... that readers not be deceived by the title of this book. This book was not written by Houdini. It was written by other writers, and yet it contains articles that were penned by the man himself.
There's sometimes a jarring lack of continuity between the chapters because of this, and there are sections that seem only peripherally related to Houdini: sections about how various magic tricks are done. These sections were not written by Houdini himself, in his "voice" describing how he accomplished thus and so escape on a particular day (although there are a couple of examples of that in these pages). These long sections were merely the editors of the book describing how magicians of Houdini's time did various stock tricks. This knowledge in itself is invaluable and quite enjoyable, but it wanders from discussing Houdini.
I was looking for a direct view into the man and his thoughts on his art ... what I got was only periodic windows into that territory, stitched together with a couple of chapters that - honestly - felt like filler material meant to lengthen the book.
If you buy this book, you will enjoy it. You will gain valuable information about Houdini. But you won't feel his spirit in the pages as much as the title would lead you to believe.