The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America (Unabridged)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The true tale of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and the cunning serial killer who used the magic and majesty of the fair to lure his victims to their death.
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.
Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.
The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
One of the greatest undertakings of the Gilded Age contrasts with a twisted man’s campaign of terror in this engrossing nonfiction audiobook by best-selling author Erik Larson. During the massively ambitious 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, a vicious serial killer known as H. H. Holmes saw the 27 million people who attended the six-month event as fodder for his brazen scheme of robbery and murder. We were blown away by how many historically significant developments sprang from this epic celebration—from Ferris wheels and electric dishwashers to the playground tune that starts “There’s a place in France...”—but we were even more shocked by Holmes’ outrageous villainy. Veteran narrator Scott Brick’s smooth, stately voice transports you right into the heart of the action. The Devil in the White City is as captivating as it is chilling.
I have yet to finish the book, but apparently iTunes has fixed the issue with only having a small portion of the audiobook. I would suggest downloading in an area with wifi because I had issues downloading part of the book then the whole book when I was in an area with wifi (reason for only 4 stars) Other then that, so far so good!
Gripping book that reads like a novel
This was a great book that was extremely easy to listen to, both because of Larson's smooth writing style and a solid narration.
It presented interesting facts about both Chicago and the United States at the end of the the 19th Century while telling 2 seamlessly woven stories anchored by the World's Columbian Exposition.
I highly recommend this book!
$20 for a third of the book
Come on iTunes, it's 2015. We don't have flying cars like we were promised, but we should at least be able to buy something on the iTunes Store and actually get the whole thing. Right now when purchasing this audiobook, only part one and what I'm assuming is part 5 or 6 is downloaded. That's it. Maybe this is some sort of clever lesson from iTunes to really inspect what we buy, since the fine print for this unabridged version illogically states that it is four hours shorter than the abridged version.