The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America (2003)
The Devil in the White City

Author Erik Larson details the events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, focusing on 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. I have read a lot of reviews where people had a strong preference for one story or the other, but found both equally intriguing.

Having grown-up in Chicago, I was surprised at how little I actually knew about the fair or all of the currently commonplace things that had their origins there: shredded wheat, Aunt Jemima pancake mix, Cracker Jack, and the Ferris Wheel. What Burnham and the others accomplished with so little time and so many bouts of bad luck was truly a wonder! The story of Holmes was just as astounding, albeit horrifying!! Erik Larson is an extremely talented writer. He has taken a work of non-fiction and made it read like a dramatic fiction novel. This book is amazing!

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