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

Erik Larson
Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair 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.


Reviewed: 2021-08-30
unbelievably good. a prim historical and architectural account of an extraordinary event, laden with the creeping, antiseptic terror of the methodical madman who exploited it all. fascinating anecdotes and information fill every page of this triumphant ode to the tenacity (for good or for ill) of the human spirit.
Reviewed: 2021-01-02
One of my favorite books of all times! Words cannot express how much I love this book. It was a recommendation from a friend and I've recommended to countless friends. Chicago during this time was an extraordinary place and Erik Larson makes sure that you know that throughout the book. Murder, intrigue, and just pure American brilliance kept me enthralled through out the whole thing. Love!!!
Reviewed: 2020-10-26
While the information about the fair itself was very interesting, it paled in comparison to the intrigue of one of America's first serial killers. Unfortunately the pages dedicated to the former outnumbered those dedicated to the latter a good two or three to one. The result is a read that is a bit dry for my tastes.
Reviewed: 2020-10-08

I was really excited for this book because I was very intrigued about the premise. Overall, I will say that the writing style is good. Every few chapters it would jump between the story/premise of the construction and trials of the World's Fair in Chicago, IL and then it would jump to the story/premise of the psychopath serial killer, Herman Webster Mudgett (aka H.H. Homes). I feel that this book really dragged on with the premise of the construction. Even though I enjoyed the story and learning more about the trials and the successes of what went into the planning, constructing and maintaining the 1893 World's Fair in the United States, I really would have appreciated it from the author to give us more into the life and investigation of the serial killer. I feel that the storyline of H.H. Homes was really lacking in more detail and that was really what originally pulled in my attention to this book. I will say this, that the end of the story really did a good job with wrapping up the book and giving me closure for the story line of H.H. Homes. Heads up though, this book really starts out slow. Be prepared to push through it for at least the first 1/4 of it. It does pick up about half way through the book. All in all, I would recommend this book because the Author did a great job with his research and his writing style was not confusing. This is an entertaining piece of published work that is based on true United States of American History.

Reviewed: 2019-11-08

Excellent writing, great research, and great integration of research into good writing. I would - and will - read it again!
There were many times when I lost the different stories in the book, but at the same time I was completely transfixed by all the stories. I was interested to see how they each ended individually and as a whole.
As to the epilogue at the end, usually I don't tend to like these - I think they are unnecessary and out of the way. But in the case I actually enjoyed it and didn't find it unnecessary at all.

Reviewed: 2019-04-28
This book is a nonfiction account of the 1892-93 Columbian World's Fair held in Chicago. The author provided detail in minutiae regarding the political divisiveness perpetrated by everyone from the mayor, federal and state governments to the union workers and landscapers. I would have liked a lot less political b******* and more of the story about the serial killer. I would have edited out about a hundred and fifty pages.
Reviewed: 2018-02-24
This should be right up my alley and I was excited this was the book club read this month. However, with club tomorrow and I'm only 100 pages into, well-I'm not going to finish.

I found the book slow, extremely detailed, and doesn't provided much to get me into or keep into the book. I'm might have kept plodding at this since I'm thinking it will pick up. After a week though, I'm rather over it.

First book of the year was a failure. Hopefully this isn't a trend.
Reviewed: 2017-05-25
Reviewed: 2017-02-16

This is a wild (non ficiton I might add) story.

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