I recently finished reading Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. My swim coach loaned it to me, but then said "I hated it. It's gruesome and scary". So my question to him was "why did you loan it to me, then????". (He didn't have a response to that.) I ran out of other books to read so I decided to give it a try. I honestly didn't even know what it was about when I started reading. For one thing, I thought it was fiction. Although it reads like a novel, it's not. It's the true story of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and a serial killer who takes advantage of the fair to lure single women to their death's. I didn't find it scary, though. If it had been about a killer who broke into women's house through their front windows or screened-in porches, that would have freaked me out! But, I don't think the author went in to too much detail about the murders. He got the point across, but that's not what I take away from the book. I mostly recall the fascinating details about how the World's Fair came to be and the amazing accomplishments to get it built. I'm sort of ashamed that I lived in Chicagoland for seven years but didn't really know any of this story. I mean, I knew Chicago had hosted a world's fair, but that's about it. I couldn't have told you when it was, where it was, what the attractions were, or any other relevant detail. I totally recommend this book to anyone with even a slight interest in history.
I also think I've decided that I might be beginning to enjoy nonfiction-history-that-reads-like-a-novel more than a lot of the fiction I've read recently. There just doesn't seem to be that much good fiction out there right now. Maybe I'm just missing it somehow? Honestly, I can't think of a GREAT fiction book that I've read since the 7th Harry Potter last summer.
2 months ago