Thursday, May 2, 2024

A Magician Among the Spirits turns 100

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of Houdini's last book, A Magician Among the Spirits, published on May 2, 1924, by Harper & Brothers in New York.

Below is a positive review of the book from The Evening Sun.

The Evening Sun, June 28, 1924

And a less positive review from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 7, 1924

Shortly after publication, Houdini discovered an error in the book. The following appeared in several newspapers.

Hartford Courant, Aug. 10, 1924.

On May 5, Houdini wrote to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle offering to send him a signed copy of the book. If Doyle ever responded, the letter has been lost. But one thing is for sure, the publication of A Magician Among the Spirits marked the end of their famous friendship.

A Magician Among the Spirits has been reprinted several times. The 1972 hardcover from Arno is typically the edition one finds in used bookstores. I've always had affection for this edition.

In 1996, Richard Kaufman and Alan Greenberg published Houdini's original typed manuscript with extensive hand corrections as a limited slipcased edition. It's a beauty and a wonderful tribute to Houdini's last book.

Want more? As a member of my Patreon, you can download a free PDF of A Magician Among the Spirits as this month's reward.

1 comment:

  1. The dust jacket design for the original 1924 edition is not exactly eye catching. It looks like a page from a newspaper.