amsswim's review against another edition

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dark informative mysterious reflective sad medium-paced

5.0

I'm so glad I finally read this, it has been on my TBR for years now.

I am already a big fan of non-fiction literature and historical reads, this combines the best of them both. This non-fiction book read like fiction in my opinion, making it quick to go by. The many intertwining stories were not difficult to keep track of and all interesting. This is for sure one of those reads that leaves you with a greater understanding of the time period (e.g. 1890s) as a whole, and puts into context the overlap of inventions, important figures, and other legendary events.

If you like historical fiction or non-fiction, true crime, or well written books, I recommend this read.

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kellyofcali's review against another edition

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dark informative slow-paced

3.75

This is a well written book that crosses two related subjects - one, the world's fair, and two, a serial killer. I found both interesting, which means he did a good job, though I did find it dragged on a little long towards the denouement of both storylines. It's also a little confusing what is real vs. not, though I know that bothers some people more than others.

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nichola's review against another edition

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dark informative inspiring mysterious sad medium-paced

4.75

I am constantly astonished by the skill required to write good and engaging Nonfiction.

If you want to read a book about H H Holmes and true crime this is not for you. This is not the Biography of America's first serial killer. This is a brilliant snapshot (the origins of the word which I learnt from this book) of the history of America and in specific Chicago during a stunning period in history where men could do all things. And yes I say men, specifically. Also, I mean this with all the good and the bad clumped together.

This book stunned me in the best way. I feel like I have been immersed in a time and place and absorbed the world's magic and terror.

This book feels like an incredible explanation for why America is the way it is.

If you like Susan Orlean and her craft for recreating a moment in time on a page this is definitely a brilliant choice of reading material.

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headachesince03's review against another edition

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adventurous dark informative inspiring mysterious tense slow-paced

4.5


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