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Modern English Literature
Reader’s level – Upper-Intermediate
The Magician is a novel by British author W. Somerset Maugham, originally published in 1908. In this tale, the magician Oliver Haddo, a caricature of Aleister Crowley, attempts to create life. Crowley wrote a critique of this book under the pen name Oliver Haddo, where he accused Maugham of plagiarism. Maugham wrote The Magician in London, after he had spent some time living in Paris, where he met Aleister Crowley. Running through it is the theme of evil, deftly woven into a story as memorable for its action as for its astonishingly vivid characters. The novel inspired a film of the same name directed in 1926 by Rex Ingram.