I was surprised to find that there is actually a book that explains how Houdini did many of his most famous tricks. I mean, I still couldn’t pull many of them off but I’m sure some of you could!
I knew this book was a reprint. I did some poking around and found a copy with a different cover from as early as 1961. Why on earth reprint a book from 1961 instead of writing a new one?
Because this book has it all. It is a history of magic and of Houdini’s act. In addition to information about Houdini himself, it breaks down many of his magic tricks. It is, as Gabe Fajuri who wrote the forward said, a bit of Houdiniana. Think about it. Houdini is so elemental to magic that there’s a word for all things Houdini.
But authors Gibson and Young didn’t stop at a discussion of how Houdini got out of handcuffs and locked prison cells. They also discussed how other magicians did similar things and why Houdini chose to do things just a little differently.
Between the text, the photos and the diagrams, this book is a primer of Houdini magic. Of course, knowing how Houdini did it doesn’t make replicating his act easy. Houdini was also a talented showman. Once the crowd grew accustomed to handcuff escapes, he instituted wearing numerous cuffs, being placed in a mail bag, dropped off a bridge into water, and more.
There were also copycats. Sometimes Houdini dealt with them, using legal injunctions to halt duplication of his work. But other times? He let things slide. In part that was because Hardeen was none other than Houdini’s brother and would sometimes help Houdini out when he couldn’t make a gig.
Whether you are a magic lover or are using magic in one of your books, this book is a compelling read. It is history, biography and a magical how-to rolled into one volume.
Be sure to visit additional stops on this blog tour to find out more about this book!