The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 31, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 604 pages
221 Reviews
Handcuff King. Escape Artist. International Superstar.

Since his death eighty-eight years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and bestselling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy.

The Secret Life of Houdini traces the arc of the master magician’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame—his legacy later threatened by a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend.

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An interesting insight to Houdini's life. - Goodreads
Tedious prose and some very weird style choices. - Goodreads
The pictures were the best part. - Goodreads
This is a very informative, very well-researched book. - Goodreads
The pictures were cool (and counted as a page). - Goodreads
The research is detailed and in-depth. - Goodreads

Review: The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero

User Review  - Peter Bosson - Goodreads

Even before reading this book, I was a huge fan of Harry Houdini. In fact I was a little concerned that much of the information in this book would already be known to me. My concern was unfounded as ... Read full review

Review: The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero

User Review  - Goodreads

the best book on Houdini that I've ever read, and I've read a few. A fascinating story of his amazing life, especially when he took on spiritualism and explored our ability to speak with the dead. What a great man! Read full review


starving for a living
the celebrated clairvoyants
quid pro quo
taming the bear
leap of faith
kill thy father
death visits the stage
above the down under
fighting our way to the grave
death by misadventure
art imitates life
saul among the prophets
little sister will do exactly as big brother says
margerys box
my own secret service
an eye for an eye

the emperor of sympathyenlisters
chinese water torture
there is no death

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About the author (2006)

William Kalush has been a dedicated student of the art of magic for more than twenty-five years. Founder of the Conjuring Arts Research Center and publisher of Gibecière, an esteemed magic history journal, he has helped create several world-famous magic stunts and prime-time network television specials.

Larry “Ratso” Sloman is best known as Howard Stern’s collaborator on what were then the two fastest selling books in publishing history, Private Parts and Miss America. Sloman’s recent collaborations include Mysterious Stranger, with magician David Blaine, and Scar Tissue, the memoir of Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis—both books were New York Times bestsellers.

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