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

by Erik Larson, Tony Goldwyn

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book’s categorization to be sure that ‘The Devil in the White City’ is not, in fact, a highly imaginativenovel.

  • Audio Cassette
  • Pages: 447 pages
  • Average Rating: 3.98 out of 5
  • Published February 11th 2003 by Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Original Title: The Devil in the White City: Murder
  • Magic
  • and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
  • ISBN: 0739303406 (ISBN13: 9780739303405)
  • Edition Language: English
  • Characters: Daniel Burnham
  • H.H. Holmes
  • Literary Awards: International Horror Guild Award for Nonfiction (2003)
  • Great Lakes Book Award for Nonfiction Shortlist (2003)
  • Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime (2004)
  • Book Sense Book of the Year Honor Book (2004)
  • Washington State Book Award (2004) ...more Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award (2004)
  • National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction (2003)
  • CWA Gold Dagger Award (2003)...less

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book’s categorization to be sure that ‘The Devil in the White City’ is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair’s construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham’s challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous “White City” around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair’s incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World’s Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.