Goodreads Synopsis: Against this backdrop, in 1924, the pretty wife of a distinguished Boston surgeon came to embody the raging national debate over Spiritualism, a movement devoted to communication with the dead. Reporters dubbed her the blonde Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most vocal advocate was none other than Sherlock Holmes’ creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery’s powers that he urged her to enter a controversial contest, sponsored by Scientific American and offering a large cash prize to the first medium declared authentic by its impressive five-man investigative committee. Admired for both her exceptional charm and her dazzling effects, Margery was the best hope for the psychic practice to be empirically verified. Her supernatural gifts beguiled four of the judges. There was only one left to convince…the acclaimed escape artist, Harry Houdini.
Let me start by saying this is a non-fiction book, so if you don’t like those then you probably won’t like this book. If you do then read on!
I really enjoyed reading this book. At 448 pages it’s a bit of a read, but it’s about Houdini and the seances of the 20’s. How can you go wrong?
The first thing I noticed about this book were the 3-5 max chapters. THIS IS AWESOME. Even for me, a huge lover of non-fiction, long chapters can be the worst. There’s nothing so frustrating as loving a book but getting bogged down by the loooooong (sometimes dull) chapters. In this book the chapters are great! Short and to the point.
David Jaher does a really good job of keeping his book interesting. I learned so much! The people in the story really came to life for me. Houdini, Margery and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. All of them were such interesting people. And I think that Jaher did a great job of giving all the sides, he never seemed biased. Margery was a fascinating woman but also a sad woman. It was so interesting to see her go from a woman who knew practically nothing about seances and mediums, to be becoming one of the most famous mediums ever. She also spent a huge part of her life giving seances for scientists and being criticized by them. I had to hand it to her, even though she was a fake she endured a lot of crazy things at the hands of people testing her to see if she was real. She put up with a lot.
I ended up giving this book four stars on Goodreads, it’s a great book! I learned a lot and you could too. I was given a copy of this book from Blogger for Books in exchange for a fair review.