Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

 It took me forever to finish this book (2 weeks), but I knew as soon as I started it and realized how detailed it was that the first two weeks of school probably wasn't the best time to start a book like this.  But, I plugged on because I had heard such good things about this author.  Here is my advice if you read an Erik Larson book:  Read one on a topic that you are truly interested in.  For instance, his new book is on WWII and I will read it, because I am fascinated with WWII.  This book was on the building of the World Fair in Chicago in 1893.  So, the topic wasn't interesting to me.  It was like two books in one.  I enjoyed the devil chapters but the architecture & building of the World Fair became torturous to read.  Read at your own risk. :)

Summary from
Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that 'The Devil in the White City' is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. 

Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. 

The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.

1 comment:

Vader's Mom said...

This one is on my list - My next one of his is a WWII novel. I'll let you know how it goes!