Devil in the White City
Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed AmericaBook - 2003
From Library Staff
From reader Mary L. and then seconded by reader Caroline D. who recommends "ANYTHING by Erik Larsen."
Interested in some non-fiction that reads like a thriller? Larson combines academic-worthy research with a gripping, fiction-like narrative style to create great storytelling.
From the critics
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"We can't have little vines and weeds enough,'" - Fredrick Law Olmstead to John Olmstead May 19, 1892, landscape planner for Chicago World's Fair page 172
Great read, non stop reading.
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Between majestic architecture and cold-blooded murder, the early 1890's were a defining period for the city of Chicago. The Colombian Exposition of 1893 (the World's Fair of 1893, so named to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's landing in America) proved that Chicago could put its elbows on the table of the world's greatest cities. It hugely impacted the course of American history through its influence on technology, architecture, and the popular conscience. This book weaves together the stories of Daniel Burnham, a prominent architect in charge of planning the Exposition, and Herman Webster Mudgett, better known to history as H.H.Holmes, America's first serial killer. Opening a hotel just down the Midway from the fair, Holmes was ensured of a constant flow of trusting young women. What his ill-fated guests did not realize was the presence of air-tight rooms with gas-jets, a greased body chute and the basement containing vats of acid and a crematorium. In the style of Truman Capote, this is a non-fiction novel, a gripping account of deeds of great and evil men alike, made all the more interesting because these events really happened.
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