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)
I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)
There really are 2 very different stories in this book. One is about a serial killer and the other is about the planing, building, and excuse of the Chicago's World Fair. The two share common themes and there is plenty of darkness in both stories. In fact quiet a bit more darkness then I was able to take in places. I found the story line of the world fair wonderful and personally could have done without the serial killer.
Performance was an easy listen and drew me into each segment.
Yes, very apt to have listened continuously
While I'm not a history buff, I enjoyed learning about the Worlds Fair in general and the back story kept my interest
I love history and murder suspense stories are another of my favorite categories but this book just didn't catch my intrest. Scott Brick is always wonderful narrating but even he couldn't salvage this story. The few little facts of interest kept me going along with the recommendation of a friend. But I just can't say I will EVER bother going back to this one.
Member of two book clubs. Listen more than read. Love Audible because I can go about my day while listening to books. Thanks Audible.
Maybe number One. I have since bought the print version just to keep with the other 10 or so books I would take to a deserted island if I could. I will listen over again many times.
To Kill a Mockingbird and many others. It educated me, entertained, shocked, saddened, and gave me so many other feelings. I put aside important chores to listen. I refer to the book and its Bibliography. I listen to parts again to remember just how things were in those times. So glad I bought it.
No. His reading was good. I could listen to more he has performed
Yes. I wanted so much to know what happened next. Great writing.
You can tell Erik Larson does his homework when he writes. I have another book of his and it was just as well researched. I would love to have more of his work.
I found myself looking for excuses to drive for errands to get more listening time in.
Auto Repair shop owner. I love Yoga, and playing my Fender Stratocaster. I Walk my dogs twice a day.
Why we don't have White Cities on the moon! Larson shows us a people who once were capable of doing anything. A people that could do anything with tools we would think impossible to the task. A people capable of going to the moon, or building a skyscraper on ground that could not support it, yet does to this day. In our day and age red tape would kill such fantastic efforts and dreams.
To weave a mass murderer around 1900th century Chicago World's Fair was brilliant! The descriptions of life in Chicago makes you understand how clean our environment is today vs. yesteryear.
This book made me look up some of the designs of old Chicago buildings, especially the Rookery.
Listened to it on my Blackberry Torch. Still astonished.
The dual stories intertwined.
Devil in the White City very applicable
Several stories for the price of one, the Chicago Worlds Fair, buildings and people behind it, as well as the serial killer. Not only are the people a character, but the buildings and grounds feel as if they are characters themselves. I found myself googling information and pictures about Holmes, the Chicago Worlds Fair and the people behind the creation of the grounds and buildings while listening to the story, and after. It brought me in and drove me to want to know more. It really extended the story for me. I will definitely read/listen to this book again and again.
fascinating historical information
Herman Mudgett. He was so incredibly evil.
He saved my life. Had I read the book while driving, I probably would have wrecked my car and died.
Invention of the Ferris Wheel.
This was a real page turner all the way.
I can't classify it w all the other audio books because of its unique story line and style. The story would be annoying if it weren't fact. But since it is fact it is very good and educational
Buffalo bill. He was generous to the poor during difficult economic times.
Scott brick is amazing. He helps me focus on the tedious important facts that could be lost if read
The amazing adventures of the Chicago worlds fair
This book won't be for everyone. Put in perspective that it is an educational read first and a story second. In other words make sure you understand what to expect before reading
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