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Monday, April 24, 2006

THE BOOK : "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson, 390 pages, paperback, Vintage Books. As a fairly keen observer of American history, this book was of special interest to me as it was not only about our history but covers an especially interesting time, that of the 1880's and 1890's. This was a time when the industrial revolution was gaining a foothold with many "miracles" of the time being discovered and invented. It was also still an era of Victorian thinking which made for an interesting combination. This is a true story of the light and dark sides involved in the building of the "White City" which was the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Intertwined with these details is the story of a serial killer using the backdrop of the Fair to lure his victims. Erik Larson has done his homework, as thirty-three pages of bibliography will attest, to bring out all the characters and frustrations involved with this monumental project. Once you start into the book, you will have to keep in mind that it is a non-fiction piece as it reads like a novel. Larson’s use of imagery to describe the filth and pestilence of Chicago in the gilded age is remarkable as it makes you feel that you are inhaling the smoke filled air and looking at the endless litter. "The Devil in the White City" is a must for those who enjoy a work of well crafted non-fiction that includes a learning experience. I highly recommend it. (Comments? Questions?: azjimmcallister@cox.net.

ONE MORE NOTE: I have added a few more links to the blog all of which bear a relationship to the subjects I write about. With one click you can now check out "Google News", click "North Scottsdale" for information about that area, movie and TV details are available from "IMDB", programmming notes and information from public radio and TV can be obtained by clicking "NPR" and "PBS", and by clicking "INDEPENDENT" you can read the entire "NORTH SCOTTSDALE INDEPENDENT" online. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the site!

7 comments:

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