Secrets Of Houdini (J. C. Cannell)


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This is a pre-owned book. Dover first edition; 1973; soft covers; 279 pages plus 15 additional Dover advertisement pages at the rear; covers have a few creases but are clean and sharp looking.

World-famous illusionist, master deluder, showman; Harry Houdini (alias of Ehrich Weiss) is one of the most legendary figures of the modern stage, and probably the most controversial and misunderstood magician of all times. So fantastic were his tricks that many thought him to be supernatural, a mystic, and an amazing spiritualist. Exposing his closely kept professional secrets, and revealing in general terms the whole art of stage magic, this book is now considered a classic study ‘of Houdini’s strange deceptions.

J. Cannell, professional magician, friend, and colleague of Houdini in the Magician’s Club, was the first to explain rationally how Houdini achieved his tricks. These include the famous challenges to death, escapes from bank vaults and from a Russian prison van lined with zinc, walking through brick walls, escapes from crates under water, disappearing ladies, women floating in mid-air, vanishing elephants, ghostly manifestations, seances, card tricks, rope tricks, mind reading, spirit messages, and miracles. All of these and much more are discussed in clear, simple language, and for better understanding, the author has included numerous line drawings of Houdini’s ingenious escape devices, with diagrams of the more complicated tricks. Twenty-four new photographs have been added to the twenty-three in the original edition, illustrating scenes from the magician’s life as we!l as his performances.

When this book was published shortly after Houdini’s death in 1926, it caused such a controversy that many people refused to believe the author. Yet if you are interested in magic, the stage, or the fabulous life of Harry Houdini, you are certain to find this book a fascinating experience.

Perhaps the only way to really understand Houdini is to read this book and judge for yourself. Don’t be surprised if the author keeps you glued to each page as you follow step by step some of the most incredible stunts of  the century!                                                                  ‘             ‘