Harry Houdini’s fame is secure as the greatest magician of modern times. Many of his fabulous escapes, indeed, now sound more like legend than history, yet they really happened. He permitted himself to be thrown, manacled, into the Hudson River; to be nailed into packing cases and lowered into the ocean; to be suspended by the ankles, strait-jacketed, hundreds of feet above the ground — and in every case escaped easily.
This book is Houdini’s own account of these exploits, supplemented with rare photographs and posters, first-hand material from periodicals and pamphlets, and behind-the-scenes revelations of some of the master’s most prized secrets: how he picked locks, how he sawed a girl in half to become twins, how he walked through a brick wall, how a girl can vanish from a sheet of plate glass without trapdoors, hoists, mirrors, or other such apparatus.
There are also instructions for performing 44 stage tricks, including the coin and glass, the Indian needle trick, and other standards. These are illustrated with diagram sequences that cover every step in performance. Finally, of special interest to many readers are Houdini’s accounts of great magicians of history and of Houdini’s own battles with spiritualists and fraudulent mediums.