➵ [Reading] ➷ The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini By Joe Posnanski ➪ – Moncler2018.co

I must admit I was a bit hesitant to read this book considering the author s profile and previous books written I was happily mistaken I have been a Houdini fan for over 40 years.I have read most of the books mentioned in this book, and seen almost all of the movies, films and TV shows mentioned.I still found interesting insightful information in book.I would recommend it to anyone with any interest level in Houdini to read Thoroughly enjoyable This year I have been focusing on reading books with strong womxn on womxn content In order to reinvigorate the eroticism of the books that I want to read, I decided to mix it up and read something with strong male ego vibes This book was O.K One unexpected and memorable stand out is reading about Dorothy Dietrich, a feminist magician who was the first person to saw a man in half in her magic act on television Also, there are at least four typos in the first edition text XOX EZ Award Winning Journalist And New York Times Bestselling Author Joe Posnanski Enters The World Of Harry Houdini And His Legions Of Devoted Fans In An Immersive, Entertaining, And Magical Work On The Illusionist S Impact On American Culture And Why His Legacy Endures To This DayHarry Houdini Say His Name And A Number Of Things Come To Mind Escapes Illusions Magic Chains Safes Live Burials Close To A Century After His Death, Nearly Every Person In America Knows His Name From A Young Age, Capturing Their Imaginations With His Death Defying Stunts And Daring Acts He Inspired Countless People, From All Walks Of Life, To Find Something Magical Within ThemselvesThis Is A Book About A Man And His Extraordinary Life, But It Is Also About The People Who He Has Inspired In Death As Joe Posnanski Delves Into The Deepest Corners Of Houdini Land, Visiting Museums One Owned By David Copperfield , Attractions, And Private Archives, He Encounters A Cast Of Unforgettable And Fascinating Characters A Woman Who Runs Away From Home To Chase Her Dream Of Becoming A Magician An Italian Who Revives Houdini S Most Famous Illusion Every Night A Performer At The Magic Castle In Los Angeles Who Calls Himself Houdini S Ghost A Young Boy In Australia Who, One Day, Sees An Old Poster And Feels His Life Change And A Man In Los Angeles Whose Sole Mission Is Life Has Been To Keep The Legend S Name AliveBoth A Personal Obsession And An Odyssey Of Discovery, Posnanski Draws Inspiration From His Lifelong Passion For And Obsession With Magic, Blending Biography, Memoir, And First Person Reporting To Examine Harry Houdini S Life And Legacy This Is The Ultimate Journey To Uncover Why This Magic Man Endures, And What He Still Has To Teach The World About Wonder Just finished The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini. I do not care for the books title, it does not describe the book The title implies that the book is a biography of Harry Houdini and hints that it might delve into the afterlife of Harry Houdini This is of an introduction to modern magic history for the non magician.Joe Posnanski s explores the impact that Harry Houdini made on the field of magic How did Houdini influenced magicians in his lifetime and the 100 years since Posnanski ties the key events and acts in Houdini s life with other magicians Posnanski does not argue that Houdini was a great magician quite contrary he accepts the position that he was average at best he even discusses the premise that Houdini wasn t even a magician Nevertheless, he argues that Houdini was the most influential and best known Therein lies the beauty of this book Posnanski introduces the lay reader to a number of significant magicians most of whom the magic community knows, but may have been forgotten by non magicians This is exemplified when he talks about Epic Rap Battle of History David Copperfield vs Harry Houdini Yes, there was a chapter dedicated to the rap battle, which tells you the light hearted manner in which the book was written The key take away here was that while Copperfield was the greatest and best known magician of his generation and is still performing people know the name Houdini than Copperfield This is a fun very quick read I just wish it had a different title that was descriptive of the contents. Just magnified my ignorance of Houdini There s so much myth and self promotion it s difficult to tell where the man started and where the actual character begins Informative read. I have read autobiographies I have read as told to autobiographies, where the subject will later come to claim that he has been misquoted I have read biographies, everything from respectful scholarly tomes to cheap hit jobs I have read fictionalized biographies and biographical fiction But I don t think I have read anything quite like THE LIFE AND AFTERLIFE OF HARRY HOUDINI While the book itself is perfectly, if narrowly, delightful, I hope that its particular genre doesn t catch on.Part of this is due to the passage of time Author Joe Posnanski, who has written an admirable and admiring biography of Negro League great Buck O Neil and a disastrously unlucky biography of Penn State coach Joe Paterno, which was penned as the Sandusky scandal was unfolding , understands this it s much easier to write a biography when you can talk to and interview the subject, and those who knew the subject But Houdini died in 1926, over 90 years ago, and everyone who knew him has since passed away That leaves the biographer with secondary sources Still, there are Houdini biographies that cover nearly every facet of his life and are tailored to almost every individual taste.Where the smart aleck reviewer asks, Why, then, does the world need another Houdini biography the intrepid author has hit on a solution THE LIFE AND AFTERLIFE OF HARRY HOUDINI is a biography, after a fashion, although a sketchy one Posnanski, faced with the period of Houdini s life when he invested a good deal of time debunking spiritualism, literally says that he s not interested and moves on to the next thing But the focus of the book is not so much on Houdini himself or even on the Houdini mythos, which is difficult enough to separate from reality but on the small group of people who are, in the 21st century, obsessed with Houdini.Everybody needs a hobby It is perfectly okay for someone to be interested in Houdini, and if that rises to the point of obsession, who am I to judge I do not have an obsessive nature myself certainly not when it comes to collecting things The people who Posnanski interviews and profiles in this book have that nature, and collect things, and a good part of the book is the author strolling through their collections The most comprehensive of these is that of cheesy TV magician David Copperfield, who has a literal warehouse of stuff related to Houdini specifically and magic in general The central thesis of THE LIFE AND AFTERLIFE OF HARRY HOUDINI is that Houdini has had an outsize effect on current American society far and above his contemporaries Which is not wrong, necessarily Just last weekend, I was watching the Red Zone channel, and heard two separate announcers describe quarterbacks escaping a determined pass rush as being Houdini like, this within the space of five minutes Posnanski produces several similar examples, most of which explicate the fact that TV broadcasters have a limited well of metaphor to draw from than anything else I don t think you can question the general thesis, but I seriously doubt that Houdini s legacy is quite as pervasive as Posnanski makes it out to be He states, in one passage, that you simply can t be ambivalent about Houdini I am entirely pleased to be ambivalent about him, as I am about most things except for Dr Pepper, not putting beans in chili, and the perfidy of the New York Yankees.The point I am trying to make here is this If you are obsessed with Houdini, and you spend a long time talking to people who are, it is quite possible probable, even that you are going to come to the conclusion that Houdini s legacy is a lot widespread than perhaps it actually is.THE LIFE AND AFTERLIFE OF HARRY HOUDINI does two things very effectively First, it lets Posnanski tell Houdini stories, which usually turn out to be interesting or fun This is one case where I wished I d listened to the audiobook instead Posnanski takes a great deal of glee in relating the best stories and debunking the worst ones and his excitement is infectious Secondly, he lets his interview subjects dunk on Houdini from time to time pointing out that he wasn t a great card or technical magician I do wish Posnanski had gotten to interview the late Ricky Jay, who had been critical of Houdini as well As for the rest of the book, while it s technically fine, it doesn t quite capture the imagination The epigram at the beginning is from Patrick Culliton, an actor turned Houdini obsessive, and Posnanski describes his struggles getting to talk to him or obtaining a copy of his detailed and rare Houdini biography And then, at the end, he gets to meet Culliton and the most impactful story that he has to tell is about a Florida dinner theater experience.If you re even vaguely interested in Houdini, Posnanski s book is a great deal of fun and does a lot to separate the myths from the facts But if you re primarily interested in a biography qua biography, the long divergent stretches where the author talks to Houdini obsessives will either strike you as engaging, in which case you re fine, or annoying bordering on grating, in which case you re probably in the market for a different Houdini biography.Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds A fun read by a great storyteller It s about Houdini, who I only knew of in general outlines, but better, it s an insightful book about ambition, showmanship, and the magic community.3 stars because I liked it, but I didn t really like Houdini much The book was easy to read with some entertaining characters So many people find Houdini compelling, but the closer the look, the less appealing I found his need for fame And the his acts seemed like cons. Oh man I knew nothing about Houdini before this book except for his name and that he escaped chains and water chambers, but there are so many fascinating details The man himself had such an unyielding personality and inspired true wonder in all who met him The book also reads like a fun conversation with Joe and the people he interviews Now I d really like to go to Scranton, PA to the Houdini museum. This is a magic book about magic Of course, it depends on what one calls magic We all know that the magician is hiding the truth from the audience but the good magician can hold one spellbound and make us believe This was the secret of Harry Houdini.Houdini, who was fairly talented with cards, coins, scarves, etc, knew he needed something else to become famous He discovered that his escapes were the answer and there are at least two of his routines in which the secret of how did he do that have yet to be successfully explained, although theories abound some of which are included in this book.This isn t exactly a biography of Houdini but rather a tour through his career and conversations with modern day popular magicians regarding their attitudes of why Houdini s popularity has continued 100 plus years after his death There are current groups clubs that study his work and collectors such as the great David Copperfield who search the world for Houdini memorabilia The author, also a Houdini fanatic, separates the fact from myth and there are many myths through his research and collaboration with Houdini experts.Even if you are not particularly a fan of magicians, this book will hold your attention throughout and leave you wondering how Houdini escaped the Mirror Handcuffs which is one of his unexplained tricks Very well done and very interesting. In full disclosure, this is my husband s book It s really a fun book that s magical history and personal stories than revealing how magic is done What I like best is that after several years of crafting this book, Joe is done I can plan social events, sweep under Joe s desk and remind him to take out the trash on Tuesday nights But seriously, I remember telling Joe there are a lot of books out there on Houdini Delivery trucks would startle our standard poodle, Westley not in the acknowledgements who barked at all those deliveries of magic books on our front porch So he may be the most happy this book is finished This new Houdini book takes a sweeping yet modern angle on returning to an age where wonder and great escapes were paramount Westley hopes you get the book on YOUR front doorstep soon