PositiveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)... a casual, idiosyncratic effort to sift through the jumbled mass of Houdiniana and separate the more established fact from the more persistent fiction. Beyond that, it is an attempt— intentional or not—to defend the fiction. Posnanski’s dreamy reverence for the brotherhood of magicians and their code, such as either exists, is one kind of rationalization; his romanticization of tall tales and folklore as entertainment is another ... Joe Posnanski’s book transcends its subject. The Life and Afterlife shows that Houdini’s career and his enduring legacy are not just the work of a single entertainer with a yearning for fame. They require a constant audience, an organic promotional machine that consists of those who are willing to accept and repeat the folklore unchallenged as well as those who are willing to let it slide—celebrate it, even—in the name of showmanship. If there is indeed something a little suspect about Houdini’s disregard for the truth, can’t the same be said of us when we justify printing the myth?