Friday, July 12, 2013
Review: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amazing. I've read a lot of nonfiction but I didn't know it could be like this. So storylike, so compelling, so captivating and shocking. The story of Chicago's world fair and the serial killer who emerged at the same time.
Another book I picked up because a book group was reading it. My fave Goodreads group "ladies and literature". It was about a week before the book discussion was about to start and everyone was complaining that it was too slow or they were afraid the murder chapters were going to be too gruesome. I love history and I tend to get really wrapped up in murder mysteries so why not! It was neither of those things to me.
I found the history fascinating, the architecture gave me such a clear image of this fair that took place almost a hundred years before I was born. The landscape was painted to clearly and the people became real to me.
"The knew he was a killer, but he was a charming killer." Man did this killer have confidence, that's what made it so scary. When was this going going to get caught? Why did people keep giving him loans and furniture? Why were there not regulations on buildings at the time?
I loved all the cameos by people who in the future will take cues from the fair- Disney, Frank L Baum, Frank Lloyd Wright! All the inventions we take for granted. This is history and yet so much of it is forgotten or unappreciated that it started somewhere.
I'm tempted to read one of his other books if they're all written like this, but like so many other author's I love I'll wait a bit and spread the wealth because if they're not as good it could sour my memory.
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