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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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This book, first published inis a review of the investigations of escape artist Harry Houdini into the different strands of spiritualism current in the late 19th and early 20th century. He had a sense of honor about fakery – he was honest that his magic was illusory, and he despised those who foisted off illusion as truth.

And I note that he never did quite lose hope that it was possible to communicate with the dead. A accomplished stage magician, Houdini is aware of the many dodges possible to a skilled performer, and debunks the alleged supernatural explanation of those whom he investigates.

Houdini A Magician Among the Spiri

Shop with confidence thanks to our Price Matching Policy. Though the book was written largely as a manual to disarm and dissemble the con artists that were preying on people in his day, the two things that showed through his writing which was at times humorously sarcastic and at other times deliberate was his immense breadth of spirkts of magic tricks and his pure and genuine love of people.

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. The whole country Harry Houdini and his exposure of the fraud spiritualist, spirit photography, spirit spiruts writing, ectoplasm, clairvoyance, and other quackery and cons perpetrated on the gullible, by the likes of the Boston Medium Margery, the Davenport Brothers, Annie Eva Fay, the Fox Sisters, Daniel Dunglas Home, Eusapia Pallandino, and other con artists of their ilk.

Magic Tricks

He was however, a capable investigator and it is saddening that sense has not prevailed and these disgusting examples of humanity continue to profit from tricking the credulous and bereaved. Subscriptions Top Inventors 1. Refresh and try again. Some sections, such as some of the stuff on slate writing, rappings, and spiritual photography, did run a bit long for me but there are so many other worthwhile historical tidbits Houdini offers up that I would definitely recommend this to any fans of paranormal or even sideshow history.


Read our privacy policy. A wonderful example of what a w nonfiction book should be. One group of people Houdini alienated by these attacks on the spiritualists was other professional magicians, who had always felt that Houdini was something of an arrogant braggart–and who resented professional amonv being aired so publicly. We’re proud to let you read our mail. He wrote with dignity, with a sort of deadpan humour, but also with earnest and vulnerability. magicina

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Houdini’s take on the spiritualist movement during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Julie rated it it was amazing Jun 13, Account Options Sign in. Suit Cut to Orde.

Selected pages Title Page. Amber rated it it was amazing Oct 05, The End by Rick.

A Magician Among The Spirits

If ever there was a doubt in my mind that Spiritualism might be real- this book dispersed it. This page oversized book is adorned with the same sepia-toned rare photograph of Houdini that accompanies the manuscript. Little Door by R. Jan 19, Barry Haworth rated it it was amazing Shelves: It was largely this book that led to a fatal quarrel between Houdini and his longtime friend Arthur Conan Doyle which ended up ending their friendship.

Though the book was written largely as a manual to disarm and dissemble the con artists that were p 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.

A Magician Among the Spirits by Harry Houdini

You can spend it on anything you like at Penguin, just like cash. I always did feel sorry for Houdini, at least partly because of his genuine love for and guilt toward his mother.


Houdini is really cool. In fact, quite a few of the era’s great scientific and literary minds fell prey to the hope that these mediums could put them in contact with friends and family who had passed over. One or two interesting sections, but this is pretty dated. 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.

I was surprised to discover that they were even friends, let alone had a bit of a falling out over the topic of Spiritualism! Jul 07, Brandon rated it really liked it. Myra rated it liked it Jun 30, One thing I did particularly like about this book were all the photographs of Houdini with the mediums and other Spiritualists he got to know during this project. I read it for research.

The only real flaw I could find with the book is that An excellent review of the trick and deceptions mwgician on Spiritualism. It really opened my eyes and greatly educated me on this amongg, as well as touching my heart. 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.

This book is interesting to anybody that considers psychics to be royal scumbags, and you should and funny I really enjoyed how sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried to convince Houdini that Houdini had real powers while Xpirits kept insisting that all he was doing was performing some trick for anybody curious about the specific topic.

Because I didn’t want to finish it and give it back. The only thing that holds this book back is its age.