Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"The Devil in the White City: Murder and Madness at the Fair That Changed America" by Erik Larson

During November you have a chance to comment on and discuss this extremely popular book.

The setting is the 1893 Chicago Exposition. The book’s main characters are Daniel Hudson Burnham the architect who is credited with making it ready to open barely in time for the Opening Ceremonies and H. H. Holmes a con artist and serial killer.

The Chicago World’s Fair as it commonly became known truly was a dream and one that everyone knew would not last long. The wealthy and the poor strolled together amazed by the latest technology and beautiful objects from around the world. Outdoors they were awed by the architecture and landscaping.

At the time of the Fair’s construction there were major financial problems, the unions were demanding fair treatment and there was a very bad winter to work through. 19th century Chicago was a booming proud city that was determined to show itself off.

Many readers have found that Burnham and Holmes had traits and experiences in common.

How does Holmes match up to the serial killers of our times?

Which visitors surprised you?

There were exhibits that are offensive to us now. What about the Fair didn’t you like?

What technology at the Fair do you think had the greatest impact?

What about all the household name products that were introduced at the Fair.

Add a comment or reply to someone else’s. I wish we could all meet at the Ferris Wheel!

Additional Resources:

Google Images and Yahoo! Images have nice collections of photographs.

1 comment:

Quin McCoy said...

This is one of my favorite all time books. If you like historical fiction this is a must read.