The Devil in The White City by Erik Larson

Posted in Review at 8:22 am by Amber

Title: The Devil in The White City
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Vintage
Source: My personal library

From the Random House site:

Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson’s spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men–the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World’s Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

Published about 8 years ago, The Devil in The White City was a Number 1 New York Times Bestseller, winner of an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and a National Book Award nominee. Supposedly it’s being made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio but you know how some things in production sometimes never make it off the ground. It was a great book to start off my reading year. Sprinkled with bits of written correspondance and journals it captures the difficulties and pressure that comes with putting on a show for the entire world.

There are two main characters who use the Chicago’s World Fair for different purposes. Daniel Burnham, an architect, later became one of the first city planners in the country. The death of his business partner while planning the World Fair made Burnham come into his own. Dr. H. H. Holmes was a serial killer who used the influx of visitors (especially single women) to get his victims.

It’s an extraordinary tale of these two men and how one event would have a lasting impact on the United States.

Next month, Erik Larson will be in town for a Thurber House event to promote his latest book. Garden of Beasts is set in Berlin, Germany as Adolf Hitler comes to power.

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1 Comment »

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy) said,

    April 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    It sounds like this one was well deserving of its awards.
    bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last blog post ..Wondrous Words Wednesday

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