This book was completely fascinating from beginning to end and provided: drama, suspense, and a history lesson in a wonderful and entertainging manner.
I loved the way Scott Brick delivered the reading and loved every part of it.
The book wasn't written to have huge character parts, but I think Scott did a great job delivering every piece. I will be looking for others read by Mr. Brick.
I think the last few weeks leading up to the fair and the vast amount of work to be done was awesome.
Great book. I don't rate 5 stars across the board very often, but this one is deserving!
Say something about yourself!
Probably not from the the author but the narration was good.
The most entertaining parts were about the inventions that arose out of necessity while building the fair. The parts about the serial killer were OK.
Larson found two fascinating but disparate stories that happened concurrently (the creation of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and a serial killer who was murdering women just blocks from the fair site) and wove them together without letting one overshadow the other. This is how I like my history (weird, accessible, contextual), and I see why everyone raved about this book. Scott Brick was a brilliant narrator, but since I listened on audio, I had to Google photos of the fair and the killer to get the visuals that Larson so eloquently described. You know when the building of a fair and the building of a killing room are equally riveting that you’re in the hands of a good writer.
Scott is fast becoming my very favorite narrator. He positively contributes to the flow of events with his inflections, his varying pace, his intonations. I feel like I am IN the story, secretly observing it unfold from behind a door, a tree; I am THERE, watching, listening...
First let me say, it took me awhile to figure out that this book consists of two detailed, fascinating tales on their own. There did happen to be some overlap between the two, but either could have been complete and great without the other. I kept looking for the link between the two for the first several chapters, and feeling confused at not finding one.
Eventually, as the two stories unfolded, I began to understand that they were just two different stories that happened to unfold at the same time, with one (the murders) leaning heavily on the setting created by the other one (the fair). I wish this would have been crystal clear to me from page one.
That said, this was some kind of awesome book. I am a true-crime freak, and I really did not expect to be so sucked into the entire story of the fair with all the drama and personalities that went with it. I expected to be bored by that, but I was not. It was truly amazing and I LOVED being able to actually step back to that period of time and WATCH as the fair was built from the ground up. I shared the suspense with the fair's creators, as the failures and successes unfolded, as the dazzling White City arose from the ground, from nothing.
I will also admit to just a slight tad of disappointment at being made to wait what felt like so long, before I was allowed to actually LEARN what was happening as far as the murders were concerned. I suspect this disappointment might have come from plain old greed, more than anything about how the story was laid out! I had to endure a degree of suspense for awhile until it became perfectly obviously what was going on with the Doctor and be fully exposed to the unimaginable sickness of that person.
It was a book that was hard for me to take a break from, but since I only have certain times for listening, I had to. It was extremely well written, I thought, and Scott Brick, to my taste, was the perfect reader for it. He brought the life to the written words.
So to anyone who looks at the title and thinks oh, just a boring story about some musty, old world's fair, do not be deceived. It is not boring at all and what it gives you is a very meaty, juicy chunk of a world that existed right here in America, a younger, brasher America. You can enjoy the feeling of actually living the history that was then, tasting the times, feeling the excitement of the idea of "everything was new and magical, then". It was a grand rush of effort by umpteen thousands of workers, smack in the middle of a terrible depression with horrible unemployment and despair. For awhile, the focus of much of the country was on this great White City, and all things were possible. The sky was the limit. Intoxicating times.
As for the serial murderer, I believe that while serial murderers are probably as old as the human race, our knowledge of them, that they exist and the beginnings of how to deal with them, was at that time also a "new thing". Like a lot of such murders, it took an exceptional effort and dedication to bring that whole story out to the light of day at a time when such effort was far from the norm. I squirmed and worried as those events occurred, that they would forever go unknown and unpunished. What was particularly fascinating was just how they almost did.
I do not think you have to be either a true-crime lover nor a history buff, to thoroughly get sucked in with this wonderful book. Even if you are just shopping for an escape from humdrum reality, or relief from boring chores, I highly recommend it.
This is a great listen. The narrator brings you back to the late 1800's. You can feel the excitement of the expo building as the book progress, alongside the desperation of the crimes of Holmes. The juxtaposition of beauty/evil, strength/weakness and light/darkness are intriguing.
Yes, Historical and thrilling at the same time
The truth to the story
A thriller from beginning to end
Facts, irony, exciting
That two stories are being told at the same time, a hero, and a villian, who changed history. So interesting to learn about all that went on during the World's Fair in Chicago. I could not stop, long story, but never a dull moment. How one could do so much greatness, and another so much evil. I have told all of my book reader friends about this book. I look forward to more of Eric Larson.
He takes you there, such a good narrator.
I could not, the title says it all.
Unless you enjoy violence toward women, I'd pass on this one. Even though it's couched in interesting historical anecdotes, I couldn't stand the run-up to sadism.
Lenin in Berlin
I don't think I would have enjoyed this story as much had I read the print version. Something about the subject matters makes the audio version so much more satisfying.
Absolutely! Very well narrated. Almost like a hollywood soundtrack...
The nature of the crimes presented in this book are almost unbelievable - but true!
All characters were very well detailed, complex and brilliantly crafted.
The only extreme reaction I had toward this book is intense fear...
I highly recommended this audio book to all true crime buffs.