The White City (as it became known) was a magical creation constructed upon Chicago's swampy Jackson Park by Daniel H. Burnham, the famed architect who coordinated the talents of Frederick Olmsted, Louis Sullivan, and others to build it. Dr. Henry H. Holmes combined the fair's appeal with his own fatal charms to lure scores of women to their deaths. Whereas the fair marked the birth of a new epoch in American history, Holmes marked the emergence of a new American archetype, the serial killer, who thrived on the very forces then transforming the country.
In deft prose, Larson conveys Burnham's herculean challenge to build the White City in less than 18 months. At the same time, he describes how, in a malign parody of the achievements of the fair's builders, Holmes built his own World's Fair Hotel - a torture palace complete with a gas chamber and crematorium. Throughout the book, tension mounts on two fronts: Will Burnham complete the White City before the millions of visitors arrive at its gates? Will anyone stop Holmes as he ensnares his victims?
© 2003 Erik Larson; (P) 2003 Books on Tape, Inc.
"A hugely engrossing chronicle of events public and private." (Chicago Tribune)
"Vivid history of the glittering Chicago World's Fair and its dark side." (New York Magazine)
"Both intimate and engrossing, Larson's elegant historical account unfolds with the painstaking calm of a Holmes murder."(Library Journal)
This book was great. I loved the historical portrait illustrated for the audience. While the story never really incorporates the female body, I feel by her absence of voice, one really appreciates how different this society operated and looked.
This book was hands down the greatest audiobook I've read yet. The author keeps you at the edge of your seat with amazing detail, beautiful story telling, and toying with the emotions of the audience. The reader was crisp and clear with an amazing voice. I would recommend this book to anyone.
My Dog Suki
I have already read one book by Erik Larson and was looking forward to this book.
No I have not. This was boring because of Scott Brick.
No. I did not like Scott Brick's voice. It was monotonous.
I don't know. I couldn't listen to it. I'll have to borrow it from the library and read it.
If you're a history nut then you'll probably enjoy this novel. If you're looking for an engaging story, look elsewhere.
This book is more about the Worlds Fair than it is about HH Holmes. It would be a great book if you want details on how the Worlds Fair came to be. I wasn't interested that.
I had wanted to learn more about Holmes, though there really wasn't anything new in this book that I hadn't seen in various documentaries. I was very surprised that I enjoyed the progression and development of the fair itself so much,even though I had a hard time separating or caring to separate any of the persons involved. The story was very well researched and didn't feel at all contrived. I shall be experimenting more with this writer.
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