Stepped away from this one after listeneing for about three hours. Maybe I'll go back to it later and it will get better. Pretty slow, narraration made me feel sleepy and unfocused. Couldn't really get into the actual story.
This is a wonderfully engaging story and you'll learn a tremendous amount about the time period and players involved in two very different but very massive undertakings in Chicago around the eve of the Worlds Fair. The true historical events are told as compellingly (and in the style of) a novel. As a result it is a very easy to digest read but one I feel the writer, by nature, has had to take liberties filling in gaps. When we step inside the heads of some characters, or we hear intimate details of moments before some horrible murder (most of, if not all Holmes took to his execution) we have to assume more than a hundred years time lapse has earned Mr.Larson some wiggle room. My only complaint is he isn't more upfront regarding it, and doesn't often take time to differentiate when having to speculate. That being said take the story as a whole as truth, and the details 90% truth as well. It's a very very well researched true fiction novel, but not a textbook and not a definitive source for scholars to reference, in my opinion. The narration is perfect and condones a perfect mood of grandeur and determination to the subject matter. I suggest it to almost anyone.
I think I had the same caption for another Erok Larson book. Mother books are meticulously researched, and interesting, but they tend to run on past the point of interesting. I learned a lot, but I finished as and act of will, and not because the story compelled me. If you liked Larsons other work, you'll like this one too.
Enjoyed the history and commingling of historical events surrounding the fair. There is so much I didn't know or realize about the time, especially in Chicago, and I must visit Jackson Park next time I'm there.
At times the architecture bits got draggy but Holmes bits were always interesting in a macabre way. The reader's over dramatic style of voicing the text was the only real draw back.
Way too many boring details. I have always loved the author's books but this one put me to sleep. I couldn't even finish it.
I wanted something about a serial killer not about the construction of the Worlds Fair in Chicago
Tried to find merit in this book but after several chapters, I gave up. If you are familiar with Chicago you might like this book.
Two unique stories with little relevance to each other. Either would have been good in their own right but together, not so much .
Someone who's interested in extensive, detailed history of Chicago and the World's Fair. The detail is excruciatingly tedious and redundant. If you are interested in H. H. Holmes, you will be sorely disappointed by this book. It's 90% slow, monotonous, repetitive description of the building of the fair, all of its difficulties and irrelevant information on the background and personal lives of the many creators of the fair. Even the parts about Holmes are disappointing.
His pompous, arrogant tone made the book even more unbearable.
As others have said, this book is really only for history buffs. I was interested in H. H. Holmes and I think the description of the book is misleading--the bits about Holmes are few and far between, and almost as boring as the fair narrative. I began fast-forwarding this book after waiting longer than I should have for it to get interesting. It never did. I became agitated as it droned on--where was the serial killer?? As others have said, I could read the Wiki on Holmes and learn more than I did throughout the torturous hours of listening to this book. I wish I'd stopped after the first hour. It was the most boring book I've ever read or heard. It was slow and repetitive, the narrator's pretentious tone adding to the monotony. Waste of time and money. If I had the book in print, I would burn it.