Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Don’t forget The Houdini Principle

With all the excitement and press surrounding the release of The Secret Life of Houdini, some may have overlooked the release this Halloween of another Houdini related book, The Houdini Principle by Tim Kenning.

The Houdini Principle looks at the exploits and escapes of Harry Houdini as a catalyst for modern day creative thinking and problem solving.

A similar book, The Houdini Solution, was released earlier this year, but The Houdini Principle is, to my eye, the superior book. It’s certainly the book that will interest Houdini fans more as it deals specially with events (escape and otherwise) in Houdini’s life, and is illustrated with some nice pics. It also offers an appendix of Houdini resources; books, documentaries, museums and websites (including my own Houdini Lives!).

The Houdini Principle can be purchased from Amazon.com (U.S.) and Amazon.co.uk (UK). For more information on The Houdini Principle website.

The Secret Life of Houdini in stores today!

The eagerly anticipated The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman is released today.

This new biography puts forth a controversial theory that during his career Houdini worked as a spy for both the U.S. and British governments. The book also suggests that the great magician was murdered by spiritualists angered at his campaign against spiritualist fakes.

This is the first new major Houdini biography since Ken Silverman’s acclaimed HOUDINI!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss was released in 1996.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Secret Life of Houdini official poster and website

As we count down the days to the release of The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America’s First Superhero, author Bill Kalush gives us a first look at a slick new promotional poster for the book.

The highly anticipated book also now has an official website, houdinithebook.com, where you can pre-order a signed copy. Sales benefit the Conjuring Arts Research Center.

The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero is due for release on October 31 (of course!).

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Death Defying Acts filming in Edinburgh

The new Houdini movie, Death Defying Acts, starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Guy Pearce, is shooting in Edinburgh this week.

The film is a “supernatural romantic thriller” which tells the fictional story of Houdini’s relationship with a Scottish psychic, Mary McGregor, played by Zeta Jones.

Death Defying Acts was due to film in Edinburgh during summer, but was moved to London at the eleventh hour because Edinburgh was too busy with Festival crowds. However, the film crew are now filming a number of exterior shots around Edinburgh.

Floodlights at the landmark Edinburgh Castle were switched off last night so film crews could recreate the city in 1926. Other sights used to set the scene will be the capital from Salisbury Crags digitally re-mastered to remove modern landmarks such as the Scottish Parliament.

In the movie, Zeta Jones lives in the slums of Edinburgh with her young daughter and stars in a burlesque act which, though partly a confidence trick, delves into the occult. She comes to hear of Houdini's $10,000 reward for any psychic who can contact his beloved mother from beyond the grave, and makes contact with him. However as the pair spend more time together they begin to fall in love.

The film will be released in 2007.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

MAGIC goes in search of the Houdini movie

The October issue of MAGIC magazine (with Robert-Houdin on the cover) features an article written by yours truly about the many aborted attempts to make a new big-budget Houdini movie. Here’s a preview from the MAGIC website:

It's been over 50 years since Hollywood produced a feature film about Harry Houdini, the greatest escape artist and daredevil who ever lived. On the surface, this seems remarkable. Houdini's life story is rife with theatrical drama: from his death-defying escapes, to his battle with spirit mediums, to his deathbed promise to return from the grave. So where is the big-budget Harry Houdini feature film?

Visit www.magicmagazine.com to subscribe or buy this individual issue.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

New Houdini fiction: Danger in The Dark

Danger in the Dark: A Houdini and Nate Mystery by Tom Lalicki is released today by by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The fictional book is the first in what promises to be a series.

Harry Houdini – the world’s greatest escape artist – is in need of a new hat. That is what brings him to Bennett & Son, Gentlemen’s Hatters of Fifth Avenue, where young Nathaniel G. Makeworthy Fuller is working for the summer. A surprising friendship develops between the world-famous daredevil and the boy clerk, and it comes in the nick of time. A suspicious stranger has recently wheedled his way into the confidences of Nate’s wealthy great-aunt, with whom the boy and his widowed mother live. Now their house is filled with spooky late-night gatherings, the purpose of which is kept secret from Nate. Houdini is just the man to tackle this tangled mystery – and help Nate and his family escape the grasp of an interloper more cunning and dangerous than Nate could have imagined.

A truly captivating historical adventure, Danger in the Dark launches the Houdini & Nate Mystery series with fast-paced plotting and a colorful blend of fact and fiction.

Tom Lalicki is also the author of Spellbinder: The Life of Harry Houdini, a nicely illustrated Houdini biography for children released in 2000.

Danger in the Dark: A Houdini and Nate Mystery can be purchased at Amazon.com.