Books: Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini

>> Saturday, August 19, 2006

This is a gorgeous first edition: oversized, full of pictures, and illustrated with a flourish. Escape! is a realistic and at the same time very personal look into the life of Harry Houdini by Sid Fleischman, who spent his youth persuing stage magic and emulating the King of Handcuffs. Fleischman even knew Bess Houdini, the magician's widow, when they both lived in California. Fleischman writes like he talks; if you've met the man and heard his speech patterns, the book is easier to follow, but at times I thought his idiosyncratic style could have used a bit of editing. He certainly enjoys his subject though, and his enthusiasm is infectious. A great introduction to a charismatic and enigmatic Harry Houdini.


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