened the book, so understandable and perfect the David's narration is.