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The White City

2.65 of 5 stars 2.65  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  19 reviews
It is the year of our lord, 1893. The crackle of electricity's first sparks, the mechanical whine of Ferris's wheel, the tinkling of crystal from the majestic city atop the hill--the sounds of a new era pervade the air as the century's last World's Fair commences in Chicago.

But darkness lurks beneath the metropolis so austere it has been dubbed the White City. Strikes loom...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2004)
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Katarina
Quite honestly, I hated this book. I was disapointed and disgusted by it, and I took that very personally. I'd had high hopes for it-- it had great reviews on the cover, saying it was supposed to be a really great, intense psychological thriller.... I don't know. Maybe I'd like it better now than when I was 16, but I just don't want to give it another chance.

The plot was interesting enough. I will give it that. A child is kidnapped, and at the same time, a serial killer is stalking the Chicago W...more
Suzie Diver
One of the most disappointing books I've ever read. I would like those couple hours back.
Marfita
Anyone looking for anything like a mystery in this (at least it doesn't claim to be one - it says it is a novel of murder) can just forget it. Yes, there are sleuths: a female alienist who smokes cigars, the Pinkertons, the local and ineffectual constabulary, but they aren't pursuing anything like a clue. If you like description, there's a great deal in here, prurient and grotesque. I can't say the author isn't artful, but no one behaves sensibly and the narrative seems almost stream of consciou...more
Shala Howell
Well, I liked it well enough to finish it, which isn't always a given any more. However, I finished it not because I needed to know how it ended, or because I cared about the characters, but because I am revising a book of my own right now and care deeply about what breaks an otherwise promising novel.

In this case, the location is excellent, and the premise is solid -- one of America's first female forensic detectives investigating one of America's first serial killers.

As far as I can tell, the...more
Tom
I read and liked Eric Larson's book "The Devil In the White City," but I found it too long and boring and the fictionalized parts about the serial killer were hokey and ethically questionable, journalistically. I was excited to read a proper novel about the 1893 Columbian Exposition, and I was not disappointed.

Michod's book was spooky and unnerving, his prose captured the spirit of the time period, although it was difficult at times--but I've read books written in 1893, and I can say with absol...more
Lynn
I really really wanted to like this book. I am sad to report the thing I liked the MOST about it was the typeface for the chapters (LOVELY) and the use of old images. OH, and the dust jacket is a gorgeous blue on quality paper. The descriptions of the fair were also good and painted a vivid picture.

The main detective seems like a Clarice Starling knock off, dropped into Chicago in 1893. There is just NO WAY a female 'detective' would have been accepted in that time period by the Chicago police,...more
William
not very good--boring
Drlambhead
Very disappointing read!! This book squandered the first 3/4's with a rapid, cynical, dark and vague ending, leaving a reader wondering how he could go so awry. The author captured so much of the feel of Chicago, and the time period, and draws us in with characters as if there is a mystery to be uncovered. However, he picks an unconventional way of ending a book without much satisfaction other than a dark perspective on humanity.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
THE WHITE CITY is, as advertised, a spooky and atmospheric thriller. More than that, it's a gripping, smart, at times too smart read. The prose is haunting and a bit Baroque, which might be off-putting to some, but stick with it and you will experience a world unlike any I have imagined. It reminds me of the movie SE7EN at times, the work of David Lynch, Gogol, Dostoevsky, David Foster Wallace. I look forward to Michod's next books.
Julie Marks
After several children are murdered during the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, expert forensic psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Handley is brought in to find the killer. When the son of prominent architect William Rockland disappears, Dr. Handley must race against the clock to find the boy before it's too late in this astute turn of the century thriller.

Amy
I found this book to be a bit disjointed and somewhat hard to follow. Not that it was badly written, but if an author is going to switch viewpoints as often as this one did, there should be better markers to indicate who the viewpoint character is when it switches. Or maybe it's just me. I do admit that I am sometimes easily thrown off.
Kim
Please, do not waste your valuable time reading this book. The ending is extremely unsatisfactory and the entire book was just not well written. I read this book for my book club and felt obligated to finish it. No one in the group liked it.
Fred
It had some well drawn characters, but the storyline was weak with repeated descriptions of the weather, no motive for the actions of many of the the characters. Thankfully it was a short book.
Stephanie
I somehow confused this book with "The Devil in the White City", which everyone was raving about. I was so perplexed as to why I was feeling so different and so disappointed. Now I understand. The serial killer portion was tedious.
Donna
The darkness of the period and story line disturbed me. However after writing that sentence I feel I should rate this book hire. For the writer captured me in a tale of horror.

Jennifer
One of the few books I started and never finished. Couldn't get into it like others of its kind. I recommend The Devil in the White City over this one, hands down.
Mary
OK, no more White City books for me! This is an awful book, full of meaningless passages and observations. Confusing, boring; unlikeable characters. Big time waster.
Jsipp
Didn't like this book because the author took too much liberty with history. Also the author used today's profanity in 1893 dialogue which ruined everything
Nikki
Jul 13, 2008 Nikki marked it as to-read
Shelves: willnotfinish
borrowed from someone, not the book I was wanting to read.
Michaela
Michaela marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2014
Tyler
Tyler marked it as to-read
Sep 08, 2014
Lauren
Lauren marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2014
Sandy
Sandy marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2014
Tarah
Tarah marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2014
Sarah Reynolds
Sarah Reynolds marked it as to-read
May 26, 2014
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