25 January, 2016

The devil in the white city: murder, magic and madness at the fair that changed America by Erik Larson

The Paris world fair of 1889 had been a successful and glamorous occasion, topped off with the opening of the fabulous Eiffel Tower. To the delight of its citizens, Chicago was chosen to host a world fair to honour America’s history. The great Chicago fair of 1893 became known as the White City. It ran for six months and recorded 27.5 million visits.  This book describes the extraordinary efforts of the dedicated and ambitious architects who designed and supervised the massive construction.
Around the same time, evil was at work in Chicago. A charming young and handsome doctor had installed himself in a very strange hotel which he built near the fair, and was enticing women into relationships – women who seemed to disappear.  The charming Doctor H.H. Holmes, who also happened to be a serial killer, said chillingly at his confession, “I was born with the devil in me”.

I’m so glad I discovered this best-selling author – his gripping non-fiction transports the reader through time. Imagine my absolute ecstasy when I learnt that this book is soon to be made into a movie starring my favourite actor Leonardo DiCaprio.  My favourite actor and one of my favourite authors – I’ll be first through the cinema doors for this one!


Title: The devil in the white city: murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America
Author: Erik Larson

Recommended by Judy W, Orewa Library

Judy W may appear to work as a library assistant but in her own mind she is a top criminal defence lawyer and animal rights activist. She can hardly move for piles of books in her small house.


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