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The Devil in the White City Audiobook

The Devil in the White City

In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - A master storyteller and veteran thriller narrator join forces to create this riveting true account of Chicago’s famous World Fair. But behind its Gilded Age of architectural feats and electrical innovation, lies a murderer waiting in the wings. True crime, history, and thriller fans are in for a treat. —Diana M.

Publisher's Summary

In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner, Fact Crime, 2004

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (8507 )
5 star
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4.2 (5855 )
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Story
4.4 (5823 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Catleigh Tallahassee, FL USA 10-20-15
    Catleigh Tallahassee, FL USA 10-20-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Non-fiction?"

    I'm not a big fan of nonfiction but this read like a smart historical novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marnie S. 10-19-15
    Marnie S. 10-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well writen, we'll told"

    Great historical book covering the White City and Dr. Holmes together.

    I details of are excellent and complete. Narration was perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    McKenzie Schreiner 10-11-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Devil in the White City"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 10-08-15
    Brian 10-08-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I now have a new favorite book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela A. Markham Woodbury, CT 10-07-15
    Pamela A. Markham Woodbury, CT 10-07-15

    My Dog Suki

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring!"
    Would you try another book from Erik Larson and/or Scott Brick?

    I have already read one book by Erik Larson and was looking forward to this book.


    If you’ve listened to books by Erik Larson before, how does this one compare?

    No I have not. This was boring because of Scott Brick.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?

    No. I did not like Scott Brick's voice. It was monotonous.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I don't know. I couldn't listen to it. I'll have to borrow it from the library and read it.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex DALLAS, TX, United States 10-07-15
    Alex DALLAS, TX, United States 10-07-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"

    If you're a history nut then you'll probably enjoy this novel. If you're looking for an engaging story, look elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat 09-30-15
    Pat 09-30-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "too high of expectations"

    it says this is optional but then it requires me to write at least 20 words

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannie 09-30-15
    Jeannie 09-30-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Completely, utterly AWESOME"

    Story and narrator are riveting. You will not be disappointed. Reads like a Capote novel. Great piece of work. Great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teenie 09-29-15
    Teenie 09-29-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenna 09-25-15
    Jenna 09-25-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprised by what I liked about this book."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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