Sherry'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
Dec 31, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: awc, kindle, favorites

I loved this book! This is the story of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair as well as the story of the serial killer, Dr. H. H. Holmes, who was on a murder spree at the same time. The book is entirely factual, pieced together from various letters, pamphlets, newspapers, and other historical documents, however, the author has arranged the story as though it were a novel, making it a very enjoyable read.

The author does a terrific job of keeping the reader hooked as he frequently foreshadows ominous upcoming events in the plot. His telling of the story is so gripping that reading the book feels like watching a movie. In fact, all I could think about during the first half of the book was what a great movie this book would make! Turns out, Leonardo DiCaprio has purchased the film rights to this book, so we hopefully won't be waiting too long to see it!

What makes the story itself so incredible is how many major historical events and historical figures were in some way tied to this story. You get a glimpse into where Walt Disney most likely got his inspiration, the architectural minds behind many of America's great architecture (including Frank Lloyd Wright), and other fun characters like Wild Bill, Annie Oakley, etc. When reading the story, it almost seems like every famous or important person who ever lived can be traced back to this fair. Simultaneously, you get a dark glimpse into one of America's first serial killers, which is interesting when it intertwines with the modern emergence of Chicago the city, industrialism, and the dawn of the 20th century.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, particularly people interested in this particular time period of American history. Such a great book!!!
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Reading Progress

December 31, 2011 – Shelved
December 31, 2011 – Shelved as: awc
January 8, 2012 – Started Reading
January 12, 2012 –
48.0% "This book is SO SO awesome so far! They really need to make this into a movie. It would be incredible."
January 13, 2012 –
60.0% "Look! It IS going to be made into a movie!"
January 14, 2012 – Shelved as: kindle
January 14, 2012 – Finished Reading
June 11, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites

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

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Lisa CANNOT wait to read this!

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