I just finished listening to the audio book of The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson.
Here’s what Amazon had to say, “Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—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.”
Well that wasn’t much of a description…so I guess it’s up to me to give you a little more. The book is really two books in one. The one tells all about the building and time in Chicago during the World’s Fair. One of the things happening in Chicago at the time was that there was a serial killer on the loose. The two stories don’t mix though. The serial killer attended the fair and his businesses were close to the fair but that’s about all the two parts of the story have in common.
If you want to know about the World’s Fair, the book has a lot of detail…if you want to know about the murders, there is limited detail.
Amazon readers give the book 4.3 stars…I am having trouble mustering that many stars. If the book had been split into two-one telling of the fair and the other of the murders I would have been so much more happy. As is, it’s a little dry. I’ll say 3.5 stars. Unless you like history, I don’t think there’s much there. For me the book seemed disjointed. Looking back, I wonder why I finished it.