In Paris around 1900, Arthur and Margaret are engaged to be married. Everyone approves and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Until Oliver Haddo appears. Sinister and repulsive, Haddo fascinates Margaret's spinster friend, Susie Boyd. Yet it is not Susie who ultimately falls prey to his peculiar charm. It is Margaret, and a fate worse than death awaits her in the form of the evil Haddo. "The Magician" is one of Somerset Maugham's most complex and perceptive novels. Running through it is the theme of evil, deftly woven into a story as memorable for its action as for its astonishingly vivid characters.