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The Magician

A Novel

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Published: 1908
Language: English
Wordcount: 76,278 / 215 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 59.5
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 7,133
Added to site: 2006.02.08 12677

Together with a Fragment of Autobiography.

Show Excerpt

stened with the delighted attention of a happy lover.'

Arthur Burdon had just arrived in Paris. He was a surgeon on the staff of St Luke's, and had come ostensibly to study the methods of the French operators; but his real object was certainly to see Margaret Dauncey. He was furnished with introductions from London surgeons of repute, and had already spent a morning at the Hôtel Dieu, where the operator, warned that his visitor was a bold and skilful surgeon, whose reputation in England was already considerable, had sought to dazzle him by feats that savoured almost of legerdemain. Though the hint of charlatanry in the Frenchman's methods had not escaped Arthur Burdon's shrewd eyes, the audacious sureness of his hand had excited his enthusiasm. During luncheon he talked of nothing else, and Dr Porhoët, drawing upon his memory, recounted the more extraordinary operations that he had witnessed in Egypt.

He had known Arthur Burdon ever since he was born, and indeed had missed being prese

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.8 from 4 reviews: ****

The first half of this book really succeeds in building up tension, but I could barely stand reading it to the end. After a while Somersets prose gets incredibly repetitive and awkward, not to mention the apocalyptic heaps of adjectives - although the figure of Haddo is in fact a fascinating one. If one is in occultish novels and victorian morality, this is definitely the pick to choose.

Richard A

Nothing homosexual or Freudian involved: this book is about Crowley's effect on women, as seen by Maugham briefly in Paris. In fact, all Crowley's 'scarlet women' behaved like this.

R Stephan

This is Freudian. It's about the author being seduced by Mr Crowley. No woman would act like this. Even Maugham himself, in the introduction, concedes it's autobiographical.

Not much in it if you're hetero.


Maugham's impression of Aleister Crowley, after he met him in Paris. Interesting stuff.



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