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The Devil in the White City
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ARCHIVE - BOTM discussions > The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - November 2016

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message 1: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - added it

Kristie | 4665 comments Our true crime themed group read for November is The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. Please discuss here and remember to use spoiler tags as needed, as everyone may start at different times and reads at different speeds.

The Devil in the White City Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that 'The Devil in the White City' is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.


Barb (barbie15) | 11 comments I am very excited we are reading this book. This book has been on my to read list for some time now.


message 3: by Ev (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ev | 46 comments Same here, Barbara! I love it already. Larson brings alive the events of the period marvelously.


Caroline | 6 comments I really liked In The Garden of Beasts. Looking forward to this one!


Ashley (theashoxford) | 3 comments I'm going to have to get in on this readalong as this book has been sitting on my shelf for years unread!


message 6: by Ev (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ev | 46 comments It reads like a really good true crime novel combined with the true story elements.


message 7: by Joce (new)

Joce (writethroughthenight) I read this book over the summer and it was so good, I think you will all enjoy it! Can't wait to talk about it!


Sharon (sharon_alexandr) | 216 comments I really enjoyed reading this and learning about the Chicago World's Fair. My husband and I used to go to Chicago every year for a semi-vacation (I was there for a work conference too) and so reading this was even more fun comparing it to the places we'd been.


Sam  (sam222) I absolutely loved this book. I read it in August and flu though it. I loved reading about the World's Fair, I think it would've been amazing to be there. Minus the H.H. Holmes thing.


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