Musings of an Eclectic Scribe

Exploring topics to write about

I Read A Book!

DWCityThere is a group on Facebook who is doing a book a week challenge.  My life probably is not going to allow me to read all the books on their list, but it is time I got some quality reading time in.  Recently I read an amazing book titled The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson.

I found this book to be a fascinating look at the Chicago World’s fair in 1895 and is written novel style.  Many times we see history as something that happened in the past.  It’s disjointed and doesn’t really give you a feel for how what happened in the past connects to our everyday life.  This book connects some of the things we enjoy today to a wonderful time of innovation and national pride in our history.   For example,  the ferris wheel was invented specifically for this fair.  The planners were looking for something that would rival the Eiffel Tower which was created for the Paris World Fair.  While we know the ferris wheel as something that holds maybe six people at a time, the original used box cars with the capacity to carry a large number of people in each.  It’s amazing to see the size of this original wheel against what we know today.

ferriswheel

But something evil is lurking a stone’s throw away from the fairgrounds, concealed by the excitement surrounding the construction of the fair.  Larson does an excellent job of weaving the actions of a serial killer into the everyday lives of the people of Chicago.  The reader forgets he’s there until the killer pops up unassuming and ordinary.  Something’s just not right about him but no one can really put a finger on it.  Then he fades into the background hidden by all the activity, his life just as ordinary as everyone else’s.

This is a great read that draws you into a world where the Chicago fire, Buffalo Bill, cotton candy, electric lights and cracker jacks are all contemporaries and gives some insight into what it took to pull off one of the greatest fairs of the time.

On a separate note, as I was doing some research for this article I found out that Leonardo DiCaprio has bought the rights to this story and will be turning it into a movie.  I am excited to see this story come to life.  I hope that you will enjoy this book as much as I have.

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
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