Monday, August 27, 2018

Houdini mini biography from The History Hour

An 79-page self-published booklet called Harry Houdini: A Brilliant Showman by "The History Hour" has appeared on Amazon.

The book is an oddly written amalgam of good and bad information (it includes the full story story of Houdini doing the bullet catch for the Tsar -- yeah). It does contain an abundance of accurate dates and places, so I'm pretty sure the anonymous author made use of my New Houdini Chronology and blog, although it acknowledges no sources.

There have been several of these self-published mini bios lately. These don't really offer anything new. But if you are a completist, you can purchase Harry Houdini: A Brilliant Showman at (U.S.) and (UK).

UPDATE: This book now has a plethora of 5 star rave reviews on Amazon, all of which sound like they were written by a bot. Weird, and pretty funny.

Click to enlarge.



  1. I am sorry to hear of the lack of acknowledgement. Not good.

    1. It has a further reading page and on it it lists the Kalush, Tait and Montague books.

      It's a very weird book. It's almost as if it were written by a bot. Or someone who just combed the net and copied and pasted. There seems to be an industry is churning out these 100+ page quickies just to get something on Amazon. Lots of paragraphs and large spaces to the get the page count up. Maybe we need to start branding these "fake books."

    2. Very frustrating. There's SO much unauthorized "appropriation" as well as outright theft of all kinds of content today. It's important people speak up about it and not just let it pass.

  2. THINK FAKE MIGHT BE A LITTLE BIT STRONG AND COULD CREATE PROBLEMS. How about something lighter like humbug or mock-up, etc.


  3. And unless they contain some original content, I've stopped covering the public domain reprints, which are also a bit of a scourge on Amazon. Remember this one?

    1. Just took a look at your "this one" link above. Astonishing! But I like your titles better! (e.g., "The Right Way to Do Wong" made me laugh out loud!)



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