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The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini By Ruth Brandon

The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini

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A biography of the escapologist Harry Houdini which argues that the man himself was far more interesting than his tricks. Ruth Brandon claims that, more complex than just a small man triumphing against the odds, his escapes can be read as a drama of death and resurrection.

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The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini Summary


The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini by Ruth Brandon

More than 60 years after his death, the deeds of the escapologist Harry Houdini still inspire imitators and ad-men. The common perception of Houdini is of a small man, manacled, jumping off a bridge into icy water, suspended from a skyscraper or emerging from a sealed coffin. His tricks were very clever and effective, but the author of this book argues that the man himself was far more interesting than the tricks. The book examines the phenomenon of fame - what it is that compels a man to perform acts of near-suicidal bravado to gain public acclaim, and what it is that draws vast crowds of people to watch. It considers the nature of a man whom the author believes was probably sexually repressed, and yet performed almost naked, draped in chains and manacles, who wrote love letters to his wife five times a day, and who struggled obsessively for years to prove or disprove the existence of life after death. Ruth Brandon argues that it is in his death that the key to Houdini's life and success is to be found. She claims that, more complex than just a small man triumphing against the odds, his escapes can be read as a drama of death and resurrection. Brandon's other books include "The New Women and the Old Men" and an autobiography of Sarah Berhardt, "Being Divine".

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Additional information

GOR001222936
The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini by Ruth Brandon
Ruth Brandon
Used - Good
Hardback
Cornerstone
1994-10-17
365
0749318821
9780749318826
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.