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