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on 24 April 2017
Thankyou Amazon for recommending this book.
I found it fascinating. Holmes' story is certainly worth telling, but it was the story of the World's Fair that was the more absorbing of the narratives.
The details of committee meetings, labour disputes and even storm damage were deftly handled, and the characters brought vividly to life.
I found Holmes' story was almost in the background, and I feel this made for a better book than it might have been.
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on 15 May 2017
Good condition and delivered promptly. The book itself is a slow burner and written in the style of a novel. It's not as succinct as I'd like from a true crime book.
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on 6 June 2017
This guy is not the world's greatest prose writer, but he makes up for it by being a good storyteller.
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on 24 October 2014
A really fascinating story of the Chicago White City project and the simultaneous serial killings. So easy to read and for me the fact that both are true stories made it totally captivating. Having been a project manager on major infrastructure projects the White City part was more scary!!!
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on 23 August 2017
Ok
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on 5 June 2012
I only read this to learn more about Chicago, for which there is plenty written about organised crime and organised labour, but precious little general history. (I would love to be proved wrong on this.) This book helps to fill that vacuum. Look at photographs of the 1893 Exhibition (perhaps online, since they are badly reproduced in this book) and you will be staggered by the scale of the achievement. Then look at google satellite images of Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance and you will scarcely believe it ever happened - the places seem so arid and featureless now. The Exhibition seems to have been no more than a cultural power play: perhaps an exploration of Daniel Burnham and his architectural antagonist, Frank Lloyd Wright, will reveal something more permanent about the City's cultural aesthetic. I can't find one, but assume that's because of my ignorance and that there is something more to Chicago than organised crime, capital and labour (but maybe there isn't). By intriguing contrast, a decade or so later, the 1904 St Louis World Fair bequeathed a more permanent monument to its city, the Art Museum. There was a fairly significant financial collapse in the US in 1893, which created the groundswell for Progressive era politics - its aura is captured in William Jennings Bryan's "cross of gold" speech during the 1896 Presidential campaign. You get an ancillary feel for this, as labour is jettisoned following the closure of the White City. And the Devil in it? Of limited interest, apart from highlighting the scale of the crowds visiting, allowing murders to pass unnoticed during it.
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on 17 December 2013
I was disappointed with this book. Namely because every other chapter (sometimes more than every other) was concerned with the men who designed and built the fair (the chicago world fair) and had absolutely nothing to do with H H Holmes, the primary reason I purchased this book. I found the podcast 'stuff you missed in history class' episodes for H H Holmes fascinating and bought this book on their recommendation however, unless you are particularly interested in architecture you will get bored quickly. Some of the information about Holmes is excellent, and it is very well written, however if you took all the stuff about the architecture of the fair out, the book would probably only be about 50 pages. Sad.
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on 31 July 2016
Initially picked up this for the Holmes murder aspect, but halfway through I was far more invested in the story of the awe-inspiring Chicago World's Fair.

A truly humbling story of people driven by civic pride and professional bravado. In a world that increasingly seems to be gazing inwards, a story of a moment in time where people came together to say "let's be great".
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on 8 June 2017
Very good book
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on 21 July 2017
good read enjoyed it
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