Saturday, April 9, 2016

Devil in the White City

Since I really enjoyed reading "Close to Shore" over Christmas Break Doug and Brett suggested that I read "Devil in the White City" over Spring Break.  They said it had the same feel to it as the book about the shark attacks of the 1910s - history intertwined with tragedy.  Because of that they were sure that I would like it.  

I am happy to report that they were correct.  I picked up the book a couple of days before break started and finished it late tonight.  It was just under 400 pages, but a quick read with a lot of interesting facts about the World's Fair of 1893.  As it was set in Chicago it became even more fascinating.  There were historical references that I could follow along with having been to Chicago so many times.  I found out that Pabst Blue ribbon was introduced at the fair along with many other everyday items of today such as shredded wheat.  The concept of a midway was also a first at the fair as well as an iconic ride that still is a crowd favorite.  One of the surviving buildings of the fair even houses the Museum of Science & Industry - a family favorite.  

The book also told the story of H. H. Holmes one of Chicago's notorious serial killers of the same time period.  In a twist of fate he built his castle of horror just blocks away from the World's Fair.  It is not easy for me to read about serial killers or murder, especially when it involves children, but this book did not focus on the macabre.  It eluded to his evilness without going into a lot of detail until the very end.  

I've offered the book to Brett, my Dad and Doug to read next.  I don't know who will take me up on it, but I am interested in seeing if they like it as well as I did.  Next on my reading adventure is Les Miserables.  I will have to set reading goals with it as I did with Anna Karina.  It is over 1200 pages long, but one I have always wanted to tackle.  

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