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Crown Publishing Group (NY)

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The true tale of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and the cunning serial killer who used the magic and majesty of the fair to lure his victims to their death.

Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America's rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair's brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country's most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his "World's Fair Hotel" just west of the fairgrounds--a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.

Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson's gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.

Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Published: 02/11/2003
Pages: 464
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.67lbs
Size: 9.54h x 6.46w x 1.43d
ISBN: 9780609608449

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 9.2
Point Value: 23
Interest Level: Upper Grade
Quiz #/Name: 106685 / Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

Award: Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award - Nominee
Award: Book Sense Book of the Year Award - Nominee
Award: Edgar Allan Poe Awards - Winner
Award: National Book Awards - Finalist
Award: Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award - Winner
Award: Washington State Book Award - Winner

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 11/15/2002 pg. 1676
Publishers Weekly 12/16/2002 pg. 57
Library Journal 01/01/2003 pg. 133
Newsweek 02/10/2003 pg. 67
BookPage 02/01/2003 pg. 5
Booklist 02/15/2003 pg. 1022
Booksense '76 Mar/Apr 2003 03/01/2003 pg. 1
Entertainment Weekly 02/28/2003 pg. 82
People Weekly 03/10/2003 pg. 46
New York Times 03/09/2003 pg. 15
Entertainment Weekly 12/26/2003 pg. 150
Booklist Editors Choice/Adult 01/01/2004 pg. 775
LJ Best Books of Year 01/01/2004 pg. 49
Library Journal 01/15/2003
Entertainment Weekly 03/13/2015 pg. 58

About the Author
Erik Larson lives in Seattle with his wife, three daughters, a Chinese fighting fish, a dwarf hamster, and a golden retriever named Molly.

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