The Devil in the White City
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The Devil in the White City

3.98 (337,720 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 Earth, 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 together 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 34mm | 358.34g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • B & W photos
  • 0553813536
  • 9780553813531
  • 6,185

About Erik Larson

Erik Larson is a prize-winning journalist and No.1 bestselling author of Isaac's Storm, The Devil in the White City, Thunderstruck, In the Garden of Beasts and in 2015, Dead Wake - about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. He lives in Seattle with his family.show more

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 "An irresistible page-turner that reads like the most compelling, sleep defying fiction" Time Out "Bursting with so much vitality you half expect it to jump right out of your hands" Yorkshire Evening Postshow more

Back cover copy

One man built a heaven on earth. Another built hell beside it. The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 was one of the great wonders of the world. This is the extraordinary story of its realization, and of two men whose fates it linked: one was an architect, the other a serial killer... The architect was Daniel H. Burnham. He created the 'White City', a massive, visionary landscape of white buildings set in an incandescent wonderland of canals and gardens. The killer was H. H. Holmes, a handsome doctor with intense blue eyes, who used the attraction of the great fair and his own devilish charms to lure scores, perhaps hundreds, of young women to their deaths. And while Burnham overcame politics, infighting, personality clashes and Chicago's infamous weather to transform the swamps of Jackson Park into the greatest show on Earth, Holmes built his own edifice. He called it the World's Fair Hotel. In reality it was a torture palace, a gas chamber, a crematorium. These two disparate yet driven men together with a remarkable supporting cast, including Buffalo Bill, George Ferris and Thomas Edison, are brought to life in this mesmerizing, murderous tale of the spectacle that transformed America and set it on course for the 20th century.show more

Review Text

"Bursting with so much vitality you half expect it to jump right out of your hands"show more

Rating details

337,720 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 34% (116,016)
4 39% (130,443)
3 20% (66,608)
2 5% (18,150)
1 2% (6,503)
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