It's definitely not the kind of book I'd pick up on my own. 1.) It's non-fiction, and 2.) It's True CrThis was my book club's selection for February.
It's definitely not the kind of book I'd pick up on my own. 1.) It's non-fiction, and 2.) It's True Crime (blech). Based on the True Crime novels I've read on the past, I was expecting something entirely different than what I got from this book - namely lots of blood, gore and violence.
However, The Devil in the White City is a slow building crime novel that focuses mostly on the psychological aspect of its murderer, H.H. Holmes, with the backdrop of the Chicago World fair and Exposition of the late 1800's. Intensely fact heavy and intricately researched, Larson sets his story in this dangerous world with ease and believability.
This book was very well written - I can't argue that. However, to me, it read a lot like a text book. It was pounded thick with facts and tidbits of very interesting information about the Chicago World Fair, but it also felt a bit overwhelming. There was lots of architectural jargon and facts about Chicago, for those of you who are into that thing. I also expected there to be more of a tie in between the World Fair and the murders. It felt like they were two separate stories that just happened to be occurring at the same time. I found myself hurrying through the Fair-building parts to get to the progression of H.H. Holmes murders, which were soooo creepy! I was thoroughly disturbed by how absolutely twisted his mind was - and that was the stronger part of the book, in my humble opinion.
All in all, if you're a fan of non-fiction, you'd probably enjoy this book. As a non-fan, I'm surprised I liked it as much as I did. ...more