I found this book to have really interesting content but OMG was it painfully slow to finish! I don't know if it was because I read a book review earlier that said it was a "page turner" and I kept waiting to get to that point or if it was because this style of story telling just wasn't my style. Either way, really interesting and I was glad that I did finish reading to the end.
I think the easiest way to describe my feelings is to list out the things I did and didn't like.
- World's Fair--I think this was my absolute favorite thing about the book. I've always heard of the World's Fair in Chicago but I really knew nothing about it until I read this book. I didn't know that it lasted such a long time, I was assuming it was a weekend or two like regular local fairs, not months and months. I also wasn't really aware of how many products were displayed and introduced during the Fair. I guess in my mind I thought it was all about rides and food and didn't pay attention in History class to the part about it being a huge expo. If you don't know what really well known thing was first introduced during this particular fair I won't spoil it for you. Don't Google either! Read it and be surprised
- The research--At the end of the book the author goes into detail about his research for this book and I was a little surprised that he did none of it online. Seriously, there is a ton of factual info in this book and to do all of it the old fashioned way of traveling to the locations to look at actual books, letters and artifacts is pretty impressive.
- Reading reviews ahead of time--Ok, I admit I sorta ruined it for this book by reading too many reviews before reading the book. Someone said it was a page turner so I expected it to go a little faster and kinda kept waiting for that big, exciting moment when it would become a page turner
- Book organization--This book easily could have been two books, one about the Fair and one about the killer. I kept waiting for the two main men's stories to come together and overlap and they didn't really do it like I was expecting. I enjoyed both story lines but it might have been an easier read if they were separate books or if their stories overlapped more.
Definitely pick up this book and read it if you have ever wanted to know more about Chicago during the late 1890's or if you have an interest in the Chicago's World Fair.
Purchase it here!
Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed AmericaThe No. 1 New York Times bestseller about the architect who led the construction of the great Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, and the prolific serial killer who used the fair as a lure. Just blocks from the fairgrounds, the killer built a hotel of horrors equipped with an acid vat, dissection table and crematorium. The book won an Edgar Award for best fact-crime writing, and was a finalist for a National Book Award. In November 2010, Leonardo DiCaprio acquired the rights to make a feature film based on Devil, and has stated he plans to play the role of the killer, Dr. H. H. Holmes.