Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Bookworms: Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
390 pages, @2003

I have had this book on my shelf forever (at least 5 years) and I've always meant to read it but I've never picked it up. I decided some time ago when setting up what books I was going to read during this current 6 month period of the book journal that I would finally get to it and it did not disappoint.

Devil in the White City is a non-fiction account of the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. It chronicles the building of the Fair from the very beginning, the year of the Fair, all the marvels that those that attended got to experience and what happened to all the key players after the Fair was over. At the same time, every other chapter is dedicated to telling the story of H.H. Holmes, a serial killer on the loose during the time of the Fair. Larson was attempting to show two sides of the city - the hope & greatness of humanity depicted in the Fair and the pure evil of humanity depicted in the story of H.H. Holmes.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I had never realized what an impact The World's Fair in Chicago had on modern day society. There were so many ideas that originated at The Fair that inspired different people and new ideas. I would wow you with all of the information but then that would take away from the ah-ha moments of the book. The story of H.H. Holmes was interesting and some times it was nice to have a break from the Fair to read about what he was doing in Englewood, Illinois! Pretty scary stuff.

I would definitely recommend this book to the avid reader. It reads like a fiction book most of the time so don't be turned off by it being non-fiction.

4 stars

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Did you like Devil in the White City? What was your favorite ah-ha moment?

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