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The Word Warehouse

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Houdini!!!: The Career of Ehrich Weiss : American Self-Liberator, Europe's Eclipsing Sensation, World's Handcuff King & Prison Breaker - Kenneth Silverman, Laura Lindgren I remember as a kid going into a store and being fascinated by a bunch of cheap magic tricks that looked interesting but once I bought them ultimately became rather boring and hokey. Make a card jump from the deck! Amaze your friends!Speaking of cards, Houdini was the real deal. His name has become synonymous with magic, and his now famous stunts are still being performed by other magicians to this day.In this book Kenneth Silverman does a fine job of chronicling Houdini’s career and how his act evolved over time. From his early slight of hand prestidigitation to his increasingly more complex handcuff escapes, Houdini’s shows became a sensation. He would constantly play to packed houses despite hucksters selling pamphlets outside the theater prior to show time explaining how the tricks were done.Houdini would go to great lengths to achieve his objectives. He would attend a magic show in disguise and then dash on stage to prove the magician was a charlatan. Or he would have a special pair of shoes made up that left his name written on the sidewalk as the person he paid to wear them strolled around.The book does cover Houdini’s private life but almost entirely through a diary he kept. A bit more in this area would have been better. Other than that, this was a fascinating look at one of the world’s greatest performers.