In 1916, the war in Europe having prevented a tour abroad, Harry Houdini wrote a film treatment for a rollicking motion picture. Though the movie was never made, its title, "The Marvelous Adventures of Houdini: The Justly Celebrated Elusive American," provides a succinct summary of the Master Mystifier's life.
Born Erik Weisz in Budapest in 1874, Houdini grew up an impoverished Jewish immigrant in the Midwest and became world-famous thanks to talent, industry, and ferocious determination. He concealed as a matter of temperament and professional ethics the secrets of his sensational success. Nobody knows how Houdini performed some of his dazzling, death-defying tricks, and nobody knows, finally, why he felt compelled to punish and imprison himself over and over again. Tracking the restless Houdini's wide-ranging exploits, acclaimed biographer Adam Begley tells the story of a mystifying man's astonishing career.
|Publisher:||Tantor Media, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Adam Begley is the author of Updike and The Great Nadar. He was a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography, and for many years the books editor of the New York Observer.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Chinese Water Torture Cell 1
1 A Father's Legacy 4
2 From Dime Museums to Vaudeville 15
3 The Handcuff King Conquers Europe 42
4 Return of the Hero 64
5 Aloft Down Under 84
6 The Great Dissolution 92
7 Making Movies 113
8 Among the Spirits 131
9 Sucker Punch 173
10 Ever After 184
A Note on Sources 195
List of Illustrations 199