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The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic,…
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The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That… (original 2003; edição 2004)

por Erik Larson (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
19,078640179 (4)1 / 961
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America₂s 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 fairgrounds₇a 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. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before. 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.… (mais)
Membro:lscherr77
Título:The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Autores:Erik Larson (Autor)
Informação:Vintage (2004), 447 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:**
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Informação Sobre a Obra

The Devil in the White City por Erik Larson (2003)

  1. 123
    The Alienist por Caleb Carr (bnbookgirl)
  2. 81
    Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer por James L. Swanson (thatwordnerd)
    thatwordnerd: Both books tell a true story, with a multitude of sources, but are written in a way that makes the reader feel as if it is almost fiction. The reader (see more) is not hit over the head with facts and is able to get sucked into the story and the era.
  3. 60
    The Infamous Burke and Hare: Serial Killers and Resurrectionists of Nineteenth Century Edinburgh por R. Michael Gordon (cammykitty)
  4. 60
    Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris por David King (jbgryphon)
  5. 50
    Depraved: The Definitive True Story of H.H. Holmes, Whose Grotesque Crimes Shattered Turn-of-the-Century Chicago por Harold Schechter (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Another account of H.H. Holmes
  6. 40
    In Cold Blood por Truman Capote (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  7. 40
    American Gothic por Robert Bloch (CarlT)
    CarlT: Though AMERICAN GOTHIC is fiction and THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY is non-fiction, both books are based on the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 (nicknamed "The White City") and the horrific murders committed by serial killer Henry H. Holmes.
  8. 51
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil por John Berendt (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Offering rich details of Savannah in the 1980s (Midnight in the Garden) and Chicago in the 1890s (Devil in the White City), these well-researched and dramatic recreations of terrible crimes are equally compelling, despite differences in time period and location.… (mais)
  9. 30
    Heartland Serial Killers: Belle Gunness, Johann Hoch, and Murder for Profit in Gaslight Era Chicago por Richard C. Lindberg (meggyweg)
  10. 41
    Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul por Karen Abbott (DK_Atkinson, g33kgrrl)
  11. 41
    The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers who Inspired Chicago por Douglas Perry (browner56)
    browner56: Two fascinating looks at murder and mayhem in the Windy City at the turn of the last century.
  12. 20
    Walter Dew: The Man Who Caught Crippen por Nicholas Connell (mysterymax)
  13. 20
    The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures por Edward Ball (davesmind)
  14. 32
    The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary por Simon Winchester (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Both concern late-19th C American killers in the backdrop of a bigger social story of advancement (Chicago Fair and Oxford English Dictionary).
  15. 10
    Twilight at the World of Tomorrow: Genius, Madness, Murder, and the 1939 World's Fair on the Brink of War por James Mauro (ghr4)
  16. 21
    The City of Falling Angels por John Berendt (elbakerone)
  17. 00
    The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective por Kate Summerscale (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Devil In the White City and The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher are compelling and richly detailed books about historical true crime. These stories present not only details about the crime but also about the social mores of the time.
  18. 00
    Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Epoque Paris por Steven Levingston (Luchtpint)
  19. 00
    The Killer of Little Shepherds por Douglas Starr (Luchtpint)
  20. 00
    The Devil's Rooming House: The True Story of America's Deadliest Female Serial Killer por M. William Phelps (bnbookgirl)
    bnbookgirl: mixing true crime with historical event

(ver todas as 29 recomendações)

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Inglês (635)  Dinamarquês (2)  Francês (1)  Italiano (1)  Todas as línguas (639)
Mostrando 1-5 de 639 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
My goodness it's taken me about two years to actually finish this book. I understand why this book was written like it is, alternating between the fair and the serial killer. Its a framework that speaks to a wider audience of people, and draws you in to at least see how the two are connected. For my part, I found the chapters on the building of the fair about a thousand times more interesting than the serial killer. It's strange, death in fiction doesn't tend to bother or offend me, but reading about the lives deaths of H. H. Holmes' victims made me sick and sad. I think that is why I've abandoned this book so many times. Despite not liking half of the subject matter, I always find Larson's writing compelling. He is quite a gifted storyteller (as if you needed me to tell you that, but there you go). ( )
  JessicaReadsThings | Dec 2, 2021 |
Summary: The story of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago juxtaposed with that of a psychopathic murderer, H. H. Holmes, pursuing his sinister seduction of young women within blocks of the fair.

The Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris captured the attention of the world, not the least for the engineering feat that dominated the vista of this world’s fair, the Eiffel Tower. Not to be done, the United States wanted its own fair and settled on a Columbian Exposition beginning in October 1892 and running through the warm months of 1893. A number of cities were in the running. In the end, Chicago won, and with less that two years to go, had to stage the fair. Two men, noted building architect, Daniel T. Burnham and landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted led the effort to turn derelict parkland into a showplace surpassing the Exposition in Paris. Burnham was responsible for the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station, among other architectural wonders. Olmsted was the mind behind Central Park and numerous parks around the country.

Meanwhile, a truly demonic individual had taken up residence in Englewood, within blocks of Jackson Park, the eventual site of the fair. A medical school graduate from the University of Michigan who left unexplained trouble wherever he traveled found a pharmacy where he could assist, and when the husband died, buy the pharmacy from the wife, who was said to have moved to California but was never heard from again. This was the first of a number of disappearances, mostly of women who had been won by the courtly manners, placid blue eyes, and touches of H. H. Holmes, one of many aliases used by Herman Webster Muggett.

Like many of Erik Larson’s works, the story of the visionary genius of Burnham and Olmsted, and the evil genius of Holmes are told side-by-side. Burnham was the exposition’s director, and his first challenge was to assemble the architectural genius of the country to build the various exhibition halls of the fair, subduing personal rivalries and vanities to get them to design aesthetically beautiful but temporary structures. It was his decision to paint all of them white, creating the “White City” that contrasted with the black city of Chicago to the north, casting a vision for the future city. Olmsted, who thought of landscaping projects in terms of years, had to do this in months, much of it after construction equipment from around buildings was removed, creating walkways and the central lagoon.

Two further factors exacerbated the challenges they faced. One was an economic depression with bank failures and joblessness that threatened attendance. The other was difficult relations with Chicago’s labor unions. Then there was the continuing challenge to erect a comparable structure to Eiffel’s Tower. Various hare-brained schemes were proposed until an engineer by the name of Ferris from Pittsburgh proposed building a huge wheel from which cars would be suspended. As it went up, it looked as if one good wind could knock it over. One of the highlights of the story is the account of a tornadic storm that barely shook it.

While the fair didn’t exceed the Exposition Universelle in attendance, it came close, and might have if not for the Sabbatarians who kept the fair closed on Sunday. In addition to Ferris’s engineering feat, Edison’s incandescent bulbs lit the White City at night, powered by alternating current, a first on a large scale. The fair gave also gave us Cracker Jacks and Shredded Wheat.

Meanwhile Holmes worked his evil in Englewood, erecting his “castle,” a dreary hotel with ground floor businesses, and some very strange features, like an airtight room and a specially designed kiln. Many women disappeared during the exposition, drawn to the newness and freedom of Chicago and inspired by the White City. It is not known how many fell prey to Holmes seductions. Larson focuses in on the deaths of Minnie and Anna Williams, Emeline Cigrand, and his assistant, Benjamin Pitezel and three of his children. Even these may not have come to light were it not for the dogged investigation of a Detective Geyer.

I find fascinating the technique of Larson’s to tell an inspiring story of noble vision next to one of unspeakable evil. Each could well be told separately and have been. To tell these stories together is to remind us that the distance between nobility and evil is never great. Even the fair’s ending points to the hubris of forgetting this reality. During the closing speech, Mayor Carter Harrison, Sr. spoke of expecting to live another fifty years. That night, at his home, a disappointed and crazed office seeker, Patrick Eugene Prendergast, assassinated him. Larson weaves these stories together in a way both historically accurate and alternately fascinating and disturbing. ( )
  BobonBooks | Nov 29, 2021 |
This book is a look at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. It also contains assassination of a public figure and the murder of countless people at the hands of a supremely disturbed individual. The amount of research and the information shared within the book's pages is mind boggling. I think the actual descriptions of the Fair itself were fascinating to read. The accounts of how the fair came into existence and the building of it were, to me, mind numbing. The disappearance and subsequent murders of a large number of people was interesting, especially because the murderer got away with it for so long.

An interesting look at Chicago life and a world-renowned Fair in 1893. ( )
  briandrewz | Nov 11, 2021 |
I feel like the author tried to do too much with this book. There were so many storylines and people to cover and I didn't think it meshed together very well at times. I didn't like the constant bouncing back and forth either. Perhaps this would have been a better reading experience if I had read it over a couple of days instead of a couple of weeks. ( )
  AngelClaw | Oct 30, 2021 |
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson is a 2003 publication.

Astounding!

I recently read a review of this book online, which reminded me that I had a copy of it on my bookshelf. I was sure I had already read this book- albeit a long time ago- but I had not added it to my online book sites, had not rated it or reviewed it – which prompted an internal debate with myself – did I- or did I not read this book?

I was positive I had, but because I had read several other books about H.H. Holmes, I wanted to sure before I packed the book in my donation box. Not only that, since I had never reviewed the book I wanted to get one posted, either way.

As it turns out, I was right- I had read it- but it was so long ago many of the details had faded from my memory.

To be clear, this is a true crime book about H. H. Holmes, but it's much more that- it's also about a time, a place, a huge event in history, and those who brought it all together. It's a horrifying story, but also a fascinating one.

Larson is quite something, isn’t he? The research is, of course, phenomenal, but it’s the way he makes history come to life that kept me turning those pages.

The book reads like a novel, which, as we know, is an approach many True Crime authors have mastered, but is a bit harder to pull off when writing about history. Anyone who feels history or nonfiction is too dry should give this book a try!

Larson had me in the palm of his hand and despite my penchant for True Crime, it was the planning and execution of the magnificent World Fair that takes center stage. The architecture, all the vivid details, the people behind the scenes, and the influx of people into the city was just incredible.

But evil was lurking in the background and the fair turned out to be the perfect environment for a serial killer- H. H. Holmes- to be exact.

Holmes was most assuredly the stuff nightmares are made of!! He got away with so much, for such a long time, it was hard to take it all in!! Times were so different back then too- which made it easier for Holmes to con a more trusting public.

Overall, Larson has a unique approach, and a well organized presentation, bringing together two seemingly different subjects, and linking them together in such a way that one can hardly tear themselves away from the pages.

That’s a rare talent for historical writing. I highly recommend this one to anyone who enjoys true crime and history, of course, but even if you usually prefer fiction, you’ll probably still find this book of great interest!!

4.5 stars ( )
  gpangel | Oct 27, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 639 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Mr. Larson has written a dynamic, enveloping book filled with haunting, closely annotated information. And it doesn't hurt that this truth really is stranger than fiction.
adicionada por jlelliott | editarThe New York Times, Janet Maslin (Feb 10, 2003)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (15 possíveis)

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Erik Larsonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Brick, ScottNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Goldwyn, TonyNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tézenas, HubertTraductionautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood.
Daniel H. Burnham

Director of Works

World's Columbian Exposition, 1893
I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than a poet can help the inspiration to sing.
Dr. H. H. Holmes

Confession

1896
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To Chris, Kristen, Lauren, and Erin,

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The date was April 14, 1912, a sinister day in maritime history, but of course the man in suite 63–65, shelter deck C, did not yet know it.
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"Suddenly New York and St. Louis wanted the fair. Washington laid claim to the honor on the grounds it was the center of government, New York because it was the center of everything. No one cared what St. Louis thought, although the city got a wink for pluck."
"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood"
"They are blue. Great murderers, like great men in other walks of activity, have blue eyes."
"In all the workforce in the park numbered four thousand. The ranks included a carpenter and furniture-maker named Elias Disney, who in coming years would tell many stories about the construction of this magical realm beside the lake. His son Walt would take note."
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Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America₂s 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 fairgrounds₇a 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. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before. 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.

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