Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Review: The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed AmericaThe Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every Google, Bing, or Yahoo search of "best nonfiction" always returned at least one item from Erik Larson. More often than not, Devil in the White City seemed to be the recommended choice. After months of ignoring suggestions, I found myself taking a trip, and decided to pick it up for the flight. I had never been more happy to have airport delays.

Devil in the White City discusses 2 parallel events that occurred simultaneously in Chicago in the late 1800's. While they're completely unrelated, it's amazing that you can have 2 men with completely different motivations. Each chapter jumps between 2 individuals, one who is going through painstaking efforts to show the greatness of America by assembling the greatest minds to hold the Chicago Worlds Fair. The other is a calculating, sadistic doctor who prey's on the weak.

The story is very compelling, but the writing is what really made the book shine. Erik Larson has this amazing ability to transfer you to this time period. You can smell the garbage in the back alleyways, or the stagnant water, or feel the heat of the humid, summer days where the story takes place.

I'm done looking for my next few books for quite some time now. If the author's name doesn't end in Larson, I'm not reading it.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment