Devil in the White City by Erik Larson This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 8, 2011
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Murder At the Fair

Devil in the White City brings you back to the Worlds Fair of 1893. Erik Larson put so much historical information and great details that it makes you feel like you are really there with the bright colorful flashing lights,the smell of buffaloes coming from Buffalo Bills Wild West, the sounds of people laughing and having fun, and the feel of the cold metal of the Ferris Wheel against your skin. Devil in the White City has been praised by many important readers including People magazine, newspapers from around the world, and was even a national book award finalist.
This book aroused an interest of architecture for me. It is all about the city of Chicago, who has just fought for and acquired, building the Worlds Fair. While Burnham is hard at work on the Worlds Fair H. H. Holmes is hiding away at his corner shop. When people start to go missing everyone starts to wonder about the dashing blue eyed Holmes. Erik Larson wrote this book in third person so we could get a clear view of everything. You aren't clouded by the thoughts of only one person, like in first person, but are open to the mindset of all the characters. Devil in the White City included many fallacies. Building the fair was an extremely difficult process. Many men died before they could see the outcome of their hard work and the weather was brutal. Once the fair was finished one event made that all come crumbling down. This shows an example of slippery slope.
Erik Larson separated each “time jump” with sections. This helps show the progress and stages of the world fair. He also splits it into chapters so that it didn’t run on. Each time he switches between characters he uses a line to separate them. I believe that this book is appropriate for High School students and older. But not for those who are faint hearted and can’t handle a little murder. I would recommend this to someone who fit those categories. Also, if you are interested in learning about architecture then this is a good book for you. This book made me feel happy, sad, and confused. When the Worlds Fair was finally finished I couldn't help but feel happy, but the tragedy strikes which left me wondering, what could have happened to all of those people?

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