The Book Club

The brilliance of Houdini

36 min listen

In This Episode

My guest on this week’s Book Club podcast — recorded as part of an online event with Circle Square ( — is the biographer Adam Begley. Adam’s work includes biographies of John Updike and the Belle Epoque photographer, cartoonist and aeronaut Felix Tournachon, aka Nadar. In his new book he turns his attention to the great escapologist Harry Houdini. I asked him what it was that made Houdini special, what challenges a lifelong myth-maker (aka inveterate liar) poses to the biographer, and how Adam tends to get on with his subjects. As Adam describes in our talk, you can watch a video of Houdini in action here:

And Christopher Bray reviews the new biography for the Spectator here.


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