The intertwined stories were beautifully written by Erik Larson. I found myself engrossed in the history. Scott Brick's narration was one of the best I've heard.
Decent book that has two parallel stories of Chicago in the 1890's. Chicago is one of my favorite cities so I was really excited to listen to this book. Unfortunately, the "fluffy" writing detracts from the story so I was just wanting the book to wrap up so that I could move onto something else.
The characters of history that converged upon this point of time in Chicago would make it a great Steam Punk fiction. Truly a great narrative of a time when anything was possible. Tesla, Edison, Houdini, Bill Cody, and the incredible architecture feat of White City. All the while an evil man seeks his utopia exploiting the event and the dreamers embracing the new century.
I was excited to listen to this book. I even bought the Kindle version. I heard so many wonderful things about the book. But for some reason, I just couldn't get into it. I tried very hard! I tried listening, then reading, and listening again. But it didn't do it for me.
I'm not trying to trash this book at all, because obviously I am an outlier since everyone else seems to really like it. Perhaps I had trouble with the parallel stories of both main characters.
Also, maybe my expectations were too high. But the author, whom I really like, obviously did a lot of research and the book is well-written. It just wasn't my cup of tea for some reason.
I decided to give this book a whirl after reading the author's excellent new title Dead Wake, which also has a suspense thriller feel to it. I loved the author's use of parallel stories juxtaposing two different types of ambition – one extremely morbid, one much more uplifting. The audio performance is excellent and keeps you enrapt!
I am a civil engineer by trade so the detailed technical aspects of this book were a real treat. The story told by the author is highly detailed and encompasses many aspects of a growing industrial America at a pivotal time as it comes into its own. The serial killer aspect is an interesting way to tell the story, drawing on the early industrial revolutionary setting as the stage. All in all 10/10!!!
I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to read this. A detailed account of the development of the World's Columbian Exhibition. A very good historical narrative.
I was disappointed in the book because of the summary. The summary leads you to believe the book is centered around the serial killer of the Chicago Worlds Fair. That is not the case. The book centers around the conception and build of the fair with brief interludes about the disturbed doctor,
The book does a wonderful job describing the architecture and the philosophy behind the designs. It made me think of Ann Rand's "The Fountainhead".
If you remove the parts of the Serial Killer then you are left with a book that is 95% Architecture and Politics and social science.
I do not know. I would have to consider it since I am not sure I can trust a summary of his book.