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Twilight at the World of Tomorrow : Genius, Madness, Murder, and the 1939 World's Fair on the Brink of  War
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Group Reads Archive > February 2017 - Twilight at the World of Tomorrow by James Mauro

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message 2: by Bronwyn (new) - added it

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 651 comments I plan on reading this, but need something a bit lighter after the January book. I've started Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners which is just what I needed, and I'll join anyone else a bit later in the month. :)


Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I have started this. I think maybe the beginning goes a little slow. Or I'm just going a little slow.


message 4: by Ally (new) - rated it 1 star

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
I'm just about to begin chapter 5...it is a little slow so far but I think that's because my expectations were of something different to what I've so far read.

I'm interested in the 'World's Fair' - I want to know how one gets organised, how it's financed, how the exhibits are sourced and displayed, how people react to it and how it fits within the context of the time it was held. I want to feel the awe and splendour.

What I'm getting is alternate chapters about some American chief commissioner that I've never heard of and a description of how Einstein ended up in America.

I'm sure that it will all make sense later on but at the moment its not hanging together at all well.

I'm assuming that the 'Worlds Fair' in New York was something like 'The Great Exhibition' in London?...I wonder what today's equivalent is?


message 5: by Bronwyn (new) - added it

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 651 comments Well that's disappointing. I just slogged through January's read that was slow and alternated chapters... Now I don't know if I'll participate at this time... (Though I'm willing to be persuaded that I should.) This fair is my dad's favorite, he collects a lot related to it, which is why I picked up the book in the first place.

It came up in January's thread, and it's been a while since I read it, but you might like The Devil in the White City, Ally. It has the alternating chapters, but I do remember a lot about the actual fair.

I think there are still World's Fairs, but I think they've gotten very techy, since they're all about looking forward and whatnot.


message 6: by Ally (new) - rated it 1 star

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
I read a couple of reviews that have compared this unfavourably to The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. The reviewers seemed to think that the writing style was mirrored on but not quite as good as Erik Larson


message 7: by Bronwyn (new) - added it

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 651 comments Ohh, interesting!


message 8: by Ally (new) - rated it 1 star

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
I'm afraid that I've given up on this one.

I quickly skimmed the rest of the book but didn't find enough of the subject matter that would have interested me. I enjoyed some of the snippets over how they worked by 'committee' and how they worked out the cost-benefit of running such a fair.

There wasn't much more about Einstein so I'm not sure there was much relevance to including him really.

There wasn't enough of a commentary or any pictures of the exhibits inside the fair and there wasn't much in the way of 'customer' reaction to the exhibition.

I'm leaving it there...too many other great books to get stuck into.


Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I will continue with the book. There are pictures in my book - the Italian Pavillion and the parachute ride being but two of them.

I'm not very far in, the beginning has been slow going for me. I keep meaning to pick it up during the day when I have time to read it but somehow keep forgetting till nighttime when I tend to be drowsing off.

I was interested to see that it discusses Grover Whelan who I previously read about in Beau James by Gene Fowler.


message 10: by Bronwyn (new) - added it

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 651 comments I will probably read this eventually, but have decided not to read it at this point. January's book was a bit of a slog and I really don't want/need another at this point.


Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Well, after a year, I have finally finished this book.

I thought there was a fair amount about the Fair. I enjoyed the portion about Futurama because there was a Futurama at the 1964 New York World's Fair, which I was able to attend. The funny thing is that the main thing I remember from our visit to the Fair was how much it rained. We were looking for a restaurant and discovered that we were ankle deep in rainwater. So it looks like the sewage system at the Fair (same location - later Shea Stadium was there) hadn't improved much.

I thought the baby crawling event was appalling; Hilarious but appalling. Who would expect babies to crawl the length of half of a football field?

I would have liked there to have been more about the search for the bomber.

Overall, I thought it was worth reading.


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