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Richmond Book Club Message Board › The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City

Chelsea
user 2830593
Group Organizer
Midlothian, VA
Post #: 51
I found the book took a while to get going but I am really enjoying it I have not quite finished it. I am finding the descriptions of the fair really interesting and how it was such important event in history. I love the way the author throws in little bits of trivia here and there for example the reference to Mickey Finn. And then of course there is Holmes he is one scary bloke! I can not believe the things he is doing and so far getting away with.

What do you all think of this book?
A former member
Post #: 42
I am really enjoying the book thus far. I like the author's writing style and how he describes the details in sort of a poetic fashion. I agree about Holmes...he is just plain creepy!
A former member
Post #: 16
Ok here I go again, the big party pooper. I can not get into this book either. I don't know what the issue is, but I find that I skim the pages until that Holmes guy comes up. He is the only person that interests me. I think maybe I just do not have alot of time to read right now and that is why I can not get into this book, or any of the other recent ones either. Holmes, though, man he is nuts. Maybe if it was more Holmes and less of everything else I could handle it better. Because honestly, those other characters (like the poilce men that would visit during his construction of that house) do not say much for intelligence, if anything Holmes is smarter then anyone else in that book.
Maria
user 2826214
Richmond, VA
Post #: 9
I had actually already read this book. I was really looking forward to it but ended up being disappointed somewhat. I think I was expecting more to be written about the murders. In all, though, I learned a lot of interesting tidbits, such as the invention of the Ferris wheel. I also thought that the information about the construction of the fair and all of the mishaps to be the most interesting part of the book.
A former member
Post #: 3
Creepy, creepy, creepy! I think the book is trying to show the "best of times, worst of times", best of humanity, worst of humanity thing of Chicago at that time. On the one hand, there is a huge grand Fair that showcases the talents of America's leading architects. On the other hand, the creepiest dude who ever lived is doing unspeakable things in his nasty little hotel. I think the book is easy to read but after reading about Holme's naughty activities I'm not finding it easy to sleep (shiver).
A former member
Post #: 21
I can not get into this book. I am 40 pages in and am not feeling it at all. I find the writing style is very dry. I may have to stop reading. Sorry, guys.
A former member
Post #: 4
To help people visualize the setting... I found some GREAT online photos of the fair: http://columbus.gl.ii...­. Very elaborate!! I can't believe they managed to pull this off. Pretty impressive, even by modern standards.
A former member
Post #: 5
For the "in a nutshell" version of Holmes and his crimes (not sure how accurate, but an interesting read): http://www.prairiegho...­.
Chelsea
user 2830593
Group Organizer
Midlothian, VA
Post #: 54
Great links Beth! The one about the fair has some excellent photos they really helped me appreciate the scale and grandeur of the fair. I can not believe that I had never even heard about the Chicago Worlds Fair before it really was a remarkable achievement I don't think people these days could even dream up an event like that.
A former member
Post #: 4
i also found this book a little slow going, but now find myself sneaking it in at every chance i get. chelsea mentioned the fun bits of trivia, and i noticed quite a few things that were in last month's book. The reference about the "windy city" and also about the "claque" (paid audience members). if you don't remember those, just ask casey (lol).

to lorraine and tracy: i was very skeptical at first, but i promise it gets better! occasionally, after pages and pages of architecture jargon, i would be thinking "man, where's holmes already? enough with the construction mess." i realize that he's painting a picture. sometimes too vivid (horses waist deep in manure?! yuck!!). i do agree that it is unsettling to read at night. i've found it less so if i end with a "fair" chapter instead of a "holmes" chapter, if that makes any sense.

i also bought the audio to speed up the reading process, since i purchased the book so late. i recommend one or the other, and not doing both. the audio expectedly deleted some material, but it was slightly out of sequence as well. it makes it very confusing when trying to switch between the two. of course this is only the second audio book i've ever purchased, so that may be standard.

see y'all tuesday!
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