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The Devil in the White City (Reprint) (Paperback) by Erik Larson

The Devil in the White City (Reprint) (Paperback) by Erik Larson - image 1 of 1
The Devil in the White City (Reprint) (Paperback) by Erik Larson - image 1 of 1
$11.58 when purchased online

About this item


About the Book

The story of two men's obsessions with the Chicago World's Fair, one its architect, the other a murderer. "The Devil in the White City" draws the reader 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.

Book Synopsis

This New York Times bestseller intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America's rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair's brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country's most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his "World's Fair Hotel" just west of the fairgrounds--a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.

Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader 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.

Review Quotes

"Engrossing . . . exceedingly well documented . . . utterly fascinating." -- Chicago Tribune

"A dynamic, enveloping book. . . . Relentlessly fuses history and entertainment to give this nonfiction book the dramatic effect of a novel. . . . It doesn't hurt that this truth is stranger than fiction." -- The New York Times

So good, you find yourself asking how you could not know this already. -- Esquire

"Another successful exploration of American history. . . . Larson skillfully balances the grisly details with the far-reaching implications of the World's Fair." -- USA Today

"As absorbing a piece of popular history as one will ever hope to find." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Paints a dazzling picture of the Gilded Age and prefigure the American century to come." -- Entertainment Weekly

"A wonderfully unexpected book. . . Larson is a historian . . . with a novelist's soul." -- Chicago Sun-Times

About The Author

ERIK LARSON is the author of four national bestsellers: In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac's Storm, which have collectively sold more than 5.5 million copies. His magazine stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's and other publications and his books have been published in fourteen countries.
Dimensions (Overall): 7.9 Inches (H) x 5.1 Inches (W) x 1 Inches (D)
Weight: .95 Pounds
Suggested Age: 22 Years and Up
Number of Pages: 464
Genre: True Crime, History
Sub-Genre: United States / State + Local / General, United States / 19th Century, Murder / General
Publisher: Vintage Books
Format: Paperback
Author: Erik Larson
Language: English
Street Date: February 1, 2004
TCIN: 11338883
UPC: 9780375725609
Item Number (DPCI): 059-04-3639
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported
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Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 0.9 inches length x 5.15 inches width x 7.85 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 0.7 pounds
We regret that this item cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.
This item cannot be shipped to the following locations: United States Minor Outlying Islands, American Samoa (see also separate entry under AS), Puerto Rico (see also separate entry under PR), Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, U.S., APO/FPO, Guam (see also separate entry under GU)

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4.0 out of 5 stars with 4 reviews
100% would recommend
3 recommendations

Giod one

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
Mrs R - 3 months ago, Verified purchaser
Excellent book based on actual facts.
Did you find this review helpful?

Intriguing Read! Eye opener!

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
JJ rider - 2 years ago
Enthrawls the reader into the thrills of the of the first World's Fair. The writer shows vividly the vulnerability of people and how sadistic murderers prey on the weak. Well thought-out, or sporadic trickery... you decide.
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(no review title)

3 out of 5 stars
NightOwl89 - 4 years ago
This was a book I was really excited to get my hands on. I love anything Serial Killers. The only problem I had with the book was literally every other chapter it would bounce back and forth between HH Holmes and the construction going on throughout the city of Chicago. Although architecture can be interesting if that is your thing, it drags immensely. To the point where I would had rather skipped ahead to hear about Holmes rampage instead of how the buildings came to be about before the World's fair.
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A Good Historical True Crime Story but lacks on the Crime Story

3 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
Rottgrl88 - 7 years ago
I just finished this book this week. I was really excited for this book because I was very intrigued about the premise. Overall, I will say that the writing style is good. Every few chapters it would jump between the story/premise of the construction and trials of the World's Fair in Chicago, IL and then it would then jump to the story/premise of the psychopath serial killer, Herman Webster Mudgett (aka H.H. Homes). However, I feel that this book really dragged on with the premise of the construction. Even though I enjoyed the story and learning more about the trials and the successes of what went into the planning, constructing and maintaining the 1893 World's Fair, I really would have appreciated it from the Author to give us more into the life and investigation of the serial killer. I feel that the storyline of H.H. Homes was really lacking in more detail and just "more". I will say this, that the end of the story really did a good job with wrapping up the book and giving me closure for the story line of H.H. Homes. Heads up though, this book really starts out slow. Be prepared to push through it for at least the first 1/4 of it. It does pick up about half way through the book. All in all, I would recommend this book because the Author did a great job with his research and his writing style was not confusing. This is an entertaining piece of published work that is based on true United States of American History.
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