Mini-Review: The Secret Life of Houdini

Harry Houdini, A man who was a legend in his own lifetime. Books have been written by and about him. Documentaries and less-fact oriented material has been made about or included him almost since the early part of the last century. What more can be said about him?


This book details the life of one Herich Weiss, better known as Harry Houdini, from birth to death and covering as many points between as possible. His faults are exposed, as are his acts of kindness and devotion. Of particular interest, at least to me, is his apparent crusade against Robert-Houdin, whom had inspired him to take magic as a vocation, as well as the latter segments dealing with his crusades against Spiritualism.

We get glimpses into Houdini's other activities, such as his assisting the Secret Service, helping train men going overseas during World War 1, and a few other things besides. Not all of it is pretty and what wasn't new to me in this book meshed with what I’d found through other sources.

While this isn't an in-depth review, or even something that pretends to be one, out of what I’d picked up this past week i have to recommend this volume to anyone with even a passing interest in Houdini, the times he lived in, Spiritualism, or even interest in the early twentieth century.

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