Last Book Club on the Left discussion

The Devil in the White City
This topic is about The Devil in the White City
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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben (benwoodall) | 8 comments Mod
Discussion for Part I


T.J. Wilson | 2 comments I read through this book fairly recently, a little bit before this book club was started, so I didn't re-read it just for this, but also some of the details are a bit fuzzy for me.

That said, there's one thing I want to mention about the book overall: I'm really not interested in architecture, so I found there were certain parts of the book that really dragged for me. I mean, I guess it's kind of necessary with the way Larson was writing about these two individuals in the city at the same time and sort of mirroring them against one another, but it really made some parts, especially early on, a bit of a slog to get through for me.


message 3: by ElphaReads (last edited May 17, 2018 03:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

ElphaReads | 4 comments I first read this book about twelve years ago so revisiting it has been pretty fun. What strikes me most about Part 1 is that there are so many parallels between Holmes and Burnham that I completely forgot about. It's so eerie that they were both designing and constructing radical and ambitious projects, but with such different motivations and intentions. I really like how Larson compares and contrasts them, but in ways that still keep their stories fairly separate so the reader can draw the conclusions at their own pace. I will admit that even on this second time through I, too, find the stuff about the planning of the Fair to be less interesting than Holmes, though I do like the historical context of it.


message 4: by Ben (new)

Ben (benwoodall) | 8 comments Mod
Yeah, at first, all of the architecture and building of the Chicago and the fair was boring, but once you start to get into the comparisons of what both Burnham and Holmes are doing, it's interesting---ish. But I definitely look forward to the Holmes chapters more.


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