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

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Atria Books, Oct 31, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 604 pages
142 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  - Glenn Herdling - Goodreads

Some of the evidence for Houdini working as a US Government spy is a bit flimsy. Read full review

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

User Review  - Tim - Goodreads

Extremely interesting and entertaining. I didn't know anything about Houdini before this book and found his life to be quite fascinating. Read full review

All 45 reviews »

References to this book

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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