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Bill Palmer
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On 2011-01-29 15:38, cairo wrote:
Like all Steinmeyer books it looks like it's worth a read. Disturbed to hear Silverman felt the book was marred in the way he suggests at the end of the review. Still, I like Steinmeyer and want to know more about Thurston.

Silverman should not cast the first stone. His review, itself, is somewhat sloppy. For example, he should have given Palladino's first name as well as her last name, because nearly every account of the rivalry between Houdini and Eusapia Palladino does just that.
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Kevin Connolly
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Oh yeah, that's critical. Leaving Eusapia out. Not. Smile
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Oh, crud, I hope Eusapia doesn't see this latest snub that Ken Silverman has thrown at her.
And if she has, I hope with all my heart she finds this thread and sees Bill Palmer's astute criticism of Dr. Silverman's review. At least then she will see that someone remembers--someone cares.
I have a dozen books in which that sweet, plump, little Italian woman is referred to again and again as "Palladino" and I'll bet every one prompted her to say, "Call-a me, Eusapia, alla my friendsa do."
If anybody objects to my written version of a vaudeville Italian dialect, they should take it up with Silverman and Palmer. They started this!
John Cox
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New review (of a sort). I have to say, Silverman took Steinmeyer out of context in his review.
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I like Jim's other books, but what drives Jim to critize Houdini so much? Even in Hiding the Elephant I got the feeling he didn't really care for Houdini. Is it that Houdini fit more into escapology?

Exactly what makes one the greatest? The most popular, the one whose name is recognized longer, the one who came up with the most clever trick/illusion or just plain old ticket sales?
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John Cox
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You know, I'm as hardcore a "Houdini guy" as they come, but I had no problem with this book. I didn't think Jim criticized Houdini unfairly. His observations are pretty astute actually, and not all negative. He just tends to tell insider stories from a non-Houdini perspective, so Houdini isn't necessarily on the pedestal we are used to seeing him on. Doesn't hurt Houdini, IMO.

As to what makes one the "greatest"? Heck, I don't know. Was Thurston the greatest? Maybe. Maybe not. But this is the book that makes that case. And it's a case worth making by a guy who knows his magic history.
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