Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jim Steinmeyer talks about The Last Greatest Magician in the World

Author Jim Steinmeyer talks about his new book, The Last Greatest Magician in the World, and the rivalry between Howard Thurston and Harry Houdini.

3 comments:

  1. Says it all really - two very different people remembered for different reasons. Maybe Thurston hasn't really achieved immortality the way Houdini has but there is a legacy there, nonetheless.

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  2. Yep, this is an excellent clip that does a really great job of explaining the premise of the book and how Thurston can be considered the greater "magician."

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  3. Now that I've read the book, I don't think it's disparaging of Houdini, at least not unfairly.

    If anything, it presents Thurston in a pretty negative light as a con artist well into his adulthood, an uninventive illusionist, a poor businessman, and a really bad spouse.

    Additionally, the book didn't make clear to me why Thurston deserved to be called the world's last greatest magician, unless you swallow the motto he purchased along with Kellar's act.

    He wasn't even the last of the old-style traveling illusionists -- Dante, Fu Manchu, Blackstone and others continued after his death.

    Other than his melodious voice and his presentation of the levitation, what did Thurston's artistry consist of? Did I miss something?

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