And that's why we drink bookclub discussion

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message 1: by Sam (new)

Sam (sammayreads) | 42 comments Mod
What were your final reviews of the book


message 2: by Lea (new)

Lea (littlered2212) | 2 comments I didn't read this this month for the book club, but I did read it in the last year or two. I was so massively disappointed in this book because so many people call this a great true crime book, but it was mostly in-depth history of the World's Fair. Very little of this book was about the murders, so I went in expecting something that was totally different in pace and content and tone.

I remember distinctly thinking that I never want to read about landscape architecture again.

If I'm being honest, it often felt like Larson's true focus was the nitty gritty details of that World's Fair but included H. H. Holmes to spice it up, make it sexier, attract more of an audience. Holmes wasn't even super connected to the fair. He benefited from it, sure. But we can't even know to what degree. Lots about Holmes's actual crimes are speculation. So much of it feels like a secondary plot/afterthought.

I know this book is wildly popular so I'm likely in the minority. I was a history major in college, so I've read (and enjoyed) some dry ass history nonfiction. Part of it was the expectations, but that won't totally ruin a book for me usually. The attempt at wearing two hats just didn't work for me as well as it did for everyone else.

Not to be a debbie downer, those were just my feelings when I read the book. Like I said, I know I'm very much in the minority!


message 3: by Michele (new)

Michele (mdcoronis) I very much agree. I learned a lot about the World’s Fair that was very interesting but that’s not why I read the book. I also agree that the flip from one to the other didn’t really work. In all, I think it should’ve been two separate books.


message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna (ak25) | 6 comments Very interested to hear this! I'm listening to it on audiobook right now and it seemed very World Fair - focused. I thought maybe it was just slow to start but it's good to know that this is just how it's going to go.


message 5: by Leandra (new)

Leandra I also read this within the last year rather than with the book club, I'd give it a 4/5. I really enjoyed it but it certainly wasn't a quick read for me.
The Worlds fair stuff was dense and harder to get through but still really interesting for me, as I go to school in Chicago.
I liked the connection between Holmes and the fair, but the thing is the book is about Chicago and the state of America in that time, not just about Holmes. I think the problem lies in that fact that it seems to be advertised as a purely true crime book rather than a history one.


message 6: by Anna (new)

Anna (ak25) | 6 comments I wish I had known! I still would've read it! Just been a little less disappointed 😂


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