The Devil in the White City draws listeners into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others.
Erik Larson's gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.
©2003 Erik Larson; (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"This is everything popular history should be, meticulously recreating a rich America on the cusp of modernity, in which the sale of 'articulated' corpses was a semi-respectable trade and serial killers could go well-nigh unnoticed." (Publishers Weekly)
if I missed something. In reading the reviews I thought this would be a great read but I have to admit I wasn't that blown away. I guess I thought the World's Fair and suspense aspect would be given equal time but found the details on creating the "white city" too much and the suspense too little. A fair read is all I can give it but this is not one that I would recommend to others or read again.
This book is interesting for its retelling of a great moment in American and Chicago's history as well as a dark moment in its history. Larson is not the best writer. His analogies seem forced and his prose sounds choppy. Still, this book is worth listening to for the story it tells. I was sucked in right from the beginning. I didn't want to stop listening until I got to the end. I only wish I had the hardcover so that it could have been unabridged and so that I could look at any included pictures to provide a visual for my imagination. I recommend it.
Although I liked the topic of the construction of the worlds fair, why it was mashed up with the story of a murderer did not work together for me. I would not recommend the story unless someone was very interested in the fair.
The last 1/3 of the recording had background noise. If I had to guess they were editing markers to mark what spaces were to be cut out. However, someone just got sloppy at the end and the beeps covered words in sentences. It was very annoying and made me feel like I had not purchased a quality product. I did verify that these noises were part of the recording and not my headphones.
This book was hard to get through because it was so detailed about HH Holmes's story, which is so very grizzly. I liked that the author told something about Holmes's upbringing to help us understand why he became a serial killer.
Also, I love this narrator. I chose Tony Goldwyn's narration over the unabridged version's. He has a wonderful voice. He's very natural, but he can be dramatic when needed without being overly theatrical, and has no annoying speech characteristics.
No doubt written based on detailed recorded facts, Larson weaves a tales of men in 1890's Chicago A tale that describes the foresight and determination of risk takers to create the future of cities. And separate tales of madmen. The best and the most devilish of mankind. A most remarkable book with great narration.
I had tried reading this book several times and never seemed to finish. I listened to it audibly while walking and loved it. No getting around the morbid subject, but an excellent writer and storyteller.
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