Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural (Paperback)

Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural By Jim Steinmeyer Cover Image
Email or call for price


The acclaimed and unforgettable true story of offbeat intellect and pioneering paranormal investigator Charles Fort--in paperback for the first time.

Here is the seminal biography of one of the most fascinating and polarizing figures in all of Americana: Charles Fort (1874-1932), "the mad genius of the Bronx," "the enfant terrible of science," and the groundbreaking visionary who shaped our modern view of the paranormal.

Theodore Dreiser called Fort "the most fascinating literary figure since Poe." H.G. Wells called him "one of the most damnable bores who ever cut scraps from out-of-the-way newspapers." No one was neutral about Charles Fort. Fort was a virtuoso at assembling records of bizarre, haunting, strange, and inexplicable anomalies for which science could not account.

Like no other book, Jim Steinmeyer's brilliant and celebrated biography takes you down the rabbit hole and into the strange life of an outsider genius.

About the Author

JIM STEINMEYER is one of today's most renowned historians of stage magic. His many books include The Last Greatest Magician in the World, Who Was Dracula?, The Glorious Deception, and Hiding the Elephant, a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Steinmeyer is a leading designer of magic illusion who has done work for television, Broadway, and many of the best-known names in modern magic, such as Doug Henning, Siegfried & Roy, and David Copperfield. Steinmeyer has also developed attractions and live shows for the Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, and DreamWorks, and has twice received fellowships from the Academy of Magical Arts.

Praise For…

"This is how biographies should be written: Steinmeyer is the ideal host, introducing us to a fascinating stranger, and sliding into the background...Here is a storyteller with a glint in his eye. Pull up a chair, you won't be disappointed." --Mark Stafford, Times of London

"An engrossing biography." --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Perceptive and entertaining." --Ed Park, Los Angeles Times

"Steinmeyer is a gifted biographer, an elegant and unobtrusive author who shows us an entirely fascinating, shy, and witty man, a 20th-century original. This book is not to be missed." --Margaret Heilbrun, Library Journal

"Steinmeyer conjures up his subject's world with wit and empathy, and subtly tracks the events that formed Fort's singular character. The man emerges as eccentric, funny, self-effacing and contradictory. Even the most devoted skeptic will enjoy his company." --Harry Pearson, The Daily Mail

"Fort can easily be lampooned as the man who wrote about rains of frogs, but as Jim Steinmeyer emphasizes in this intriguing biography, he trod a narrow tightrope between belief and skepticism. His life, as graphically portrayed in this book, was often frustrated and unfulfilled. But the legacy he left makes the world a brighter place: paradoxically, both saner and sillier." --David V. Barrett, The Independent

"While American history has relegated Fort to the same curiosity file he so deliberately plumbed, Fort's influence has outstretched his literary contributions. Steinmeyer conjures both the image and mind of Fort in such a way as to mirror Fort's own writings. In doing so, Steinmeyer offers readers a psychological profile of Fort, as well as a glimpse into the culture and history that birthed the supernatural interests of our nation." --Michael Mason, Tulsa World

"Steinmeyer captures Fort's wry humor, skepticism and wildest notions. He has emerged from the archives with a wonderful, prismatic portrait. --Publishers Weekly

"This odd, unique character emerges fully rounded in Jim Steinmeyer's fascinating, sympathetic biography." --Richard Lingeman, author of Theodore Dreiser: An American Journey

"A colorful portrait of an offbeat character." --Kirkus Reviews

"A delightful book." --Robert Ito, Los Angeles Magazine

"A jolly biography." --Damian Thompson, London Telegraph

"Steinmeyer has produced a meticulously researched, marvelously readable window on the life of this extraordinary man. Was he a genius or a crank? Fort's message is that we should not always seek solutions, because there might be none. That is Steinmeyer's verdict on the man himself." --Andrew Crumey, The Scotsman
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101983232
ISBN-10: 110198323X
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Pages: 352
Language: English