ESCAPE! by Florence Meiman White


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A pedestrian account of Houdini's life and career, with mushy exchanges between Houdini and his mother or wife occasionally dampening the lightly fictionalized but lifeless chronology. We learn about immigrant Ehrich Weiss' early fascination with magic and his boyhood job in a locksmith shop, his marriage at 19 to a fellow performer and their seemingly endless series of breaks and jolts, his financial struggles and ultimate success, his publication of The Conjurors' Monthly (thus ""continuing the family's scholarly tradition"" inherited from his rabbi father), and his introduction in turn of the trunk, handcuff, straightjacket and underwater escapes to his routine. But as White tells it, not even the stunts are exciting.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1979
Publisher: Messner