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Download The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, by Larry “Ratso” Sloman, Larry Sloman, William Kalush Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (959 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Larry “Ratso” Sloman, Larry Sloman, William Kalush Narrator: Adam Grupper Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An Intimate and Riveting Portrayal of Houdini, the Man and the Legend

Handcuff King. Escape Artist.International Superstar. Since his death eighty years ago, Harry Houdini has continued to captivate generations. Now, renowned magic expert William Kalush and best-selling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth, from the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats to his secret life as a spy, and the pernicious plot to subvert his legacy.

After years of struggling on the dime museum circuit, Harry Houdini got a break that thrust him into the spotlight -- performing for royalty and commanding vast sums. At a time when spy agencies frequently co-opted amateurs, Houdini went to London and developed a relationship with a man who would run MI-5; for the next several years, he traveled to Germany and Russia and routinely reported his findings. After World War I, Houdini set out to infiltrate and expose the seamy world of fake spirit mediums, triggering the wrath of a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Death threats became an everyday occurrence, but the group would pose an even greater danger to Houdini's legacy.

As exciting as any good thriller,The Secret Life of Houdini traces the arc of the master magician's life from desperate poverty to worldwide legend, and initiates the listener into the arcane world of professional magic. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Detailed, hugely entertaining…The story of Houdini’s final days is riveting, extraordinary, sad—and has never been better told.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Kalush and Solomon appear to have raked through every known Houdini archive to produce the most comprehensive and controversial biography ever written about the man.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “This wonderful book may be the most complete account of Houdini yet.”

    News & Observer

  • “After eighty years, a book that does justice to the legacy of one of the greatest showmen ever. The research is astounding, the writing compelling.” 

    Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Andy Erickson | 2/20/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. Houdini is a truly fascinating figure, and I am already thinking about reading another bio on Houdini, or if one exists, a book just about his investigations into Spiritualism. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Sandy | 2/16/2014

    " Just started. So far an easy to read,and a facinating story. Ok, I spoke too soon. Although Houdini is a facinating person, I'm finding it reall hard to get into the book. For me, writing style is just as if not even more important than the story. This may be the first book selection from my book club that I don't finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rod Culbertson | 2/10/2014

    " A very interesting close up account of the life of Harry Houdini. Of particular interest is the description of the times in which he lived. The book portrays the drama of his escapes and his tricks and gives an insightful glimpse into his personal and married life. An interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Minh Minimum | 2/8/2014

    " Superhero, that may be stretching the truth a bit, but it seems like Houdini liked to stretch the truth a bit. I enjoyed the book. Lots of detail about a man that I really knew so little about. Well researched and presented in an obviously loving manner. The chapters on medium debunking got me more interested and helped pick my next read. I now know more about Houdini than I really need to, but I'm waiting for those questions to come up next time I'm on Jeopardy. I'll take Houdini for $500 Alex. "

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