David jaher astrology

Jaher's research of spiritualism and its early 20th-century cast of characters is meticulous. While the book starts with an overenthusiastic influx of exclamation points and unnecessary quotation marks, the often-jarring use of punctuation works itself out as the tale gets rolling. Despite the historical detail and daunting number of scientists and journalists involved in the Scientific American contest, Jaher manages to slowly build suspense up to Houdini's ultimate psychic showdown.

Jaher admirably trusts the reader to appreciate the inherent drama of events and refrains from drawing any exaggerated or salacious conclusions beyond the fruits of his research. Houdini and Margery were cordial combatants throughout the experience and much was said of the medium's physical and metaphysical charms, but the "Witch of Lime Street" keeps the rumors in perspective and sticks to the documented facts.

Houdini's story has been told any number of times, and his battle against fraudulent mediums is inevitably part of the narrative. An exaggerated version of Margery materializes briefly in the History Channel's recent Houdini biopic starring Adrien Brody. While the miniseries was obviously informed by the same research as Jaher's effort, the nuance and potential motivations of the book's Margery are explored in much more detail.

Even so, the book left me hungry for more insight into both Margery and Conan Doyle, whose lives made their life choices puzzling. They spoke to the innocence of a less technological age and also the pains Jaher, who has been a screenwriter and a professional astrologer, apparently took to frame his book with the perspective of the times past, rather than the condescension of a more sophisticated present. Readers looking for details of Houdini's time in Appleton and Milwaukee will be disappointed.

Both cities were mentioned in passing he loved Appleton, Milwaukee not so much before focusing on his later life. Shia LaBeouf hitchhiking in Manitowoc area p. Tosa development that includes Stone Creek Cafe is stalled; Screaming Tuna no longer part of project p. Good City Brewing opens to the public this week p. Accordion adventurer Guy Klucevsek performs here June a. View All Blog Posts. You can view today's paper or previous issues. Want full access? Photos Video. Convicted kidnapper's confession not enough to charge in Depies case.

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I was almost like a craze of some kind. Naturally, the popularity of Spiritualism waned, in large part due to the evidence of fraud, but also due to the changing financial climate and like many other wildly popular trends it just ran out steam. But, it was a fascinating phenomenon as the book indicates, with very famous people involved, but the book was bogged down from a bit too much minutia, and was a rather dry read.

Parts of it were very absorbing, but I admit I got pretty bored with it more often than not. Mar 19, Melora rated it liked it Shelves: summer-challenge That was a slog. Still, I'll start with what was best about this one: the cover. Actually, I hadn't initially realized it was glow-in-the-dark and was quite startled when, on my first night with the book, a powerful green glow was emanating from m Phew! Actually, I hadn't initially realized it was glow-in-the-dark and was quite startled when, on my first night with the book, a powerful green glow was emanating from my nightstand.

My husband, who doesn't ordinarily concern himself with books aside appreciating their value as household insulation, found my new bedside light pretty amusing! As for the content, I can best express it by saying that this would have been twice as good if it has been half as long. Aside from a weakness for exclamation marks, Jaher's writing is unexceptional, but, evidently, having done his research into the seances and demonstrations which the Crandons held, he is determined to share Every Detail with his readers.

Oh, and the ectoplasm. She got to have her cake and eat it too, as it were. No one, really, comes off looking attractive out of this, even Doyle and Houdini, who are probably the most sympathetic characters. The title correctly indicates that the subject here is Mina and the efforts to prove or disprove her gifts as a medium, but I wish it had included a little more on the spiritualist movement at this point in history.

Still, it seems to me that the popular misunderstanding says a lot about the eagerness of many people at the time to believe in the claims of Spiritualism, and that a little elaboration would have been relevant. Jaher's focus is Mina Crandon, though, so I may be trying to drag him off topic here. Anyway, this isn't awful, but it would have been better had many of the repetitious scenes and descriptions been cut.

View all 11 comments. Dec 21, Rebecca Renner rated it it was amazing Shelves: arcs. A growing number of them, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, took solace in Spiritualism, which taught that death was not an end but a new beginning. This interest brought the concept of seances into the public eye. Even Scientific American did a series on occultism, eventually hosting a conte In his book The Witch of Lime Street, David Jaher paints a picture of a lesser-known aspect of the Roaring Twenties: its obsession with the occult.

Even Scientific American did a series on occultism, eventually hosting a contest to find a true spirit medium. Their intent was—using scientific means—to either debunk spiritualism as a widespread hoax or to ground it in fact. He easily exposed countless charlatans, until he finally met his match: Mina "Margery" Crandon, the eponymous Witch of Lime Street. I was all over it. What it came down to was not the subject matter—that was just plain cool—but the way it was related to the reader. To me, the author seemed disinterested.

Sure, there is a battle for the fate of our souls going on the question: is there scientific evidence to support the existence of an afterlife? He has tried to fit too much research into the story, so that this reads like an overview of occultism in the s instead of what would be more compelling: the lives of the characters involved, specifically Mina Crandon and Harry Houdini. If Jaher had fleshed out his narrative with dips into their psyches, using their thoughts from personal correspondence and diaries, the story would have had a greater depth, and it would have been more meaningful.

He could have even told the story closer to their perspectives by using more free indirect discourse. Jaher makes a few attempts at this, like on page , but the brunt of the narrative does not make use of this close of a perspective, and it suffers for that lack. If Jaher had told the story from a narrative perspective closer to the characters, he would have elevated the story from the level of a textbook and grounded it in the realm of biography, drastically improving the story without changing any of the important details, because what really matters here is not the whats but the whos.

The people in The Witch of Lime Street had the potential to be more compelling than the events. Their beliefs were at stake, their views of the world, their very existence. If the s and occultism interest you, definitely read this book. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Jun 09, Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , non-fiction. In the early 20th century, spiritualism was all the rage There were thousands of mediums across the country who were fleecing those who were desperate to contact dead relatives. When the famed author of the immortal Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became an outspoken believer and lecturer in spiritualism it came to the attention of scientists, doctors, psychologists and other men of science, In the early 20th century, spiritualism was all the rage When the famed author of the immortal Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became an outspoken believer and lecturer in spiritualism it came to the attention of scientists, doctors, psychologists and other men of science, mostly non-believers, who began to study this phenomena.

The famed illusionist and escape artist, Harry Houdini, who had initially been attracted to spiritualism, joined in the studies and experiments when he discovered that he could emulate the same effects used by mediums through trickery. He, like the modern day illusionist James Randi, sought the expose the mediums as fakes. The professional magazine Scientific American decided to create a committee of learned men including Houdini to "test" mediums under strict conditions to prove or disprove their claims.

Each subject was exposed as a trickster until one woman, a society lady from Boston who took no money to channel spirits came to their attention. She becomes the subject of this book and her story and the tests surrounding her authenticity as a true medium are simply fascinating. The only weakness of this book is the lack of explanation as to how some of the effects were accomplished but it is not enough to distract the reader from this informative and delightful book.

Jul 15, dianne rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads-give-away. Several of the characters have, through dint of sheer will, recreated themselves in the image they desired; something still doable in the early 20th century. But she may be her own creation as well. It is a historically wonderful story with lots of unlikely personalities bumping up against a radically changing world.

This was what Sir A. Doyle felt led to the rise in spiritualism, and coincided with the decline of a church not designed for modern people. Did any moral force stop that war? But his belief in something beyond this bit of time, and his openness to spirits, probably saved him. A C Doyle seems the most content of the raging egos alive in this epic time. It was a Goodreads giveaway win. Don't forget to check out the cover in the dark! View 1 comment. Nov 02, N. Light rated it it was amazing.

I knew nothing about this time in American History but since I've always been fascinated by Houdini, I picked this up. Well written with a balance of viewpoints, The Witch of Lime Street is a must read. My Rating: 5 stars. Jul 03, Jaksen rated it really liked it Shelves: giveaways. Well, well, a book about seances and Spiritualism, Houdini and assorted 'experts' from various fields of science many with Harvard and similar backgrounds and a medium named Mina or Margery Crandon. First off, what I thought most compelling was to imagine what my family thought of all this. Oh, how I wished my grandmother was still around!

My grandmother had a high school education, but was always so aware of what was going on around her in the world. Very well-read woman for someone from the Well, well, a book about seances and Spiritualism, Houdini and assorted 'experts' from various fields of science many with Harvard and similar backgrounds and a medium named Mina or Margery Crandon. Very well-read woman for someone from the 'lower' working class. I would have loved to have said omg tell me what your impressions were of Houdini and Mina Crandon! You were in your early twenties at the time, so One of my grandmother's brothers also married a woman who claimed to be a medium, was a Spiritualist minister in a nearby town and told MY mother I'd be born a boy, and stillborn.

Wrong, Aunt Trudie! Anyhow, what we've got here is a long-running feud between Houdini, determined to unmask and expose clairvoyants, mediums, etc. Mina Crandon, was a bonafide medium who was able to channel her dead brother, Walter. What makes the book interesting is that there is no black and white here. Even as Houdini, and those who thought like him - the skeptics - tried to disprove Mina's claims, they all had moments when they wanted her to be real, to be a true medium.

Houdini himself, even as he's uncovering her tricks, is often disappointed. He was very close to his mother and wanted very much to be able to speak to her after she passed away. However, he was a not a man to deny the facts. And the facts are fascinating. Though not every one of Mina's 'tricks' is covered here; she was ultimately labeled a fraud and died a lonely, nearly forgotten woman. However, at her peak, she was a lively, attractive, flirtatious, and perhaps sexually-promiscuous younger woman.

Men seemed smitten with her and often held her hands and legs during seances; they also were allowed to search her body prior to seances. Think about that. This is the early 's. The book was a bit jumpy in places. One chapter would jump in location and time to another without much of a transition to assist the reader It could have used a little better editing in that regard.

But overall, a nice introduction to a woman who did battle with Houdini - and lost. Oct 06, Debbie rated it really liked it Shelves: debs-books , net-galley-books , ebooks , blogging-for-books. I had never heard about any of this. That there was a contest set up by a science magazine to find a "real" medium and the monies that were spent to discover one.

How Houdini would denounce every one that they brought forward. Then how when they brought forth Margery how he went on a one man crusade to denounce her abilities 3. Then how when they brought forth Margery how he went on a one man crusade to denounce her abilities. It was pretty strange. Also the fact that Sir Arthur Canon Doyle got involved.

He gave up writing Sherlock and got involved in this crap. Anyways, on to the book. I thought the book was interesting. It was easy read, but not so easy to keep up with all the names. There were a lot of them and if you were to quiz me on them, I'd flunk. Parts of the book were very interesting, parts of it were not and parts of it were just kinda gross.

I had to keep reading though to find out, was she a hoax?

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The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World

It always bothered me though that she mostly did the same thing over and over and her brother was the only one that showed up. I didn't like the way Houdini was treating her, but when I looked at his pictures, he looked like a little weasel anyway. Anyway, if your into seances and the spiritual world and history itself, this is definitley something I had never heard of and will definitely give you one up in the trivia games.

Thanks Crown Publishing and Net Galley for this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. Oct 01, Ashley rated it it was ok. Wandering, inconsistent, and more lurid than expository, the story and the breadth of research is interesting, but the actual execution made this book almost unbearable to read. Jun 12, Bev rated it liked it Shelves: biography , non-fiction , history , paranormal , bought , mount-tbr The subtitle is Seance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World and quite a big deal is made about the fact that "Margery," the so-called "Witch of Lime Street" and famed medium has to prove herself to Houdini.

It's presented as a duel between the two. But--Houdini disappears for a large portion of the book. The beginning alternates between giving us the background on Houdini and how his escape artist abilities lead him to The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher was a bit of a disappointment. The beginning alternates between giving us the background on Houdini and how his escape artist abilities lead him to become intrigued with, investigate, and ultimately debunk the mediums and spiritualists he comes in contact with AND giving the history of the spiritualist movement--including the involvement of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

However, most of the book focuses on a controversial contest that was sponsored by the Scientific American and which offered a large cash prize to the first medium declared genuine by a five-man committee which would include Houdini among its members. But most of the mediums feared Houdini's involvement, so the committee had him continue his escape artist tours and told him they would only call him in if they found a very promising candidate.

There were many failures before Margery came along as Doyle's best hope for authentication. She appeared to be a very powerful medium and produced many dazzling effects--but, again, Houdini wasn't there for most of the tests and she didn't really want to be tested by him.

He finally comes along at the end and her powers are thrown into question--enough so that she doesn't win the prize. The book is well-researched and offers a wealth of information on the spiritualist movement in a highly entertaining manner. But the advertised "duel" between Houdini and Margery is not nearly as dramatic as anticipated and falls rather flat. First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Oct 21, Marjolein rated it really liked it Shelves: arc , read-in-english , historical-fiction.

Even though I hadn't heard of it before, I find it not surprising that in this particular atmosphere Spiritualism was at it highest. Together with the ever emerging science which had already proved thing that were thought to be impossible ju 3. Together with the ever emerging science which had already proved thing that were thought to be impossible just decades before, this lead to the Scientific American holding a contest to find a real, scientifically proven, medium. A very interesting story of which, I'll admit, I'd never heard of.

I picked the book up mostly for the historical figures that were mentioned in the blurb, sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Houdini, who would eventually turn against each other on this subject. However, the book focusses mostly on the Scientific American contest and the examination of the most promising candidate, the so-called Witch of Lime Street. And while it was an enjoyable read, I felt it was too long. At almost pages, it was too long for the story it told.

The first half was very good, but with every new examination of Margery, which all seemed quite a lot like the last one, it was harder to keep my interest fully with the book. Overall however, I found the book very interesting and would recommend it to those interested in the s or the Spiritualism craze of that time. Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

May 12, Lori rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , historical. I would give this book a 3. I have never read a book that had to do with Seances. The world has just gone through World War one. So man people lost loved ones. They yearned for a way to contact them. In the s. Seances,and Quija boards were very popular. As a result many so called psychics came to be claiming they can contact th I would give this book a 3.

As a result many so called psychics came to be claiming they can contact the dead. Of course most were fakes and con artists. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spent time with psychics trying to contact relatives he has lost. Harry Houdini who was for awhile friends with Arthur Conan Doyle was also interested in trying to find a reputable psychic. Houdini meets "Margery" the Witch of lime street. This is a very long book over pages. It spends a lot of time writing about psychics, the occult world. It takes the readers back to a place in the s that I have not heard a lot about.

Pretty good for the most part. Jul 12, Mauoijenn marked it as to-read Shelves: own-it-mine , arc-first-2read , goodreads-giveaway-winner. Aug 25, Marti rated it really liked it Shelves: general-non-fiction. Although I believe all Spiritualists are basically flim flam artists, I get a kick out of reading this stuff for the same reason I like anything involving circus freaks, medicine shows etc. While I was aware that Spiritualism was huge after the Civil War, I didn't realize just how much of a fad it was in the s.

In retrospect it makes perfect sense because almost everyone knew someone young who had died, either in "The Great War" or the Spanish Flu epidemic. While I had heard vaguely about som Although I believe all Spiritualists are basically flim flam artists, I get a kick out of reading this stuff for the same reason I like anything involving circus freaks, medicine shows etc.

David Jaher - Biography & Interviews | Coast to Coast AM

Along with her husband, a prominent Boston doctor, the so-called Witch of Lime Street and her dead brother Walter managed to convince a lot of respectable scientists that she could really talk to the dead. This was no obscure experiment. It was apparently given worldwide coverage. It got very repetitive because Walter's parlor tricks were largely the same ie.

Houdini's repeated attempts to prove she was a fraud did not stick. It seems as if the story was so good that even serious journalists and scientists wanted to milk it for a while. While all this was happening, some other sinister things are hinted at such as rumors that several prospective adoptive children from England were rejected by the Crandons and sent back to England, never to arrive.

Since I am reviewing an advanced reading copy, I wonder if the final version will include some of the "Spirit Photographs" that were mentioned in the book. One, which was part of a talk on Spiritualism given by Doyle, supposedly depicted ghosts of dead soldiers at an Armistice Day commemoration in England which caused hysteria wherever it was shown. I also wanted to see the mad paintings and drawings done by Doyle's father who ended up in an insane asylum [I am Googling as we speak]. The one quote that struck me from the book was essentially that "the more rapidly technology advances, the more people will turn to Spiritualism.

Jul 01, Bob Schnell rated it really liked it Shelves: outsiders-freaks-and-charlatans , read-in , history. Advanced Reading Copy Review Due to be published October This is the full story, as much as it can be told, of Harry Houdini's war against fake mediums and spiritualists and the one woman who fought back against his accusations.

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Any one familiar with Houdini's story knows of his mission later in life to expose the charlatans who claimed to be able to speak to the dead and allow them to manifest themselves in our world by moving things, knocking on wood and other parlor tricks. Lesser known i Advanced Reading Copy Review Due to be published October This is the full story, as much as it can be told, of Harry Houdini's war against fake mediums and spiritualists and the one woman who fought back against his accusations. Best of all, the book evokes the time of Spiritualism in America when so many people who had lost loved ones due to WWI and the Spanish flu epidemic turned to psychics and mediums in their grief.

Author David Jaher certainly did his research. Reports from the Scientific American committee give us explicit details about what exactly went on in psychics' drawing rooms to hoodwink the public. We also get rare glimpses into the personal lives of the major players via their journals and letters. Overall, the story moves along well, though the descriptions of seances get a bit repetitive.

The stand-out character for me is Margery's deceased brother Walter who is her spirit contact on "the other side". Walter is quite the personality for a dead man; cracking jokes, making rude comments, acting playful one moment and threatening the next. Is he Margery's alter-ego released under hypnosis, a ventriloquist's effect or the real deal? No spoiler here, you'll have to read the book and draw your own conclusion. Eerily enough, the day I finished this book I was watching an episode of "Mysteries at the Museum" and a segment about this very story was featured.

Cue the spooky music Sep 05, Cindy rated it liked it. The negatives: The author really should have thought long and hard about his target audience.


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If his intent was to sell this to academics who want every tiny detail [although they prefer it annotated, footnoted, cross referenced and with a bibliography exceeding 3 pages] he did pretty good. The plot suffered; trying to keep track of it was kin The negatives: The author really should have thought long and hard about his target audience.

The plot suffered; trying to keep track of it was kind of like trying to find vegetables in a wildly overgrown garden — hidden gems surrounded by masses of weeds and useless debris. The positives: It is a well told slice of history that I knew relatively little about. I suppose that was due to so many people dying in both the influenza epidemic and WWI. Comments: Both Doyle and Houdini were fanatics in the truest sense of the word. Both were only looking for the stuff that supported their own points of view.

Negative proof would have to be fairly huge to get their attention. The author did a good job presenting both sides, allowing the reader to make their own decisions.

For the many spiritualism offers hope — and many people are willing to suspend belief to get that hope. There will probably never be definitive proof either way — which makes it very fertile ground for the con artists among us.

Oct 19, bookczuk added it Shelves: nonfiction , made-me-look-something-up , made-me-think , early-review-librarything , taught-me-something. World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic of carried many souls from this earth. But could those left behind actually still communicate with them? The panel of experts included MIT physicists, respected judges and Harvard psychologists.

And Harry Houdini, a man bereft from loss, but soured by the frauds and schemers bilking other bereaved out of masses amounts of money. But also a man who was an expert on illusion, and who vehemently unmasked charlatans.