The story of two men's obsessions with the Chicago World's Fair, one its architect, the other a murderer. "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 ...Read MoreThe story of two men's obsessions with the Chicago World's Fair, one its architect, the other a murderer. "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.Read Less
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Erik Larson wrote a winner - parallel stories with a hard-to-believe story-line...I'm looking forward to "Thunderstruck", which I just purchased...four instead of five stars because not enough photos and/or diagrams were included which illustrated his points...
May 18, 2014
Super, Fantastic Thriller
From the moment I opened the cover to the last page I could not stop reading. Not only is the murder mystery gripping but the history in this book is just super. You will learn so much about the history of a world's fair/exhibition, the city of Chicago and of America.
Aug 16, 2013
I bought this book because of my interest in serial killers, the Victorian era... and genealogy.
H.H. Holmes, whose real name was Herman Webster Mudgett, was a distant cousin to me on quite a few lines, our common ancestors having been the first settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire.
He was a compulsive liar, swindler, bigamist, narcissist, and murderer, and an undoubtedly repulsive specimen of humanity. Because he could never tell the same story twice, it is unlikely how many people he actually murderered. But his hotel, 'the Castle", was evidently his killing grounds-- though no hard evidence can be given for this, other than newspaper articles of the time.
This book is a page-turner, well-written, and I like how the author parallels the excitement of the late Victorian era's technological wonders with the darker, more nefarious realities of rampant crime.
"Holmes" chose his setting-- a big city, where people appear and disappear without anyone giving much notice-- for a purpose.
A must-read for those interested in true crime, serial killers, and 19th century history.
Nov 15, 2012
The Devil in the White City
This is a fascinating book. Anyone who is interested in the history of the city of Chicago should read it. There is also a lot about the history of America. I highly recommend this book.
Jan 19, 2012
Interesting history of Chicago
I love books written about this period in time. An enjoyable read, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if my family had lived in Chicago.
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