The Devil In The White City

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

Soon to be a major film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio

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.

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5 stars
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Extremely well researched. - Goodreads
I found his writing style overwrought and a bit sloppy. - Goodreads
Interesting story with lots of cool factoids. - Goodreads
The actual writing did not impress me. - Goodreads
I absolutely loved the premise of this book. - Goodreads
Larson's prose is riveting. - Goodreads

Review: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

User Review  - Linda Appelbaum - Goodreads

Wonderfully exciting book with so much happening...the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 and how it came to be along side one of the most horrible serial killers of the time. There were many fascinating ... Read full review

Review: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

User Review  - Edy Gies - Goodreads

Let me preface this review by saying that before I read this book I knew nothing about the 1893 World's Fair. This fact embarrasses me because I love history and I live relatively close to the city of ... Read full review

All 132 reviews »

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.

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