The Devil in the White City:  Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson Paperback Book

Details

Rent The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

Author: Erik Larson

Format: Quality Paperback, Abridged-CD, Unabridged-CD

Publisher: Random House Inc

Published: Feb 2004

Genre: True Crime - Murder

Retail Price: $18.00

Pages: 464

Synopsis

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, 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. Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson's skillful writing. --John Moe

View descriptions at Amazon.com

Recommended

Heart Full of Lies: A...
by Ann Rule

True-crime specialist Rule here examines the murder of Chris Northon in 2000. Northon's wife, Liysa, was convicted of the crime, though she claimed...

Thunderstruck
by Erik Larson

A true story of love, murder, and the end of the world’ s “ great hush” In 'Thunderstruck,' Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories...

Too Late to Say Goodbye:...
by Ann Rule

Jenn Corbin, a lovely, slim, brown-eyed blonde, appeared to have it all: two dear little boys, a posh home in one of the upscale suburbs of Atlanta,...

In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a...

Small Sacrifices: A True...
by Ann Rule

In the bestselling tradition of In Cold Blood, The Stranger Beside Me, and Fatal Vision, comes Small Sacrifices, the harrowing, headline-breaking...

Under the Banner of...
by Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer's true-crime investigation, which explores the sick reality behind the murder of an innocent woman and her baby in 1984, goes further and...

Reviews

BookLender review by Rebecca on 2007-06-26 17:42:26

Terrific story and a true one at that. Wonderful details. I had no idea that the pledge of allegiance was born out of the World's Fair - lots of interesting tidbits like this. It's also amazing to understand how much effort and psychological trauma went into the building of the Chicago World's Fair. I grew a little weary of Mr. Holmes and his psychosis, but that's not the author's fault! A great book that will appeal to fiction and non-fiction readers alike.