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Henrietta NY / Chicago Ill
220 Posts

Profile of jlareau
When I was a kid I found a book at my school library about Houdini. I was really surprised to find a book like that in a grade school. It was definitely not 'light' or 'easy' reading for a fourth grader. It was about 500-800(?) pages of detailed descriptions on how his escape apparatus' worked, including schematics, cutaways, and materials. It also included a lot of history and other gems about him and his other work, like his card routines. I must have checked that book out over 10 times in one school year. It was one of the few books that REALLY got me interested in magic as a kid.

For nostalgia reasons, over the last few years I have been trying to find a copy of that book, and I can't! I remember the title "Houdini" was arced across the top of the dust jacket in gold letters with a picture of him doing the milk can escape underneath (I believe it was one of his show posters). I don't remember who it was by or if there was a subtitle. From my vaugue recollection I would guess that it was published around the 40's-50's.

Does anybody know any information about this book? I have checked every local library, book listing, and even the Houdini museum's website and I cannot find it. The library that I originally got it from doesn't carry or have a record of it any more. (It was well over ten years ago.) I would really like to get my hands on a copy of that book.

If anyone has any information please PM or E-mail me.

Jonathan Lareau A.K.A "Jonny Card Trick"
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

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Peoria Arizona, USA
378 Posts

Profile of m.ruetz
If I were to take a guess it might be "Houdini's Escapes and Magic" by Walter Gibson. It was published in 1930 but has been reprinted. It's thick but only slightly over 300 pages. This is a great book! I may have another copy somewhere if you still need one...
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I think I have about
1808 Posts

Profile of Rennie
I have to agree with Matt, the book is still available and is very informative. However there has been numerous books written about Houdini and they are pretty repititious so most anyone would give you the info you seek.
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Snohomish, Washington
529 Posts

Profile of irossall
Walter Gibson was a close friend of Houdini, so I would think that any book by Gibson would be a good bet.
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Ty Argo
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Columbus, Ohio
525 Posts

Profile of Ty Argo
This page has many Houdini books, including "Houdini's Escapes and Magic" by Walter B. Gibson. It is about one third to halfway down the page.
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958 Posts

Profile of Carron

The book on Houdini you are looking for is called "Death and the Magician" by Raymund Fitzsimons. If you go to a bookstore and quote this ISBN number you should be able to get a copy: ISBN-0 241 10384 3

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SW Ohio, USA
1555 Posts

Profile of Dr_Stephen_Midnight
It was also published as "Houdini's Fabulous Magic."

Note: the book was split into two paperbacks: "Houdini's Magic" and "Houdini's escapes" around the late 1970s.

The escapes comprise the better information, but several effects were based on Houdini's notes and were thus mere speculation. Some of the ideas, while looking feasable, had problems due to basic facts of mechanics and physics.

Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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