Harry Houdini is a haunted man. Haunted by success, his
emotions, and now by some of his compatriots: famed and feted
illusionists like himself. The only problem is that they are
dead. Houdini knows that time is running out, and before he
is ready to die, he must perform one final trick - the greatest
illusion of his life...
Last Illusion was
an award winner in the 2002 'Writers of the Future' literary
competition, and it's not hard to see why. Originally much
shorter, Telos has given author Steve Savile the opportunity
to expand his shorter work into a novella.
the majority of this book is loosely based on true events,
the closing chapters (and I doubt I'm spoiling anything here)
regurgitates the myth originally started by the
1953 movie Houdini. The magician didn't die on-stage
attempting to perform his famous water torture cell illusion.
The sad truth is that while Houdini was in the middle of a
tour in America, in the autumn of 1926, both he and his wife
Bess began to experience severe stomach discomfort. However,
Houdini refused medical treatment, mainly because doing so
would have meant he would have had to cancel some of his shows.
A few days later, while in Canada, it is alleged that he was
punched in the stomach by a student who was testing Houdini's
well-known ability to withstand blows to the body, and it
is that punch that is claimed may have been the cause of Houdini's
does make reference to the student, and that Houdini had stomach
pains, and to be fair the real events are nowhere near as
entertaining as the tale that Savile weaves.
tale of the world's most famous magician, which itself weaves
a little magic of it's own.
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