Linda's Reviews > The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
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Jun 19, 2008

it was ok
Recommended for: history buffs, architecture buffs, true crime readers
Read in August, 2008

A friend suggested this book and I thought perhaps it would be similar to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which I thoroughly enjoyed---historical with a story woven into it. However, I was unfortunately unable to finish it. I think Goodreads needs a new category...."got bored, so I gave up". This book weaves together the true story of 2 men, an architect and a serial killer---with the Chicago World's Fair as the background. I think it was the voluminous details given about the difficulty building the "White City" that finally did me in. I found myself eagerly skipping forward to the gory details of the evil Henry H. Holmes who seductively lures young women into his creepy lair. If there were cliff notes, I'd love to read how this all played out but alas, I haven't got time to wade through the all the construction problems, weather problems, ego problems, etc. to hang in there....gosh, I made it through half the book hoping that the author would finally get the two stories connected somehow!
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Reading Progress

02/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Werner (new)

Werner Linda, if you want to, you can create a bookshelf for your books titled "got bored, gave up" --or any other shelf headings you want! :-) I have one called "started, not finished," though in my case that includes some books that I plan to come back to, not just the ones I gave up on.


Catherine Wow! Finally, someone who feels the same way I do about this book. The only reason I am still reading it is because I want to love it. I feel like I "should" love it because it is very much my style of book. :)


Claudia exactly what how I feel!!!


message 4: by Ris (new) - rated it 1 star

Ris AGREE! Do not need or want the details he's providing. Who made what, how tall it was, how much iron used etc. the construction details are killing me!


Victorianna Whew! Just finished!! I agree, it took me about a year to finish this book for the same reasons as you. I would read a few pages and then start reading a completely different book but finally I've crossed the finish line.


Victorianna Whew! Just finished!! I agree, it took me about a year to finish this book for the same reasons as you. I would read a few pages and then start reading a completely different book but finally I've crossed the finish line.


Holly Widemire I'm so glad its not just me! I am having a hard time trudging through the laborious details of constructing the fair and keep trying to decide to quit reading this book. I'm bored to tears but hate to give up. I too like the HH Holmes parts but I kept thinking I would miss something if I skipped over the fair parts.


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