The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini


Thrill to the extraordinary untold story of the early career of escape artist extraordinaire Harry Houdini!

Gasp at heroic trials and dreadful tribulations as a struggling young magician goes on the road with the acclaimed Marco Magic Company to conquer the competitive and challenging theatre circuit of eastern Canada!

Witness elaborate acts of illusion as Houdini astounds ...

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Thrill to the extraordinary untold story of the early career of escape artist extraordinaire Harry Houdini!

Gasp at heroic trials and dreadful tribulations as a struggling young magician goes on the road with the acclaimed Marco Magic Company to conquer the competitive and challenging theatre circuit of eastern Canada!

Witness elaborate acts of illusion as Houdini astounds crowds by effortlessly freeing himself from the clutches of even the most inescapable of restraints!

Swoon as Houdini goes out on his own with his young wife in tow!

Cheer as he mesmerizes and marvels with the miraculous metamorphosis!

Cast your gaze upon a veritable cornucopia of rare photographic images, many never before seen in public!

Be astonished as we finally unveil the mysterious truth behind Houdini's fabled straitjacket escape!! Guaranteed to be 100% true!!!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] magical history tour of the highest order . . . Nova Scotia writer Bruce MacNab, according to experts cited all over, has simply nailed the untold apprenticeship of Harry Houdini as the magician performed throughtout Maritime communities more than a century ago. . . . you cannot escape the fact that this is an absolutely exceptional book." — Philip K. Thompson, The Chronicle-Herald

"Bruce MacNab's absolutely fascinating reconstruction of Harry Houdini's summer-long 1896 tour of Eastern Canada was Atlantic Canada's "sleeper" book of the past year. . . . It's a fabulous book to read and savour, with an engaging narrative, detailed research and striking visuals, including rare news clippings, vintage posters, illustrative maps and newly unearthed photographs. . . . In his first book, the author has produced a gem that won the 2012 APMA Best Atlantic Published Book Award. . . . It has great appeal to those with a passion for Victorian Canadian life, travelling circuses, magic tricks, fortune tellers and freak shows. Fans of the master magician as well as curious people of all ages will also marvel at Houdini's sleights of hand and the secrets of his illusions. . . . Shedding new light on Houdini's career is quite an accomplishment, but it's the author's polished writing style and the richness of the illustration that makes The Metamorphosis a very entertaining summer read." — The Chronicle Herald

"It's a fascinating read." — The Vancouver Sun

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780864926777
  • Publisher: Goose Lane Editions
  • Publication date: 10/26/2012
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,167,517
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce MacNab grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and attended the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology. Since then, he has worked as an author, carpenter, craftsman, tutor, and teacher. He has long been fascinated with the story of Harry Houdini. His articles have appeared in The Beaver, The Chronicle Herald, History Today, and other magazines and newspapers. Bruce MacNab now lives in New Ross, Nova Scotia, a region steeped in the mythology of Oak Island and Prince Henry Sinclair. The Metamorphosis is his first book.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Patrick Culliton 11

Prologue 13

Introduction 17

Part 1 Setting the Stage

Chapter 1 Houdini 101 20

Chapter 2 Working on the Railroad 34

Chapter 3 Nova Scotia Bound! 44

Part 2 Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Chapter 4 Houdini Lands in Canada 54

Chapter 5 Handcuff King 64

Chapter 6 Opening Night 72

Part 3 New Brunswick

Chapter 7 Footlights and Fog Banks 80

Chapter 8 The Maniac Cuff 94

Chapter 9 A Household of Wrecked Minds 100

Chapter 10 Port City Problems 110

Chapter 11 Marco Loses His Buttons 120

Chapter 12 A Change of Programme 128

Chapter 13 Houdini Meets the White Mahatma 134

Chapter 14 Deception at the Dufferin 144

Chapter 15 Svengali and Trilby Take on Saint John 152

Chapter 16 Off With Her Head 160

Chapter 17 Riders in the Storm 170

Chapter 18 Secrets for Sale 176

Part 4 Halifax, Nova Scotia

Chapter 19 Hoodwinked in Halifax 186

Chapter 20 Anniversaries and Adversities 194

Chapter 21 I'm in the Jailhouse Now 202

Chapter 22 Countdown to Curtain Time 210

Chapter 23 Entertainment for the Few 218

Chapter 24 Try, Try Again 224

Chapter 25 Disaster at the Academy 232

Chapter 26 Marco Loses His Magic 240

Part 5 Houdini the Headliner

Chapter 27 Redemption 246

Chapter 28 Tied Up in Truro 256

Chapter 29 A Magician Among the Hillers 268

Chapter 30 Where Mystery Sets Sail 278

Chapter 31 Cursed in Chignecto 282

Chapter 32 Natural Phenomena 292

Chapter 33 Barnstorming 296

Chapter 34 Houdini at Hickman's 302

Chapter 35 City of Jailbreakers 310

Chapter 36 Homeward Bound 318

Epilogue The Rest of the Story 323

Acknowledgements 343

Notes 347

Selected Bibliography 353

Index 357

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