32. The Devil in the White City : Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

The first 60 or so pages of this book were a bit slow, but then! Awesomeness happens and I could not put this book down. It’s a nonfiction book about the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 (aka the World’s Colombian Exposition). The book kind of reads like a novel, but not in a horrible way that makes you think that maybe everything in it isn’t factual.

The parts about the World’s Fair was way more interesting than I thought it would be. I’ll admit the architecture parts were boring to me, but I think that’s because I had an american art history class that involved the fair and so it was a bit rehash-y. Plus, I’m not an architecture junkie, and don’t get me started on Frank Lloyd Wright. Yeah, I said it.

Some of the awesome things that came out of this World’s Fair was:

the Ferris Wheel (they needed something to beat out the Eiffel Tower which was the awesome thing at the previous world’s fair in Paris)

A whole city being lit by AC electric light.

Aunt Jemima pancakes

Pabst Blue Ribbon (it was said that this beer won the blue ribbon and so they just kept it in the name)

The parts about the serial killer, H. H. Holmes (an alias, but he had so many names/aliases that I can’t remember his real name, I think it may have been Mudge or Mudget but don’t quote me.) were so crazy. It was shocking to me that he was able to get away with so many murders right in front of everyone! I guess he was a VERY charming guy. Serial killers sometimes are. I thin kanother part of it is that back then, there weren’t that many serial killers around. Psychopaths were kind of a new thing, or if not new, then the terminology and psychology were new.

This was just a fascinating read. I really couldn’t put it down it was so interesting. I’ll definitely look for more of this author’s work.

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