By Erik Larson
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
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Susannag said on Apr 16, 2013, 18:04
Not being a big fan of Non-Fiction, probably thanks to all the droll history books I was forced to read in school, I have to admit this book captivated me. It is written in the grand style of of great fiction novel, with the emphasis put on the characters and just enough historical facts to give you a feel of the times. With interesting characters and the World's Fair of 1893 as its backdrop, this book tells the tale of two of the most intriguing events in our times, one of them being H.H. Holmes.
Bradley S. Hartman said on Mar 21, 2012, 11:41
THe concept here is the overlap of the staging of the Worlds Fair of 1893 in Chicago and the presence and reign of a psychopath. Both take place in Chicago, both between 1890 and 1893. But the characters in these tales dont overlap and dont interact. The story of the planning, construction and running of the Fair is the far more interesting story. And has the greater detail and pace given it has more historical information to mine and be based upon. the author himself notes that the tale of the murderer is based on very little in terms of historical record. And hence his recounting of murders, disappearances and threats are hollow and come across as such. There is a reference to a book dedicated to the mass murders that I am inclined to go and find.
So ho hum. the Worlds Fair sounds amazing for its time, how it was a riposte to France's fair that included the unveiling of the Eiffel tower. Good story, though perhaps also gets bogged down in the back and forth of secondary characters.
John Trigg said on Nov 16, 2011, 01:03
Anobii Renm said on Jan 20, 2011, 18:01
This is a pretty crazy book. I'm not one for hearing about how a psychopath goes about doing his business, but the author doesn't go into too much of the gory details. The other half of the book which talks about the World's Fair in Chicago is equally fascinating. Learned a lot about a city I love to visit and a magical period of U.S. history.
Rice Cooker said on Aug 07, 2010, 15:23
I liked the information the book provided, but was not fond of the way it was presented. It provided two great stories, but the way it switches back and forth from chapter to chapter often gets frustrating. Just when you have a key element of one event it switches to another and I thought it could have been tied together better. It was a great story however and provides a great history of the Chicago Worlds Fair
Chriscarv said on Dec 10, 2009, 13:43
A story intertweaving the building and development of the Chicago World's Fair with the life of a serial killer who used the fair to further his crimes. An interesting story that gives a real feel for the state of the US at the end of the 19th century.
Braydin said on Apr 18, 2009, 16:40
The lives of the two main characters should have run more closely together in my opinion. I felt through most of the book that I was reading two separate and very dull stories. If this story had a climax I missed it.
JonnieBean said on Dec 30, 2008, 03:25
FANTASTIC! Two stories develop at the same time. Alternate chapters discuss the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and a serial killer who lived in Chicago at the same time. I particularly loved the parts about the fair. I was fascinated by how many things developed at that precise time in history, from Cracker Jacks and the Ferris Wheel to the predominance of AC vs. DC electricity in the country, and just how they went about solving the myriad problems involved in putting on this incredible exposition.
Missmath144 said on Nov 16, 2008, 03:50
Fascinating account of the World's Fair and of two men who had a passion for two very different things. Both were linked to the Worl'd Columbian Exposition : the other built it, the other used it as a tool for carrying out his macabre desires. I could have done with a little less dates and a little more background to the two cases but otherwise a wonderful take on the subject. The idea of writing descriptions like in a novel was great and proves that non-fiction doesn't have to be a boring list of facts and people. This got the reader a little closer to the era.
s u v i said on Aug 21, 2008, 09:48