Joe Posnanski: The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini



Paths on your ownJoe Posnanski seems to have spoken to all the most renowned Houdini experts and toured all the relevant museums and sites He has even had a tour of David Cooperfield s personal museum guided by the man himself No stone has been unturned and no avenue unexplored in the making of this bookI feel I should clarify that The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini is still very much about Houdini however I had worried before starting it that this would simply be a list of modern magicians careers with Houdini being used only as a loose connector This is not that We do hear about what prompted other magicians love of magic but not for long and it very much isn t the focus It s about their feelings towards Houdini which are then linked back to Houdini s personality choices or famous stuntsIt never got repetitive and was so much than just a list of modern magician s uotes about the man I also appreciate that despite the author freely admitting he loves Harry Houdini his flaws and shortcomings are also explored at least somewhat objectively Apparently Houdini was actually fairly. Nsformed by the power of Houdini In rural Pennsylvania a thirteen year old girl finds the courage to leave a violent home after learning that Houdini ran away to join the circus; she eventually becomes the first female magician to saw a man in half on television In Australia an eight year old boy with a learning impediment feels worthless until he sees an old poster of Houdini advertising Nothing on earth can hold Houdini prisoner and begins his path to becoming that nations most popular magician In California an actor and Vietnam War veteran finds purpose in his life by uncovering the secrets of his hero But the uniue phenomenon of Houdini.

Crap at card magic for example despite lauding himself as the King of CardsIn short I probably wouldn t recommend this as your first foray into Houdini but I would pick it up as your second It will debunk some of the prevalent Houdini myths you may have heard whilst also providing a fascinating insight into Houdini s legacy both mainstream and magical Written by a sportswriter Decent read I have this book in print and audiobook Our family 2 adults one teen agree on at least one thing the art and sell of magicillusion is timeless and enthralling Joe Posnanski can tell a story and in this book he tells not one but many stories wound around the enduring legacy of Houdini the stories are from Houdinis start to modern artistss They are relatable entertaining inspiring and aspirational The audiobook is a great all ages road trip listen college trips for us reminding us of the fantastic magical illusionist shows we ve enjoyed over the years The hardback is for me I don t like waiting until the next day to find out what happens It s a great book to share with any magicart of illusion fa. Was always than his death defying stunts or his ability to escape handcuffs and straitjackets It is also about the power of imagination and self invention His incredible transformation from Ehrich Weiss humble Hungarian immigrant and rabbis son into the self named Harry Houdini has won him a slice of immortality No one has withstood the test of time uite like Houdini Fueled by Posnanskis personal obsession with the magicianand magic itself The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini is a poignant odyssey of discovery blending biography memoir and first person reporting to trace Houdinis metamorphosis into an iconic figure who has inspired millio.

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Purchased as a present and the recipient loved it This isn t the first non fiction book about Harry Houdini I ve read I ve also picked up both The Secret Life of Houdini and Houdini and Conan Doyle Luckily each book approaches Harry Houdini from a different angle so I still feel like I ve learned something every timeThe Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini probably isn t the best place to start when you re first starting out learning about Houdini I d recommend The Secret Life for that However once that base nowledge is in place this is a really interesting look at what Houdini meant to people generally as well as the many specific magicians whose original inspiration came from the iconic escapologistI always appreciate when non fiction books talk to you about how they conducted their research the people they talk to the author s first impressions of them the books they couldn t get hold of the museums they toured etc It seems to connect you to the subject matter as though you re journeying along with the author and provides a jumping off point if you wanted to explore different. Joe Posnanski enters the colorful world of Harry Houdini and his legions of devoted fans to explore the illusionists impact on global cultureand why his legacy endures to this day Nearly a century after Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 he feels as modern and alive as ever The name Houdini still leaps to mind whenever we witness a daring escape The baby who frees herself from her crib Houdini The dog who vanishes and reappears in the neighbors garden Houdini Every generation produces new disciples of the magician from household names in magic like David Copperfield and David Blaine to countless other followers whose lives have been tra.

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