Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'Revealing the Bizarre Powers of Harry Houdini'

This one slipped past me when it was released on March 22, but Amazon has a listing for Revealing the Bizarre Powers of Harry Houdini: Psychic? Medium? Prophet? Clairvoyant?, a book and CD combo edited by Timothy Green Beckley.

The book is temporarily out of stock and the Amazon description doesn’t really help explain exactly what this is. It’s possible it’s a collection of public domain material by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Houdini, cobbled together into a provocative package. There also is the promise of “Rare Repos of Elusive Houdini Posters” on the cover (which otherwise doesn’t inspire confidence).

I’ve placed a backorder, but if anyone has a copy and can give me a run-down on what it is (or warn me away), I’d appreciate it.

UPDATE: Okay, having received no warnings, I now have the book in hand. This is basically a reprinting of Houdini’s 1924 book, A Magician Among The Spirits, with reprints of several articles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a “rebuttal.” It also contains an essay on the Houdini-Doyle relationship by Green Beckley, and is illustrated with many photos and news-clippings (a few clippings I’ve never seen). The Bonus CD is the complete recording of the Final Houdini Seance narrated by George Boston and first released on Hudson Records in 1950.

It’s actually better than I expected and well worth having. The Doyle article alone is a must read.

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