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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Devil in the White City


(Book 1 for RIP X)


Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

Paperback: 447 pages
Publisher: Vintage (February 10, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0375725601 Review

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims. Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson's skillful writing

My first book for RIP.. I have read In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson and liked it so I thought I'd give this a try. (also heard it's being made into a movie).

I have to say most of the book was about the building of the Cleveland Words Fair, and less about the serial murderer that seemed to attach himself to being by the Fair to draw in more victims.  So for me the building of the Fair was slow and not very exciting to me.  Historically, which I generally like reading about, I learned a few things (not much). And through a lot of the book they barely mention the murderer Dr. Holmes.  He was finally given a whole chapter at one point to peek your interest but it wasn't until near the end that you finally really learn about him. 

So for me this was a slow reader.


Blogger Cath said...

Sorry it was a slow book but at least you have your first book under your belt.

I looked at my pile and didn't feel enthused about any of them. So I picked up a crime book I *wanted* to read and it's starts with them digging up bones in a creepy abandoned church so I'm thinking it'll be fine for RIP. Except it's not actually off my tbr pile, it's my daughter's book. LOL!

5:15 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

When I saw the title of your post, I thought, "Oh no, another book I'm going to want to pull off the shelf and add to my RIP pile." I admit I'm a bit relieved to find that won't be necessary. 😉 I've got enough slow reading for school, so I want my RIP books to grab me. But I am sorry your first read was a lackluster one, but like Cath said, at least you've got your first one under your belt. 😊

7:10 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Sorry that you found the Larson book slow. I read it several years ago and loved it... but I also love architecture and design, so I was fascinated by the building of the world's fair. His only other book I've read is the one about the Galveston hurricane at the turn of the 20th century. I liked it, too, but I'm also a bit of a weather geek.

9:24 AM  

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