The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness

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The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness

2004 | Crime | History & Politics | Reference

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims. Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson's skillful writing. --John Moe

Published by Vintage Books

Edition Paperback
ISBN 9780375725609
Language English
Edition Audiobook
ASIN 9780739303405
Language English
Edition Paperback
ISBN 9780385602051
Language English

Whitecity murder Chicago history truecrime hhholmes worldcityfair burnham

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Added this item on Aug 31, 2017

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness Reviews & Ratings (16)
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