Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Click on book cover for details from GoodReads.
"Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America"

Quite a tagline to live up to. 

I just kept wondering which of the 3M's is meant for the architects and builders of the White City. I think all three fit them just fine.

The Devil in the White City tells three simultaneous stories that took place in Chicago, circa 1893. The construction of, and the drama surrounding, the World Fair and the people who envisioned it. Holmes, a serial killer who lured victims to his World Fair Hotel. And a deluded man obsessed with Mayor Harrison.

Larson's storytelling helps make these historical events very palatable. I am usually not very apt to reading nonfiction, but this read almost as fiction- full of suspense and intrigue. I really thought the story of Holmes would be what I enjoyed the most, but it was the building of the World Fair and what went into getting it ready that I found most interesting. 

Really enjoyed this. Perfect read for RIP X. Glad it got picked for Book Group! 

I am hosting our meeting next week. Can't wait to hear if everyone else enjoyed it, too. Those of you who have read it, any ideas for food tie-ins? We like to take ideas from the book, but this one doesn't offer up much in ideas. Cracker Jacks and Pabst Blue Ribbon is what I have so far. :)

Next book: The Quick by Lauren Owen
Happy Reading!


  1. I hadn't even thought of reading this one for RIP but it is perfect. I've been wanting to read it for a while. Might just have to pick it up in October!

  2. I read this a couple of years ago and loved it! Like you, it was the storyline behind the building of the fair that ended up fascinating me the most.

    I've also read Larson's book about the Galveston Hurricane at the turn of the last century. It's quite good, too.


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