The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini

The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini

by Bruce MacNab
     
 

met-a-mor-pho-sis: a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.

In May of 1896, a young magician from New York City joined the cast of the Marco Magic Company and embarked on a summer-long tour of eastern Canada, including New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It was during this excursion that Handcuff Harry AKA Harry

Overview

met-a-mor-pho-sis: a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.

In May of 1896, a young magician from New York City joined the cast of the Marco Magic Company and embarked on a summer-long tour of eastern Canada, including New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It was during this excursion that Handcuff Harry AKA Harry Houdini first showcased the talent that transformed him from a small-time conjurer, who performed for pennies in dime museums, into the world's most celebrated escape artist. When he wasn't performing on stage, Houdini was barnstorming through the streets of every town and city he visited, astounding onlookers in police stations, hardware stores and hospitals by freeing himself from the clutches of every restraining device strapped or wrapped around him.

In this absorbing book, enriched by rare, period photographs, Bruce MacNab recounts a fascinating but shockingly untold chapter in the career of the man whose name is still synonymous with the word magic.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780864926777
Publisher:
Goose Lane Editions
Publication date:
10/26/2012
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,004,735
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A definitive masterpiece of describing the early travelling life of the world's greatest showman in magic. An explicit 'diary' of Harry Houdini during his first Maritime-Canadian tour, filled with details unlike any other historical documents previously published! Exciting and brilliantly written!" — Coral and Peter Reveen, hypnotist, magician, performers, The Man They Call Reveen

"This is a book that will wow the magic world. Not only does it contain a wealth of never-before-published photos, but Bruce MacNab has drilled down into a relatively unknown period of Houdini's early life and uncovered facts, incidents, and artifacts that rewrite Houdini history. This is one of the most important books ever written about the great escape artist. It's also just a wonderfully told story. A standing ovation for The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini." — John Cox, creator of Wild About Harry

"This is a terrific book. After reading The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini, I was left amazed by all the new details, photos, and juicy tidbits Bruce MacNab has uncovered. This book is well researched and a must-read for anyone interested in Houdini." — Dorothy Dietrich, The First Lady of Magic, founder/director of The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA

"No other performer captured the attention and entertained an audience during the vaudeville era as did Houdini. Bruce MacNab has done an amazing job in researching and sharing new information in his book The Metamorphosis. While Houdini toured with Marco the Magician for twelve weeks in 1896 throughout the Maritime provinces, he learned skills in the art of suspense and marketing that helped shape his career and made him the legend he is today. As the proud owner of one of Houdini"s original Metamorphosis trunks, I am sure Houdini would agree that the book deserves a standing ovation." — Roger Dreyer, CEO, Fantasma Magic and Houdini Museum, New York

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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