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The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Rating: 3/5 stars.

My summer assignment for my AP US History class was to read and annotate The Devil in the White City. If I hadn’t had to take extensive notes on the historical aspects of this novel I might’ve liked it more, but, oh well.

Not to say that the history was trivial or erroneous. Rather, it was how Erik Larson conveyed the historical facts that bored me. The book is literally split into two stories: a group of architects building Chicago’s World Fair, and a serial killer that goes by the name of Holmes who murders women and children as they come to see the fair. The chapters alternate between following Daniel Burnham, the man in charge of the fair’s construction, and Holmes. The separated structure didn’t sell the story well as I trudged through the parts pertaining to the fair while looking forward to reading more about Holmes. This book would have benefited from intertwining the two plots – which it did toward the end, briefly.

I liked The Devil in the White City, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like learning about history.

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Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books