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The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards

The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Now in paperback, the acclaimed biography of the magician's magician, Howard Thurston.
 
“There is no greater expert on the history of stage magicians than Jim Steinmeyer. His deep knowledge of the subject, combined with a remarkable mastery of magical know-how, makes this book a smart, fantastic read. I can't recommend it enough!”
—Neil Patrick Harris
 
 “Steinmeyer produces an engaging full-length biography of the man Orson Welles called ‘the master…Steinmeyer recovers, from the shadows of his greatest rival, a figure whose grandiose productions were an American institution for almost 30 years.”
—Publishers Weekly
 
“Magician and author Jim Steinmeyer rescues a forgotten American icon from Houdinis shadow.”

—AARP: The Magazine

 
“Thurston may have been forgotten, but The Last Greatest Magician In The World ably resurrects his legend and his awe-inspiring magic.”

—The Onion A.V. Club

 
"An erudite, challenging text full of difficult questions"

—Kirkus Reviews

Here is the seminal biography of the magician's magician, Howard Thurston, a man who surpassed Houdini in the eyes of showmen and fans and set the standard fro how stage magic is performed today.

 
Everyone knows Houdini-but who was Thurston? In this rich, vivid biography of the "greatest magician in the world," celebrated historian of stage magic Jim Steinmeyer captures the career and controversies of the wonder-worker extraordinaire, Howard Thurston.
 
The public's fickleness over magicians has left Thurston all but forgotten today. Yet Steinmeyer shows how his story is one of the most remarkable in show business. During his life, from 1869 to 1936, Thurston successfully navigated the most dramatic changes in entertainment-from street performances to sideshows to wagon tours through America's still-Wild West to stage magic amid the glitter of grand theaters. Thurston became one of America's most renowned vaudeville stars, boldly performing an act with just a handful of playing cards, and then had the foresight to leave vaudeville, expanding his show into an extravaganza with more than forty tons of apparatus and costumes. His touring production was an American institution for nearly thirty years, and Thurston earned a brand name equal to Ziegfeld or Ringling Brothers.
 
Steinmeyer explores the stage and psychological rivalry between Thurston and Houdini during the first decades of the twentieth century-a contest that Thurston won. He won with a bigger show, a more successful reputation, and the title of America's greatest magician. In The Last Greatest Magician in the World, Thurston's magic show is revealed as the one that animates our collective memories.

Review:

"Expanding on his chapters on Howard Thurston in his history of magic, Hiding the Elephant, Steinmeyer produces an engaging full-length biography of the man Orson Welles called 'the master.' While Houdini's daring stunts were legendary, Steinmeyer says Thurston was the public's favorite, captivating audiences with his 'self-assured grandeur.' Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Thurston gained fame in the early part of the 20th century with his 'Rising Card Trick,' in which he levitated cards named by audience members. He successfully changed with the times, going from street performances to wagon tours through the West. He then became a top vaudeville star, but wisely left the vaudeville circuit to produce more ambitious spectacles involving 40 tons of magic apparatus and colorful costumes, a variety of animals, and more than two dozen assistants. Tracing the magician's rise to fame, this volume neatly juggles his marriages and his magic with his triumphs, travails, showmanship, and marketing ballyhoo ('The Wonder Show of the Universe'). Steinmeyer recovers, from the shadows of his greatest rival, a figure whose grandiose productions were an American institution for almost 30 years. (Feb. 3)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

Now in paperback, the acclaimed biography of the magician's magician, Howard Thurston.
and#160;
andldquo;There is no greater expert on the history of stage magicians than Jim Steinmeyer. His deep knowledge of the subject, combined with a remarkable mastery of magical know-how, makes this book a smart, fantastic read. I can't recommend it enough!andrdquo;
andmdash;Neil Patrick Harris
and#160;
and#160;andldquo;Steinmeyer produces an engaging full-length biography of the man Orson Welles called andlsquo;the masterandrsquo;andhellip;Steinmeyer recovers, from the shadows of his greatest rival, a figure whose grandiose productions were an American institution for almost 30 years.andrdquo;
andmdash;Publishers Weekly
and#160;
andldquo;Magician and author Jim Steinmeyer rescues a forgotten American icon from Houdiniandrsquo;s shadow.andrdquo; andmdash;AARP: The Magazine
and#160;
andldquo;Thurston may have been forgotten, but The Last Greatest Magician In The World ably resurrects his legend and his awe-inspiring magic.andrdquo; andmdash;The Onion A.V. Club
and#160;
Here is the seminal biography of the magician's magician, Howard Thurston, a man who surpassed Houdini in the eyes of showmen and fans and set the standard fro how stage magic is performed today.
and#160;
Everyone knows Houdini-but who was Thurston? In this rich, vivid biography of the andquot;greatest magician in the world,andquot; celebrated historian of stage magic Jim Steinmeyer captures the career and controversies of the wonder-worker extraordinaire, Howard Thurston.
and#160;
The public's fickleness over magicians has left Thurston all but forgotten today. Yet Steinmeyer shows how his story is one of the most remarkable in show business. During his life, from 1869 to 1936, Thurston successfully navigated the most dramatic changes in entertainment-from street performances to sideshows to wagon tours through America's still-Wild West to stage magic amid the glitter of grand theaters. Thurston became one of America's most renowned vaudeville stars, boldly performing an act with just a handful of playing cards, and then had the foresight to leave vaudeville, expanding his show into an extravaganza with more than forty tons of apparatus and costumes. His touring production was an American institution for nearly thirty years, and Thurston earned a brand name equal to Ziegfeld or Ringling Brothers.
and#160;
Steinmeyer explores the stage and psychological rivalry between Thurston and Houdini during the first decades of the twentieth century-a contest that Thurston won. He won with a bigger show, a more successful reputation, and the title of America's greatest magician. In The Last Greatest Magician in the World, Thurston's magic show is revealed as the one that animates our collective memories.

Synopsis:

An acclaimed historian sleuths out literatureandrsquo;s most famous vampire, uncovering the source material andndash; from folklore and history, to personas including Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman andndash; behind Bram Stokerandrsquo;s bloody creation.

In more than a century of vampires in pop culture, only one lord of the night truly stands out: Dracula. Though the name may conjure up images of Bela Lugosi lurking about in a cape and white pancake makeup in the iconic 1931 film, the character of Draculaandmdash;a powerful, evil Transylvanian aristocrat who slaughters repressed Victorians on a trip to Londonandmdash;was created in Bram Stokerandrsquo;s 1897 novel of the same name, a work so popular it has spawned limitless reinventions in books and film.

But where did literatureandrsquo;s undead icon come from? What sources inspired Stoker to craft a monster who would continue to haunt our dreams (and desires) for generations? Historian Jim Steinmeyer, who revealed the men behind the myths in The Last Greatest Magician in the World, explores a question that has long fascinated literary scholars and the reading public alike: Was there a real-life inspiration for Stokerandrsquo;s Count Dracula?

Hunting through archives and letters, literary and theatrical history, and the relationships and events that gave shape to Stokerandrsquo;s life, Steinmeyer reveals the people and stories behind the Transylvanian legend. In so doing, he shows how Stoker drew on material from the careers of literary contemporaries Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde; reviled personas such as Jack the Ripper and the infamous fifteenth-century prince Vlad Tepes, as well as little-known but significant figures, including Stokerandrsquo;s onetime boss, British stage star Henry Irving, and Theodore Rooseveltandrsquo;s uncle, Robert Roosevelt (thought to be a model for Van Helsing).

Along the way, Steinmeyer depicts Stokerandrsquo;s life in Dublin and London, his development as a writer, involvement with Londonandrsquo;s vibrant theater scene, and creation of one of horrorandrsquo;s greatest masterpieces. Combining historical detective work with literary research, Steinmeyerandrsquo;s eagle eye provides an enthralling tour through Victorian culture and the extraordinary literary monster it produced.

About the Author

Jim Steinmeyer is the critically acclaimed author of The Glorious Deception, Charles Fort, and Hiding the Elephant, a Los Angeles Times bestseller. He is also a leading designer of magic illusion who has done work for television, Broadway, and many of the best-known names in modern magic. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781585428458
Subtitle:
the Battles of the American Wizards
Publisher:
Tarcher
Editor:
m H., Jr.
Author:
Steinmeyer, Jim
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Subject:
Educators
Subject:
Magicians -- United States.
Subject:
Houdini, Harry
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Subject:
Biography-Entertainment and Performing Arts
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120830
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
25 illustrations throughout
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
17-17

Related Subjects

Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Magic

The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 384 pages Jeremy P. Tarcher - English 9781585428458 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Expanding on his chapters on Howard Thurston in his history of magic, Hiding the Elephant, Steinmeyer produces an engaging full-length biography of the man Orson Welles called 'the master.' While Houdini's daring stunts were legendary, Steinmeyer says Thurston was the public's favorite, captivating audiences with his 'self-assured grandeur.' Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Thurston gained fame in the early part of the 20th century with his 'Rising Card Trick,' in which he levitated cards named by audience members. He successfully changed with the times, going from street performances to wagon tours through the West. He then became a top vaudeville star, but wisely left the vaudeville circuit to produce more ambitious spectacles involving 40 tons of magic apparatus and colorful costumes, a variety of animals, and more than two dozen assistants. Tracing the magician's rise to fame, this volume neatly juggles his marriages and his magic with his triumphs, travails, showmanship, and marketing ballyhoo ('The Wonder Show of the Universe'). Steinmeyer recovers, from the shadows of his greatest rival, a figure whose grandiose productions were an American institution for almost 30 years. (Feb. 3)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by ,
Now in paperback, the acclaimed biography of the magician's magician, Howard Thurston.
and#160;
andldquo;There is no greater expert on the history of stage magicians than Jim Steinmeyer. His deep knowledge of the subject, combined with a remarkable mastery of magical know-how, makes this book a smart, fantastic read. I can't recommend it enough!andrdquo;
andmdash;Neil Patrick Harris
and#160;
and#160;andldquo;Steinmeyer produces an engaging full-length biography of the man Orson Welles called andlsquo;the masterandrsquo;andhellip;Steinmeyer recovers, from the shadows of his greatest rival, a figure whose grandiose productions were an American institution for almost 30 years.andrdquo;
andmdash;Publishers Weekly
and#160;
andldquo;Magician and author Jim Steinmeyer rescues a forgotten American icon from Houdiniandrsquo;s shadow.andrdquo; andmdash;AARP: The Magazine
and#160;
andldquo;Thurston may have been forgotten, but The Last Greatest Magician In The World ably resurrects his legend and his awe-inspiring magic.andrdquo; andmdash;The Onion A.V. Club
and#160;
Here is the seminal biography of the magician's magician, Howard Thurston, a man who surpassed Houdini in the eyes of showmen and fans and set the standard fro how stage magic is performed today.
and#160;
Everyone knows Houdini-but who was Thurston? In this rich, vivid biography of the andquot;greatest magician in the world,andquot; celebrated historian of stage magic Jim Steinmeyer captures the career and controversies of the wonder-worker extraordinaire, Howard Thurston.
and#160;
The public's fickleness over magicians has left Thurston all but forgotten today. Yet Steinmeyer shows how his story is one of the most remarkable in show business. During his life, from 1869 to 1936, Thurston successfully navigated the most dramatic changes in entertainment-from street performances to sideshows to wagon tours through America's still-Wild West to stage magic amid the glitter of grand theaters. Thurston became one of America's most renowned vaudeville stars, boldly performing an act with just a handful of playing cards, and then had the foresight to leave vaudeville, expanding his show into an extravaganza with more than forty tons of apparatus and costumes. His touring production was an American institution for nearly thirty years, and Thurston earned a brand name equal to Ziegfeld or Ringling Brothers.
and#160;
Steinmeyer explores the stage and psychological rivalry between Thurston and Houdini during the first decades of the twentieth century-a contest that Thurston won. He won with a bigger show, a more successful reputation, and the title of America's greatest magician. In The Last Greatest Magician in the World, Thurston's magic show is revealed as the one that animates our collective memories.
"Synopsis" by ,

An acclaimed historian sleuths out literatureandrsquo;s most famous vampire, uncovering the source material andndash; from folklore and history, to personas including Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman andndash; behind Bram Stokerandrsquo;s bloody creation.

In more than a century of vampires in pop culture, only one lord of the night truly stands out: Dracula. Though the name may conjure up images of Bela Lugosi lurking about in a cape and white pancake makeup in the iconic 1931 film, the character of Draculaandmdash;a powerful, evil Transylvanian aristocrat who slaughters repressed Victorians on a trip to Londonandmdash;was created in Bram Stokerandrsquo;s 1897 novel of the same name, a work so popular it has spawned limitless reinventions in books and film.

But where did literatureandrsquo;s undead icon come from? What sources inspired Stoker to craft a monster who would continue to haunt our dreams (and desires) for generations? Historian Jim Steinmeyer, who revealed the men behind the myths in The Last Greatest Magician in the World, explores a question that has long fascinated literary scholars and the reading public alike: Was there a real-life inspiration for Stokerandrsquo;s Count Dracula?

Hunting through archives and letters, literary and theatrical history, and the relationships and events that gave shape to Stokerandrsquo;s life, Steinmeyer reveals the people and stories behind the Transylvanian legend. In so doing, he shows how Stoker drew on material from the careers of literary contemporaries Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde; reviled personas such as Jack the Ripper and the infamous fifteenth-century prince Vlad Tepes, as well as little-known but significant figures, including Stokerandrsquo;s onetime boss, British stage star Henry Irving, and Theodore Rooseveltandrsquo;s uncle, Robert Roosevelt (thought to be a model for Van Helsing).

Along the way, Steinmeyer depicts Stokerandrsquo;s life in Dublin and London, his development as a writer, involvement with Londonandrsquo;s vibrant theater scene, and creation of one of horrorandrsquo;s greatest masterpieces. Combining historical detective work with literary research, Steinmeyerandrsquo;s eagle eye provides an enthralling tour through Victorian culture and the extraordinary literary monster it produced.

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