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The Devil in the White City Audiobook

The Devil in the White City

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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 (10039 )
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4.3 (7234 )
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4.4 (7201 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-05-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    29
    4
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    "History and Hell"

    Wonderful insight into a time of American ingenuity horror and intrigue laced with real life characters that even today grace our everyday lives. Mid way looking up real photos of the worlds fair and the people in this true story bring it even more to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smith 09-04-15
    Smith 09-04-15 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    1
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    Story
    "Boring"

    Just quit listening because I was bored. My fault for thinking it was a novel (It is non-fiction) but I read a lot of non-fiction and i couldn't be bothered to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Kennesaw, GA, United States 09-04-15
    William Kennesaw, GA, United States 09-04-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    63
    9
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    "intriguing look at crime and achievement"

    This is an interesting approach, joining a tale of amazing cultural achievement with the horrors of a serial murderer contemporary to the events. I liked it, and enjoyed the approach but thought some editorial culling of the Exposition details might have improved it. Regardless, it was a fascinating tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. 09-03-15
    S. 09-03-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    34
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    "Huge disappointment"

    This book was more about the worlds fair anything to do with Holmes. It read more like a list of dry facts rather than an interesting recounting of Holmes' activities.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Slemp 08-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    9
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    "A bit long winded in some spots"

    But overall a very interesting story. Abridged version may be the better go chose from as it drug in more than one spot. Still worthy read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Artemis 08-22-15
    Artemis 08-22-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    35
    16
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    "Struggled to Finish"

    The story was interesting, but it's a shame that the narrator was terrible. He made listening to one of the most interesting and gruesome events in history as boring as listening to him read the yellow pages. Wish I hadn't wasted a credit on this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dominic 08-20-15
    Dominic 08-20-15 Member Since 2016
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    88
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    "Good but never finished"
    What disappointed you about The Devil in the White City?

    It is a good story not a bad performance but something about it let me put it down and not pick it back up


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samuel 08-18-15
    Samuel 08-18-15
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    2
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    Story
    "Disturbing."

    Unless you would like to read a book about how a serial killer disposes of his victims I advise you not read this book. Day and night I had disturbing thoughts I could not get out of my head after reading this book. I hate to hear about how this serial killer kills and get rids of his victims. I advise unless you like this, read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 08-18-15
    John 08-18-15 Member Since 2016
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    3
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    "Overall a good read"

    Overall ditwc was a good read.
    The story jumps around a little to much for my taste, buy everything is tired up in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn A Stewart 08-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    Story
    "Intrigue"

    I was in Chicago on a lifelong learning trip not too long ago. This book brought to life much of what I learned there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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