Jennie'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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's review
Mar 05, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: gg-modern, read-in-2010, read-in-february
Read from February 14 to 23, 2010

This is a nonfiction book about the Chicago World's Fair, but it is also about so much more. Following the travels and life of a killer, H.H. Holmes, that was at large during this very exciting time shows the deeper changes occurring in Chicago. Women could go missing and it was not necessarily surprising. This created the perfect environment for a monster masquerading as a Doctor, pharmacists, business owner and gentleman to do his dirty work. The majority of this book is written in a very traditional non-fiction manor, without much flow to the story but the portions regarding the sinister man are riveting! It may be that I find the subject of serial killers fascinating but the chapters about him keep me reading the rest of the book. The last 50 pages or so were some of the best of the book. The search and discovery of how H. H. Holmes was brought down flowed right into the search, rescue and discovery of the extent of the crimes he committed. Not only was he a brutal killer but his thievery and boldface lies ran deeper than the reader could imagine through most of the book. I was so-so throughout the book but the ending pulled it to an "I like" status.

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Reading Progress

02/17/2010 page 145
02/23/2010 page 368
82.33% "Ehhh...slow but decent." 2 comments
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