The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
One of the first quotations that the readers see when reading “The Devil in the White City” is a part of H. H. Holmes’s confession, and says, “I was born with the devil in me.” This served as a fitting prelude to the story found within these pages that, though not really centered on Holmes, is full of devils as well as great triumphs, and darkness as well as light. Erik Larson absorbs his readers into the late 1800’s at the Chicago World’s Fair so well that one almost believes it to be a made-up story, and the events themselves are, as the saying goes, stranger than fiction.
As the tagline of the book suggests, it is a recounting of the insane yet magical events of the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. Larson details the planning, building, and experience of the fair, though lingering on Daniel Burnham, the head architect, and the architecture in general more than anything else.
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