The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City

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By (author) Erik Larson

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The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and its amazing 'White City' was one of the wonders of the world. This is the incredible story of its realization, and of the two men whose fates it linked: one was an architect, the other a serial killer. The architect was Daniel H. Burnham, the driving force behind the White City, the massive, visionary landscape of white buildings set in a wonderland of canals and gardens. The killer was H. H. Holmes, a handsome doctor with striking blue eyes. He used the attraction of the great fair - and his own devilish charms - to lure scores of young women to their deaths. While Burnham overcame politics, infighting, personality clashes and Chicago's infamous weather to transform the swamps of Jackson Park into the greatest show on Earther, Holmes built his own edifice just west of the fairground. He called it the World's Fair Hotel. In reality it was a torture palace, a gas chamber, a crematorium. These two disparate but driven men toegther with a remarkable supporting cast of colourful characters, including as Buffalo Bill, George Ferris, Thomas Edison and some of the 27 million others who converged on the dazzling spectacle of the White City, are brought to life in this mesmerizing, murderous tale of the legendary Fair that transformed America and set it on course for the twentieth century.

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Author information

Erik Larson is a prize-winning journalist for Time Magazine and author of the bestselling Isaac's Storm. He lives in Seattle with his family. To find out more about his latest book and the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 visit www.DevilintheWhiteCity.com

Review quote

"Fuses history and entertainment to give the dramatic effect of a novel... this truth really is stranger than fiction" The New York Times "Erik Larson tracks [H H Holmes] with practised journalistic skill... Highly readable" Sunday Telegraph "Captures the spirit of an America bursting with pioneering drive... a gripping book" Independent on Sunday "Bursting with so much vitality you half expect it to jump right out of your hands" Yorkshire Evening Post "An irresistible page-turner that reads like the most compelling, sleep defying fiction" Time Out