Jennifer D'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
Aug 26, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: nonfiction, 2012-books
Read from August 21 to 26, 2012

while the time, place and people highlighted in larson's book are fascinating in their own right, the style of writing and clunky editing really took away from my enjoyment of the read. repetition occurs - olmsted's age is noted as 73 twice - in sentences one immediately following the other, for example. in other places, odd bits of information are interjected in a few sentences, as stand-alone paragraphs with no bearing on whatever is currently being written about in the story. some moments in the narrative are very much over-written and other moments we are left dangling, wondering what that random comment meant. for example - a small fire occurs at one of the key fair buildings. damage is minor yet after an investigation a dangerous omission of construction is found and all insurance policies are cancelled by the insurance companies. the reader is not told what this deficiency is...for approximately 100 ish pages. the flow of the book was just awkward and, at times, disruptive. which is a shame because, as i already noted, each subject - the fair (and it's players) and holmes - is fascinating. so much more could have been done to make this book really WOW readers. it feels like a missed opportunity.
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Reading Progress

08/22/2012 page 44
9.0% 2 comments
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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VeganMedusa Oh no! I have this up next. My friends' reviews of this book range from 2 5-stars, 3 4-stars, 1 3-star and now 2 2-stars. I don't know what to make of that.

Jennifer D i think it totally depends on how sensitive people are to style and flow of the narrative, vm. the subjects are fascinating, no doubt about that. but for me it was a disappointment because of how it was all put together.

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