After years of struggling on the dime-museum circuit, Harry Houdini got a break that thrust him into the spotlight, performing for royalty and commanding vast sums. At a time when spy agencies frequently co-opted amateurs, Houdini went to London and developed a relationship with a man who would run MI-5; for the next several years, he traveled to Germany and Russia and routinely reported his findings. After World War I, Houdini set out to infiltrate and expose the seamy world of fake spirit mediums, triggering the wrath of a group of fanatical spiritualists led by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Death threats became an everyday occurrence, but the group would pose an even greater danger to Houdini's legacy.
As exciting as any good thriller, The Secret Life of Houdini traces the arc of the master magician's life from desperate poverty to worldwide legend and initiates the listener into the arcane world of professional magic.
©2006 Light and Heavy, Inc. All rights reserved; (P)2006 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.
William Kalush and Larry "Ratso" Sloman are two of the best non-fiction writers in the business. The written version of this book is outstanding. Unfortunatley the abridged audio version is not. In the future the publishers would be well served to release the written book and release the audio version when it is fully ready. This appears to be a hurried, not well thought out production.
The audio editor left out some of the most compelling interesting parts of Mr. Houdini's life and does nothing more than recount Mr. Houdini's public performances. This makes the audio version seem repetitive and monontous.
Too bad, very disappointing. I recommend waiting for the unabridged audio version or to read the written word.
Really interesting. So much I didn't know about him
His battle with Sir Conan Dooyle
His story about flying a plane in Australia
A friend of mine recommended this book to me and it turned out to be awesome. especially the part about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the author of Sherlock Holmes towards the end there certainly some sides of your day of the Houdini story probably never heard
I have been a longstanding Houdini fan. in fact, Houdini is my nick name since childhood. I was so influenced by him that I took up magic. Although I have read countless books on Houdini, I enjoyed this one. I especially like the information about the friendship and later rivalry with Conan Doyle. I also like the detailed explanation on Houdini's demise. People constantly argue that he died performing an illusion, or burst appendix or peritonitis.
I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot about Houdini that I didn't know. But this was an abridged book and I felt there were some things left out or overly summarized. I'll check out the unabridged version from the library.
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