the secret life of houdini

just finished: The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero

Not only is this book (by William Kalush and Larry Sloman) the most complete account of Harry Houdini’s life to date, but it is also extremely well written. Every chapter is an interesting read and the style of the book draws you in in a way that many biographies don’t. This was actually this first biography that I ever picked up on my own and finished and I was dying to read it ever since I saw it (I actually went out and bought this book, that’s how bad I wanted to read it), but I was a little hesitant because I always assumed biographies were packed full with facts and details and honestly - who is THAT interesting that you can read about so many aspects of their life and find it all fascinating? Well, Houdini. The more you read about this man, the more you fall in love. Just a warning, this book will basically kill your belief in magic (if you have one), but it’s a give and take. It will give you a good understanding and appreciation of how things go in that field of work, and will demonstrate how all of what Houdini did was possible by natural means - and really, this is almost more amazing than if he did all of his feats via “magic”. Not only do you get a feel for his career and performance, but you’re also thrown directly into his personal life and learn a lot about him, his relationships, and how he handles people, which was key to his success. And in case you needed any other reason to pick up this book, it’s stuffed full of beautiful photographs and interesting promotional ads from back in the day. What a perfect book on such a perfect man.