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Devil In The White City By Erik Larson

707 words - 3 pages

Shakira Scott CBR1Erik Larson is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. He was born in Brooklyn, NY. Later, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied history, language, and culture. Larson received his masters in journalism from Colombia University. He has written articles for The Atlantic, Harper's, The New Yorker, and a contributing writer for Time Magazine.Larson wrote this book to show that, throughout our finite existence, there will forever be a rivalry between the good and the bad. In this quote, " Beneath the gore and smoke and loam, this book is about the evanescence of life, and why some men choose to fill their brief allotment of time engaging the impossible, others in the manufacture of sorrow," he utilizes words like evanescence and sorrow to emphasize the darkness that taints the light.The Devil in the ...view middle of the document...

This brought forth a flash back to his younger days, in the 1890's, when the American race to outdo Paris's Exposition Universelle was advancing. The story goes back an fourth between two plots, one being the progression of Burnham's creation of the Chicago World Fair of 1893 , the other following H.H.Holmes , a serial killer, as he uses the fair's magnetic vibe to lure young women into gruesome death's. Larson organizes the text by alternating between the two plots to exaggerate the Black city verses the White. He uses vivid diction to show the psychotic and diabolical mind of the serial killer and undercover pharmacist, H.H.Holmes. In the prologue, Larson uses the imminent and abrupt death of Francis Millet (who was one of the last living creators of the fair) to foreshadow the sudden end of the fair. The book begins in 1912 and goes through all the points leading up to it (from 1890-1912) and ends up back in 1912 when all the contributors have finally died off and along with them the fair. This connects back to the author's purpose by tying in how no matter the good or the bad it won't last forever.Larson gave every event a time limit. Once these events expired, that was it. They were out of sight, out of mind, which is what happened to the World's Columbian Exposition when its builders finally died. Larson accomplished his goal of reminding the public of the fair that initiated the industrial revolution. Larson says the book is not a work of fiction, so what about the murder scenes? Nobody was present during the actual murders. While reading I felt like there were too many details about unimportant occurrences. For example, when Root solved the foundation problem the book went on and on about creating it which didn't really pertain to the book. This book explained too much about things that didn't interest me but it was comprehensive. No, I would not this book recommend to others.LARSON, ERIK. The DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY: MURDER, MAGIC, AND MADNESS AT THE FAIR THAT CHANGED AMERICA. First ed. NEW YORK, NY: RANDOM HOUSE, 2003. Print.

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