The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most... show more
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.To find out more about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com.From the Hardcover edition.
Publish date: February 11th 2003
Publisher: Random House Audio
Edition language: English
I really enjoyed this narrative nonfiction tale of Chicago's World Fair... but it wasn't what I was expecting. Given the title The Devil in the White City, I thought the book would focus much more on HH Holmes and his murderous castle. While that was certainly a prominent aspect of the book, it focu...
Dear god, this book dragged on. Very well-written, well-researched...just overkill on all the machinations of the 1893 Chicago World Fair. I was expecting more about the serial killer than the Fair, and it was opposite. Through the first 3 parts the chapters (for the most part alternating between th...
Wow, this is an amazing retelling of major events in history. It's told in such a way that that facts really come to life. It's half the making of a monumental public attraction and half inside the life of a serial killer.
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed reading this book and it did hold my interest all the way through. But if a person, who never has read a non-fiction book before in his entire life wants to try this genre out, would ask me, if this is the book he should read, I would say no. There are ot...
I didn't love this book as much as the first novel I read by Larson. It seemed, somehow, full of shorter and choppier sentences, even though that's not truly the case given how long and explanatory some sections were. That was just the impression I came away with after reading a few chapters at a ti...