I havent read many books lately. Well, I haven’t finished many books lately. But I really want to get back to reading more because I am happier when I do. I started another book club with some friends after I moved and we meet virtually. It’s really fun and has kept me reading something other than perusing Facebook all day.
A couple months ago, our pick was The Devil in the White City. It was an interesting book. Here’s a little about it:
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.
I’ll admit, when I started reading, I expected a lot more about the murders and crazy antics. Then when half (or more) of the book was actually dedicated to the history behind it all, I skimmed that and skipped to the chapters about the crazy guy.
Overall, it was interesting, but I didn’t enjoy all the history. It’s just not my thing. I think the title was a little misleading because I expected it to be all about the devil in the city. I did like that a lot of the story was based on facts. That always makes something like this a bit creepier.
Have you read any books recently that you had high hopes for and it just didn’t live up to what you expected?