The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America The Devil in the White City discussion


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Book Review

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message 1: by Brittany (last edited Oct 14, 2011 01:01PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Brittany Aldridge I read the Devi l in the White City. This book was written by Erik Larson to explore the magic, mystery, and murder that took place during the World’s Fair in Chicago. Throughout this book, he lays out the story of how the Chicago World’s Fair took the world by storm, but not necessarily in a good way. He tells the stories of the architects who made sure Chicago lived up to the expectations of the rest of America, and of the infamous mass murderer that came to Chicago to seek work…and lives.
The theme of this book is the Chicago World’s Fair that occurred in 1893. It tells the point of view from the inside work done to create the biggest fair the world has ever seen, in order to show that Chicago was a dominant city at this time. Devil in the White City discusses how one handsome and charming “doctor” used the World’s Fair as a way to lure victims, mostly women, into his house to torture and kill them so he could collect insurance money. Erik Larson uses this book as a way to expose the evilness of some people, and how some people will go to any extreme for a little extra money in their pockets.
I would say that the style of this book is both a description. It is a description because it describes the World’s Fair in great detail. It takes you through every step it took to create the largest fair the world has seen. Devil in the White City also explores the events that took place during and after the fair. I believe it was effective because it took you step by step through the emotions, and physical sweat it took to prepare the most magical, mysterious event the world has experienced. Although it was effective, it was kind of slow to get to the point.
I did not really care for this book. When I first picked it up, it sounded mysterious and like it would hold my attention. It was kind of a slow start, and didn’t really pick up much in throughout the book. There wasn’t really much I like about this book because it was kind of confusing to follow. If I could change something I’d make it go a little faster, but still hold the good details. I haven’t really ever read a book like this before.


Joanne I thought the book was well written and informative...and creepy.


Randy Cashner I, also, found the book to be informative and for the most part well written. The reader should know that this is essentially two stories that have the Chicago World's Fair as their central point. The development of the Chicago World's Fair was fascinating but at times the writing was slow. Interspersed with the building of the World's Fair was the story of a charismatic serial killer who was drawn to Chicago to prey on young girls who came there to work at the Fair. I found both aspects of the story to be equally interesting and thought provoking.


Geoffrey And each story acted as a counterpoint to the other as to commentary on the duality of human beings, shiva and krishnu, creators and destroyers.


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