Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review: Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Fascinating tale, made more fascinating because it's true

Truth if often stranger than fiction and this account proves it. Larson takes two stories set at the same time in the late 1800's to spin an intriguing story about two very different individuals. The first is about Daniel H. Burnham, the architect of the 1893 Worlds Fair in Chicago. The second is the story of H. H. Holmes, a serial killer who re-imagined himself several times as a pharmacist and doctor, but really preyed on women.

How do these stories intersect? They both took place at the same time in Chicago. Holmes was able to use the World's Fair as a perfect way to lure women who were far away from home to prey on them. That in itself is a fascinating morbid story.

The vision and drive of Burnham is equally interesting and the advances of technology as well as all of the things that came out of the World's Fair is a great read. There are so many little trivial things that I learned and Burnham intersected with some very interesting folks.

Many books that feature historical accounts are rather dry and boring. That is not the case with this one and I have to highly recommend it. I found myself looking for time to sit down and finish this.

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