Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Textbook turns 50

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Houdini The Untold Story by Milbourne Christopher, or what I like to call "the Textbook." It appeared in stores on March 21, 1969. My appreciation and admiration for this book just continues to grow.

It is a straightforward factual narrative devoid of padding: no "secrets", no unconvincing imaginary conversations, no scene-painting. But packed with solid authentic detail as the book is, Mr. Christopher with his delightfully lucid and objective style of writing contrives to make it compelling and enthralling reading none the less. 
-Baryard Brimsaw (About Magicians)

You can read my 2013 deep dive into the publication history of Houdini The Untold Story HERE.



  1. Was originally to be titled: The Incredible Houdini.

    -Dave Haversat

    1. Yes, I recall seeing that in a letter between Christopher and his publisher. Probably from your collection!

  2. Amen to this book. It was the first HH biography I acquired as a teenager. I keep a copy near my bed and dip into it now and then. A no nonsense nuts and bolts bio with "no unconvincing imaginary conversations" as Brimsaw noted.