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    The Devil in the White City

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    Blondy28
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    The Devil in the White City

    Post by Blondy28 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:07 pm

    I'm about 30% through this book (sorry...Kindle...doesn't use page numbers). It was recommended to me by one of my vendors who is an engineer, and he knows that I'm a true crime fanatic...and this book is about engineering/architecture AND a serial killer.

    It's a true story about the Chicago World's Fair. Every other chapter is about the story of constructing the fair, and every other chapter is about the serial killer who was on the loose in Chicago during that time.

    As a lifelong Chicagoan, the historical aspect is particularly interesting. For example, the up and coming area at that time was Englewood.

    I'd highly recommend this book.
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    Cream1953
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    Re: The Devil in the White City

    Post by Cream1953 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:29 pm

    I read it a couple of years ago Blondy and found it superbly researched and an interesting read. My only problem with it was the format of which you mentioned. While I know the novel's obvious intent was to show how the best of man and the worst of man can converge and co-exist so easily in one location, I found the switching back and forth in characters and topics from one chapter to the next a bit wearing on the reader. Once the reader gets settled in one world he or she is then suddenly drawn into the next and this is a continual process. I guess it reveals my dark side to say I was far more intrigued with the world of the good doctor H.H. Holmes than I was all of the things regarding the World's Fair.
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    Blondy28
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    Re: The Devil in the White City

    Post by Blondy28 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:48 pm

    Cream1953 wrote:I read it a couple of years ago Blondy and found it superbly researched and an interesting read. My only problem with it was the format of which you mentioned. While I know the novel's obvious intent was to show how the best of man and the worst of man can converge and co-exist so easily in one location, I found the switching back and forth in characters and topics from one chapter to the next a bit wearing on the reader. Once the reader gets settled in one world he or she is then suddenly drawn into the next and this is a continual process. I guess it reveals my dark side to say I was far more intrigued with the world of the good doctor H.H. Holmes than I was all of the things regarding the World's Fair.

    Funny that you should say that. I find myself hoping for the end of the World's Fair chapters so I can get back to Holmes and his house of horrors...although it's kind of like a little unexpected surprise when there's something in the World's Fair chapters that is particularly interesting, because I anticipate that it is going to be about building plans and such...and I do find that some of the anecdotes that I tell people about come from those chapters. I have definitely read books that go back and forth like that, but I don't think they've been on a consistent every other chapter basis....maybe it would have been better if it wasn't so structured. But still, a great book.

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    Re: The Devil in the White City

    Post by Guest on Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:26 pm

    Blondy28 wrote:I'm about 30% through this book (sorry...Kindle...doesn't use page numbers). It was recommended to me by one of my vendors who is an engineer, and he knows that I'm a true crime fanatic...and this book is about engineering/architecture AND a serial killer.

    It's a true story about the Chicago World's Fair. Every other chapter is about the story of constructing the fair, and every other chapter is about the serial killer who was on the loose in Chicago during that time.

    As a lifelong Chicagoan, the historical aspect is particularly interesting. For example, the up and coming area at that time was Englewood.

    I'd highly recommend this book.



    Read the book, and agree with blondy ..easy to read and interesting if you are from chicago b/c you know the hoods they are talking about...fascinating how the jackson Park area was THE place at the time.

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    Re: The Devil in the White City

    Post by Guest on Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:29 pm

    Funny that you should say that. I find myself hoping for the end of the World's Fair chapters so I can get back to Holmes and his house of horrors...


    I on the other hand, liked all that historical data ..the landscape architect who also did Central Park in NYC, the development of the Ferris Wheel ...I like that human nature stuff as much as the murder mystery.
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    Blondy28
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    Re: The Devil in the White City

    Post by Blondy28 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:24 pm

    Chi-kid wrote:Funny that you should say that. I find myself hoping for the end of the World's Fair chapters so I can get back to Holmes and his house of horrors...


    I on the other hand, liked all that historical data ..the landscape architect who also did Central Park in NYC, the development of the Ferris Wheel ...I like that human nature stuff as much as the murder mystery.

    I totally agree...as I noted above, I find myself surprised that when I tell people about the book, it's those sections that I tend to quote. It's a much different kind of "interesting" tho, if you know what I mean. The crime chapters kind of stop with a cliff hanger, whereas the others don't...which is what I think makes you want to get back to them.

    I'm not to the Ferris Wheel construction yet, but there is SO much local and generational stuff that is just so interesting...some political angles, too.

    I call this a book within a book, because it's really two stories...the serial killer, and the construction of the World's Fair, and in that regard, it reminds me of another GREAT book I read probably 20 years ago, yet it's still one of my favorites. It's called And the Sea Will Tell. It's a true crime story written by Vincent Bugliosi, and it's about a very wealthy couple who retires and set out to live on their boat and sail around the world, and a couple of drifters who patch up a boat that's on its last leg, and set sail from Hawaii, and they end up on the same island. The first half of the book is life on the island, and it's SOOOO interesting. The crime doesn't even occur until the 2nd half. But they talk about the fact that the island is full of rats...not something I would tend to associate with island life. So just really interesting story within the real story which, of course, is that the seedy couple murders the wealthy couple.

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