The Devil In The White City

Front Cover
Transworld, Sep 30, 2010 - History - 496 pages
416 Reviews

The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and its amazing 'White City' was one of the wonders of the world. This is the incredible story of its realization, and of the two men whose fates it linked: one was an architect, the other a serial killer.

The architect was Daniel H. Burnham, the driving force behind the White City, the massive, visionary landscape of white buildings set in a wonderland of canals and gardens. The killer was H. H. Holmes, a handsome doctor with striking blue eyes. He used the attraction of the great fair - and his own devilish charms - to lure scores of young women to their deaths. While Burnham overcame politics, infighting, personality clashes and Chicago's infamous weather to transform the swamps of Jackson Park into the greatest show on Earth, Holmes built his own edifice just west of the fairground. He called it the World's Fair Hotel. In reality it was a torture palace, a gas chamber, a crematorium.

These two disparate but driven men together with a remarkable supporting cast of colourful characters, including as Buffalo Bill, George Ferris, Thomas Edison and some of the 27 million others who converged on the dazzling spectacle of the White City, are brought to life in this mesmerizing, murderous tale of the legendary Fair that transformed America and set it on course for the twentieth century.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
142
4 stars
177
3 stars
67
2 stars
24
1 star
6

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Larson writes so well and is really able to transport the reader back in time to the period. But I'm not sure his parallel plot lines (building the white city and the serial killer) did full justice to either story. Still, his writing is compelling. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DVerdecia - LibraryThing

The story of the World's fair in Chicago in the late 1800s. Along for the ride came the first of many identified serial killers, one HH Holmes, hence the title of the book, Devil in the White City. I ... Read full review

All 131 reviews »

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

Erik Larson is a prize-winning journalist and No.1 bestselling author of Isaac's Storm, The Devil in the White City, Thunderstruck, In the Garden of Beasts and in 2015, Dead Wake - about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. He lives in Seattle with his family.

Bibliographic information