A Magician Among the Spirits by Harry Houdini Effect The Original Manuscript, from the Christopher Collection – In , Houdini’s prized effort, A Magician. Cambridge Core – History of Ideas and Intellectual History – A Magician among the Spirits – by Harry Houdini. A MAGICIAN. AMONG THE SPIRITS. BY. HOUDINI. Illustrated. Publishers. HARPER & BROTHERS. New York and London. MCMXXIV.

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The premise is accurate—they really were friends but were in complete disagreement about the authenticity of mediums. A photo at the front records a meeting between Houdini and Doyle and Houdini gives Doyle his own chapter. I learned a lot from it Harry Houdiniwhose real name was Erik Weisz, was one of the most famous magicians and escapologists of all time. Another reviewer remarked that it was not technical but oddly emotional.

Anyone interested in this topic should read what Houdini had to say. This book took me a long time to read, but not because I didn’t love it.

Paperbackpages. A wonderful example of what a good nonfiction book should be. The second half really picks up as he goes into detail on the specific tools that are used by psychics.

Magic Tricks

Another group were people like Doyle, who desperately wanted to believe that the dead were not lost forever. It is an insight to the most awful parts of human nature Houdini opened his mind to Spiritualism in hopes of communicating with his deceased mother, but with his background in magic, knew that nothing that was being offered by the mediums was anything more than parlor tricks.

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Jan 14, Ken Wyne rated it really liked it. You can spend it on anything you like at Penguin, just like cash. In the instances where mediums were taken to court on charges of fraud, oftentimes there would be only light penalties put upon them even when it was PROVEN they had duped clients out of money. Other books in youdini series.

Houdini is really cool. Interesting read for anyone interested in history of “Spiritualism”.

The Other Brothers He careened through the country, offering money for spirit contacts he couldn’t duplicate by admitted magical chicanery. Interesting from an historical perspective. There’s also the story of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning — Elizabeth initially became quite taken with the movement, but after one particularly off reading came away feeling very much duped houdinj dismayed.

A Magician Among the Spirits by Harry Houdini

After the article, Houdini responds with a verbal “this is what was really going on” peek behind the curtain of his shows. Apr 10, B Kevin rated it it was ok Shelves: Want to Read saving…. He did not delude himself or otherwise lie. Read our privacy policy. While I was expecting more technical explication, Houdini presents his extensive research on the then epidemic wave of Spiritualism in a logical, forthright, and pleasant manner.


Whether you believe in communication with the dead or not, you’ll enjoy reading of the many ways fake mediums created the impression that they add direct access to the spirits. In essence, it’s not that people are kidding themselves necessarily, or willfully in denial. A wonderful, wonderful book. The whole country got excited by Houdini’s campaign against faking spiritualists.

One pretty funny example he gives is a reprint of an article someone wrote about one of his performances, claiming that Houdini couldn’t possibly be human to pull off the feats he did. In this book, originally published inHoudini discusses the project he carried out, spending the year of sitting in on over seances, hoping for anything definitely otherworldly.

Houidini says he himself had arrangements with 14 different people, including his wife and his personal secretary, to give the agreed upon sign handshake or code word if any of them should pass.