The Magician (1909) is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Controversial for its portrayal of infidelity and occult ritual, The Magician was instrumental in establishing Maugham’s reputation as a leading author of the late Victorian era. Inspired by stories of Aleister Crowley, an influential occultist and magician, Maugham crafted a masterpiece of fantasy fiction that would inspire Crowley himself to write a hit piece for Vanity Fair erroneously accusing the novelist of plagiarism. Arthur Burdon has everything he could ever want. A successful career as a surgeon, financial stability, a beautiful young fiancée—everything. On a trip to Paris to visit Margaret, who is studying to be an artist, he meets a man named Oliver Haddo, a magician and acquaintance of Burdon’s teacher Dr. Porhoët. Although Arthur, his fiancée, and their friends are initially impressed with Haddo’s magic tricks, things soon take a strange turn when Margaret elopes with the mysterious magician. Distraught, Arthur retreats from life to dedicate himself to his work at the hospital. When Oliver and Margaret show up at a party in London, however, Arthur becomes convinced that his ex-lover is being held against her will. The Magician is a sinister tale of desire, disappointment, and the occult by a master stylist with a keen sense of the complications inherent to human nature. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of W. Somerset Maugham’s The Magician is a classic work of British literature reimagined for modern readers.
“A smart, deep, black magic carnie noir existential bloodbath” from the acclaimed author of Boon (Gemma Files, Shirley Jackson Award–winning author). In the shadow of World War II, the barren, dusty streets of Litchfield, Arkansas, are even quieter than usual, leaving hotel detective George “Jojo” Walker with too much time to struggle with his own personal demons. But everything changes when a traveling picture show comes to town. The film’s purveyors check into the hotel where Jojo works and set up a special midnight screening at the local theater. The curtain rises on a surreal carnival of dark magic and waking nightmares, starring Jojo and the residents of Litchfield, as madness, murder, and mayhem threaten to engulf them all . . . “A stunner of a story . . . Flat-out brilliant . . . Unfolds like petals of an exotic and scandalous black flower—each one gently opening to give the reader a distressing revelation . . . Powerful ideas, wrapped in a dark mantle of horror.” —My Haunted Library “If you like pulpy noir with a dose of existentialism mixed with some utterly bizarre horror, this book is for you.” —Fangoria “Genre mash-ups like this one are difficult to execute, but Kurtz navigates it deftly, with writing so visceral and evocative it feels less like reading a book and more like watching a film in real time.” —Literary Hub “While it echoes with the shadowy threatening of Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and the religious dread of Hjortsberg’s Falling Angel, the clearest voice here is Kurtz’s own cry into the existential abyss.” —Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain Home
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