Spotlight on Houdini's Fabulous Magic - new edition!


Congratulations to Music, Magic, and More and Vine Leaves Press on the release of Houdini's Fabulous Magic, a new edition of the biography of one of the most intriguing and influential figures of the 20th century. 

“I have loved this book for sixty years." ~Teller of Penn & Teller

Houdini's Fabulous Magic

by Walter B. Gibson and Morris N. Young
Foreword by Gabe Fajuri​
From $5.99  

Incredible escapes, fantastic sleight-of-hand—Houdini's most challenging performances are dramatically portrayed in Houdini's Fabulous Magic. Walter Gibson, co-author, was in close touch with Harry Houdini for a number of years before his death and worked with the master magician in preparing material for the book. It is with the aid of Houdini's own scrapbooks and notes that this book was written.

The spectacular highlights of Houdini's career are described and explained, including his famous escapes...from a padlocked milk can filled with water, from locked jail cells, from a water-filled Chinese torture cell while suspended upside down, and from packing cases weighted under water. Houdini also walks through a brick wall, vanishes a 10,000-pound elephant, is buried alive, and exchanges places with his wife in a locked trunk—in three seconds!

And Houdini the man is not ignored. His impact on the world in the early years of the 20th century was enormous. He was a public hero who, in his own way, helped sweep out the cobwebs of 19th-century thinking. While doing so, he distinguished himself as a patriot, writer, collector of magic, aviator, movie idol, philanthropist, and crusader against fraudulent spiritualistic practices.

This is a technical manual for magicians, complete with illustrations and diagrams, but it is also an astute analysis of the best of Houdini's magic and a readable biography of a man who turned himself into a legend. It is a book for would-be conjurers, for professional necromancers, and for those curious about the methods and means of one of the most enchanting men of our time.

Praise for Houdini's Fabulous Magic

★★★★★ “I have loved this book for sixty years. Four pieces of the Penn & Teller repertoire were directly inspired by Houdini's Fabulous Magic.” ~Teller of Penn & Teller

About the Authors

Walter B. Gibson (1897-1985), a graduate of Colgate University, was a prolific writer, including The Shadow novels under his pen name Maxwell Grant. For a time he was Houdini's personal secretary. Following Houdini's death, the attorney for the estate permitted Walter to examine many of Houdini's private scrapbooks and notes from which Gibson wrote Houdini's Magic and Houdini's Escapes.  Houdini's scrapbooks, papers, and other documents form the background for Houdini's Fabulous Magic. Also a magician, Walter toured with and wrote for magicians such as Blackstone (Sr.), Thurston, and Raymond. He was a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the American Society for Psychical Research, the Magician's Guild of America, and the Magician's Club of London.

Morris N. Young, M.D. (1909-2002), a graduate of M.I.T., Harvard, and Columbia University, was Director of Ophthalmology at Beekman Downtown Hospital in New York City. Aside from his numerous professional memberships, he was a member of the Society of American Magicians (to which Houdini had helped him join as a young man), the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and a member of the Inner Circle of the Magic Circle (London). He was a founder of the Magic Collectors Association including their publication MAGICOL. Along with his wife, Chesley, he established the largest private holdings on memory and mnemonics which now resides at the University of San Marino. Along with his friend John McManus, in 1955 they established the McManus-Young Collections at the Library of Congress, The University of Texas, Austin, and the University of California in Berkeley. Morris' other book publications include Hobby Magic, Houdini on Magic (with Walter Gibson), Presto Prestige, Bibliography of Memory, How To Develop An Exceptional Memory (with Walter Gibson), The Complete Guide to Science Fair Competition (with John Stolzfus), and Radio Music Live (with John Stolzfus).

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