Download Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini Audiobook

Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini Audiobook, by Sid Fleischman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sid Fleischman Narrator: Sid Fleischman, Taylor Mali Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781609989101
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Harry Houdini, born Ehrich Weiss, never did anything by half measure. Once he decided to become a magician, he became the King of Cards, the Prince of Air, the Genius of Escape, and Professor H. Houdini. And why not? He could walk through walls, defeat any lock, make elephants disappear with the snap of his fingers, and pick up needles with his eyelids! 

Or could he? Fact or fiction? Legend or liar? We will never know for sure. But here in all its riveting glory is Sid Fleischman’s witty and insightful biography of magic’s greatest showman, daredevil, and escape artist ever—the Great Houdini!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An accessible, witty, and fascinating ride.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

  • “What do you get when you put two prestidigitators, one a spellbinding escape artist, the other a magician with words, into a black hat and wave the wand? Abracadabra—a feat that’s pure magic.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Fleischman looks at Houdini’s life through his own eyes, as a fellow magician. Guarding the secrets, yet entertaining readers, he tells the rags-to-rags story of a poor Jewish boy named Ehrich Weiss, who longed to be like his idol, French magician Robert-Houdin…Fleischman’s tone is lively and he develops a relationship with readers by revealing just enough truth behind Houdini’s razzle-dazzle to keep the legend alive…Engaging and fascinating.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “In this breezy biography, Newbery medalist Fleischman, himself a former magician, pays homage to Harry Houdini—the man and the myth…A now aged and raspy-voiced Fleischman reads the preface and last chapter, bookending an engaging narrative.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “As a child magician, Fleischman thrilled at spending time with Bess Houdini, wife of the great escape artist. These early experiences gave him admiration, curiosity, and insider information about his subject. As author, Fleischman, like narrator Taylor Mali and Houdini himself, grows more excited when the magician’s career takes off. Though he won’t reveal any magic secrets, Fleischman’s writing fascinates listeners with vivid pictures. Mali adds his own magic, especially a fine sense of timing. Like the showman himself, Mali fascinates with renditions of Houdini’s jail breaks and straight-jacket escapes. He expertly relates the mysteries of a man who still intrigues the world.”


  • A 2007 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book for Nonfiction
  • An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book
  • A School Library Journal Best Book

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About the Author

Sid Fleischman (1920–2010) wrote more than sixty books for children, adults, and magicians. Among his many awards was the Newbery Medal for his novel The Whipping Boy. The author described his youth as a magician and newspaperman in his autobiography The Abracadabra Kid.

About the Narrator

Taylor Mali is the former president of Poetry Slam, Inc., and one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement. He is the author of two books of poetry, What Learning Leaves and The Last Time as We Are, and four CDs of spoken word. He has appeared on the first two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and won the jury prize for best one-man show at the United States Comedy Arts Festival. A passionate advocate of teachers, he travels the country recruiting the next generation of teachers with his 1,000 Teachers Campaign. Taylor lives in New York.