Saturday, April 6, 2024

Houdini Adaptations by Joe M. Notaro

Our good friend Joe Notaro is on a roll. Having released two groundbreaking Houdini books, The Zanetti Mystery and Houdini's Schooldays, Joe has now released Houdini Adaptations. This new work contains the rare adaptations of The Grim Game and Terror Island and much more. Below are details.
Arthur B. Reeve and Houdini worked on three silent film stories together, The Master Mystery (1918), The Grim Game (1919), and Terror Island (1920). The Master Mystery silent film was adapted into a book in 1919. While not adapted to a book, The Grim Game was adapted to a story paper format in 1920, just like Terror Island was in 1921. 
The Grim Game and Terror Island story adaptations are featured in Joe M. Notaro’s book for the first time and illustrated with original movie stills to help tell the story. For each of the 3 films that Reeve and Houdini worked on, Notaro also shares the cast, synopsis, words of Houdini, history, advertising campaign, and missing footage information.

A 1924 newspaper article, "Houdini Breaks into Playwrighting," describes a new, previously unknown stage play that reads like the plot summary from The Grim Game. The book also features tidbits about each of his known stage plays: Challenged or Houdini Upside Down (1911), Walking Through a Brick Wall (1914), and Buried Alive (1914).

As a bonus, Notaro shares the "Out of the Shadows" film treatment from his personal collection, which has never been published. Along with that, he summarizes and shares tidbits about each of Houdini’s other film treatments: The Marvelous Adventures of Houdini (1917), The Far North or The Man From Beyond (1921), Haldane of the Secret Service or Mysterious Mr. Yu (1921), Yar, the Primeval Man (1921), Il Mistero de Osiris or The Mystery of the Jewel (1921), The Great Tontine (1992), The Monster (1992), The Vulture (1992), Floating Through Space (1992), and Blood Brothers (unpublished).

Houdini Adaptations is released today, April 6, and is available for purchase at and

Special offer! U.S. customers can order signed copies (available May 2024) directly from Joe via PayPal to Price is $40 and includes a signed book with a Premium Color Interior and USPS book-rate shipping.

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