Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson: A pictorial and some thoughts

the book:

the rating:

Maureen unwraps the official
book club book:

...inside are notes, quotes, attendance records,
and a running list of future books:

Amanda found us primary research:

a book baby shower for Beatrice:

our next book club book:
(not really)

Thoughts: The Devil in the White City was a feat of a book. I found myself turning back to the notes section to marvel at how Larson was able to craft a convincing story out of history's scraps. As a writer, I appreciated his dense research and surprisingly deft (re?)plotting. As a reader, I did chuckle at his foreboding orchestra-strike chapter endings. "Only Poe could have dreamed the rest..." Dum-dum-dum! I'm not sure he trusted me to turn the page on my own. But I would have. He made drama out of exposition committee meetings and pathos out of plaster. He so immersed me in the world of the late 19th century that I could feel genuine shock at Dr. H.H. Holmes's boundless evil. In this modern world, we are overly familiar with the serial killer narrative. We hear it on the news, on the screen, in every procedural crime drama on TV. Larson transported me to a time when that particular horror story wasn't rote. Although the process was disturbing, I appreciated being re-sensitized.

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