Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Houdini!” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  113 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Supported by exhaustive research and illuminated by 100 photos of Houdini in action--many never before or rarely before seen--Houdini!!! is the definitive work on the magician by a master biographer and will be published in time for Halloween, which is also the anniversary of Houdini's death.
Hardcover, 465 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1996)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Houdini!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Houdini!

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 234)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I remember as a kid going into a store and being fascinated by a bunch of cheap magic tricks that looked interesting but once I bought them ultimately became rather boring and hokey. Make a card jump from the deck! Amaze your friends!
Speaking of cards, Houdini was the real deal. His name has become synonymous with magic, and his now famous stunts are still being performed by other magicians to this day.
In this book Kenneth Silverman does a fine job of chronicling Houdini’s career and how his act
Scott Klemm
"Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss" is a fascinating biography of America’s most famous magician and escape artist. The author, Ken Silverman, is a Professor Emeritus at the New York University and a 1985 Pulitzer Prize winner for biography.

In the past I read several other biographies beginning as a teenager with Harold Kellock’s "Houdini, His Life Story." However, none surpass Silverman’s in detail and depth of research. For example, other writers have recounted how Ehrich Weiss adopted th
There are many biographies of Houdini out there, and I've only read this one...I don't make it a habit to be a scholar on one person. But I can tell you that this was a very engaging book, and I finished it feeling like I knew a great deal about the man, both as a man and as a performer.

This was not just about the magic and escape act. This was about the personality of Ehrich Weiss himself...his ego, his adverturing spirit. I learned things that were fascinating, such as his immediate appreciati
Eric Cartier
Fascinating (the tricks and escapes Houdini created and performed, and how he completely harnessed both the media and the affordances of the industrial era) and frustrating (Houdini's egomania can be grating, and Silverman spends too much time on Spiritualism). For years I've wanted to read about Houdini, which I didn't recall until I learned that the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, where I work, has a large collection of his letters, memorabilia and photographs (many of which Silverman ...more
Becky Loader
I read this biography after reading "The confabulist" to get confirmation of how much was fictionalized in the first title. I especially liked the photos included here.
Apr 21, 2014 Erwin marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to learn more about Houdini but this was way too descriptive for me...
Michele J
I really wanted to learn more about Houdini but this book was just way too descriptive for me.
This book pretty much covers anything and everything you could hope to know about Houdini. It is a little long-winded at times, but very interesting.
Not a run of the mill Houdini Bio, with lots of interesting nformation and descriptions of his Many accomplishments.
John A
Fascinating history - shows all sides of Houdini's personality.
Well written and interesting look at the life of Houdini.
Nathan marked it as to-read
May 03, 2015
Nathan marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2015
Shari marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2015
Melissa marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2015
Jay Watson
Jay Watson marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2015
Axel marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2015
Leah marked it as to-read
Feb 11, 2015
Shannon marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2015
Amberle Husbands
Amberle Husbands marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2015
Roberto Robles
Roberto Robles marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2015
Bob marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Memoirs of a Sword Swallower
  • The Lonely Hunter: A Biography of Carson McCullers
  • The Blue Moon Circus
  • Jackie Oh!
  • The Essential Lenny Bruce
  • The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero
  • Illumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers
  • A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History
  • The Other Side of Suffering: The Father of JonBenet Ramsey Tells the Story of His Journey from Grief to Grace
  • Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
  • Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Untold, Unauthorized, and Unpredictable Story of a Pop Phenomenon
  • My Wonderful World of Slapstick
  • The Haight-Ashbury: A History
  • Louis D. Brandeis
  • An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom
  • The Circus of the Earth and the Air
  • Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson
There is more than one author with this name
More about Kenneth Silverman...
Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F. B. Morse The Life and Times of Cotton Mather A Cultural History of the American Revolution: Painting, Music, Literature, and the Theatre in the Colonies and the United States from the Treaty of Paris to the Inauguration of George Washington, 1763-1789

Share This Book