Monday, February 15, 2010

The Magic Man: The Life of Robert-Houdin

Author: I. G. Edmonds

First line: Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin was a little sick from the tossing of the ship as it crossed the Mediterranean from France to Algeria, but he was even more sick of the jokes his fellow passengers made about his upset stomach.

Why you should read this book: In simple but descriptive language, it recounts the life of Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, the greatest magician of his age (Houdini took his stage name from his inspiration), whose life as a magician was full of triumph as well as failure, synchronicity and circumstance, and culminated with a series of magic tricks largely credited with heading off a revolt against the French colonial government in Algeria. Young readers may be especially interested in the details of Robert-Houdin’s early years, wherein his craftsman father was determined to see his son become a lawyer, while the boy was equally determined to work with his hands and become a craftsman. Includes descriptions of how to perform some of the magician’s most wonderful tricks along with the story of a life filled with both determination and self-doubt.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You don’t want to know how it’s done; you prefer the illusion.

1 comment:

Hijinx said...

Nice review! I just posted Robert-Houdin's A Conjurer's Confessions in PDF form so people can read his memoir on an ebook reader like Kindle, Nook etc.
It's a free PDF, no sign up, no catch. Enjoy and share!