Thursday, February 4, 2010

Devil in the White City

Adam and I both recently finished reading the same book: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. The cover describes it as "murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America". It chronicles the World's Fair that took place in Chicago in 1893. Well, half of the book chronicles the planning and building of the fair from an architectural perspective. The other half of the book follows a psychopathic serial killer.

Riveting. To say we loved it is an understatement. I think that it speaks to the power of Larson's writing, when I realized that I cared as much if not more about the architects as I did the victims of the psychopath. And I am not an architecture-lover by nature.

The tale of the World's Fair reads like a marvelously composed memoir. And the rest of the book reads like a gripping mystery. Oh, and did I mention this is a NONFICTION. That's right folks, it is true. And yet, you feel as if you are reading a novel from start to finish.

Adam and I both loved learning all that America produced for the first time at the fair. Shredded Wheat, the National Anthem, and a number of other fun surprises we can't bear to ruin. And the list of those that contributed to the fair or attended the fair, reads like a Who's Who of America in the early 20th century. So fascinating.

The Devil in the White City recieves two enthusiatic thumbs up from the DeClercqs.

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