Houdini: A Mind in Chains is a "Psychoanalytic Portrait" of Houdini. It's a controversial book as it puts forth some highly Freudian interpretations of Houdini's Milk Can escape (a womb), hints of bondage in his act, and even suggests that Houdini might have suffered from claustrophobia. It was also the first book to reveal the family conflict between Houdini, his brother Leo, and Sadie Weiss (who divorced Houdini's brother Nathan to marry Leo). Some Houdini scholars dismiss the book as too much psychobabble, but I find it interesting reading, and in 1976 it broke new ground as far as revealing new information. Unfortunately, the book was never published in paperback or any edition after the 1976 hardcover.
If Meyer really did use this book as the main source for his Houdini miniseries script, might we expect see some of these psychological issues explored? The most recent trailer, in which Houdini speaks about "fears", suggests the movie might indeed spend at least some time inside that mind of chains. I'm also wondering if this means we might finally see a reprint of the Meyer book.
|"What's your biggest fear?"|