The Devil in the White City – Review

May 19, 2013

OtThe Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness, at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson chronicles the real events surrounding the World’s Columbian Exposition, more commonly known as the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 — the challenges, and triumphs of the architectural team that brought the legendary fair to Chicago and the string of mysterious disappearances of women throughout the city.

the narrative that Larson weaves is spellbinding — it is fantastic and unimaginable, the way these two operations worked in the city. Larson includes a note at the beginning of the book: “However strange or macabre some of the following incidents may seem, this is not a work of fiction.”

Despite that note, I sometimes forgot while reading that these things happened. Larson is an amazing storyteller and even though I could have gone online and found out the details of the case, the book brought it to life and, oddly, kept me guessing. You just become invested in the story and the “good guys” and, morbidly, seeing what other horrors Holmes has committed.

This is an amazing portrait of an era and of these two men: Holmes and Burnham. If you’re a bit squeamish when it comes to crime and serial killers you should probably skip this one, but if you can watch a Criminal Minds marathon with the best of them you’ll probably be OK and I definitely recommend it.

Advertisements

5 Responses to “The Devil in the White City – Review”

  1. I’m glad you liked this book! I wasn’t a big fan of it while reading it but remembered a lot of the facts that I learned in it. I could have skipped the entire fair part!

    • poindextrix said

      Wow, your reaction to the book was so different from mine, yet we seem to have been fascinated by the same things.

  2. It will not surprise you at all to know that I decided it was too creepy for me. Weirdly enough, I started having ominous nightmares about the book, and its setting, even before reading some of the more harrowing events. So I had to stop!

    • poindextrix said

      Interesting. You know, he doesn’t actually go into the nitty-gritty details of the murders, so you’d probably be OK. Then again, if you were having creepy nightmares just at the idea of the book, it’s probably a better idea to slowly back away.

  3. […] is also the author of The Devil in the White City, which I read and reviewed not too long ago, as well as a number of other historical and true crime […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: