Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kreskin's unpublished Houdini book

Here's a curiosity I came across in The Times from April 2, 1975. According to this column, The Amazing Kreskin was writing a Houdini biography in 1975. The book was tentatively titled The Other Side of Houdini -- A Story That Has Never Been Told, and was to be published by Random House. Have a read below.

Click to enlarge.

I do like how Kreskin refers to Houdini as a "scientist-entertainer." Houdini would have loved that. The fact that he had contact with Houdini's "relatives, friends and associates" suggests that he could have had some gold here. (I actually never knew the famous mentalist was such a Houdini buff.)

It's a shame Kreskin's "never told" Houdini story never got told. But maybe it's not too late?


  1. A few Kreskin factoids:

    Word has it that George (Kreskin) owns one of the world's largest private libraries on Magic & the Paranormal.

    Walter Gibson was a guest on Kreskin's 1970's TV Show.

    At least twice during his TV Series, Kreskin performed the MailBag Escape - as a tribute of sorts to Houdini.

    Has Kreskin been around a long time? Consider that his household board game came out in 1966!

    He's in his sixth decade of performing....always working!

    I'm a big fan of his, second only to Houdini.

  2. I'm really chomping at the bit to know what he might have had in this book. Maybe the wave of Houdini books that hit in 1976 caused Random House to back out. But certainly there could be interest in it today, maybe from one of the speciality magic publishers? Let's dust that manuscript off and get it into print!

  3. I'm also wondering about the contents of that manuscript. Kreskin had access to many who still knew Houdini. Who knows what Houdini information they might have shared with him that remains unpublished. The unknown is what makes it all exciting.

  4. John Hinson great nephew of Bess and Harry HoudiniNovember 27, 2014 at 5:02 AM

    We need to get that manuscript published.

  5. Kreskin was a neighbor of mine in NJ for a few years. Great guy in person. I would think if he really had a story to tell the book would have already been published. He is no spring chicken. I am sure he has anecdotes/snippets of info we would find very interesting based on his relationships with people such as Gibson who actually knew Houdini.

  6. 1976 was a rough year to get something published because of the huge wave of bicentennial books. (I know because my third book,The Sports Book, got buried that year.) FWIW, around 1994 I interviewed Kreskin on CNN about his books and he did not mention anything on Houdini.

  7. I am sure he has a few new stories to tell but cant believe its enough to fill a book.

  8. The year was 1998 when, in Toms River, NJ, The Amazing Kreskin was on a bill to appear before an audience at the Ocean County Mall hosted by Clinque cosmetics on behalf of the well-known Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital, for a fundraiser. I know because I was the other (although much lesser known) celebrity (for my mystical Yours Truly, Yoga series on the local educational channel. Mystical because I arrived on the screen with a flying carpet as if by magic. I had no idea that I would be standing next to Kreskin waiting on cue to be introduced to the audience right after him who, by the way, was totally delightful. I was so thrilled then because I had no idea he would be there, and now, thanks to John Cox, I'm even more thrilled to know about Kreskin's connection to The Great Harry Houdini and to have my own tiny magical connection to both. Let's hope that we get to know what The Amazing Kreskin was writing about.