Reviews tagging 'Cultural appropriation'

白城恶魔 The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

8 reviews

crownoflaurel's review against another edition

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dark informative sad medium-paced

3.75


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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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headachesince03's review against another edition

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adventurous dark informative inspiring mysterious tense slow-paced

4.5


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bookbelle5_17's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional informative reflective sad tense slow-paced

4.5

Review of The Devil in the White City
By: Erik Larson
            This work of non-fiction is the history of Chicago’s World’s Fair and the killing spree of Dr. H.H. Holmes.  When I looked at other reviews of this, I noticed it had mixed opinions.  Either people hated it, thought it was okay, or loved it and I’m more in the loved it category.  I do see the criticism that people gave it.  The book does feel like two novels in one and one aspect of the history of Chicago in the 1890s is more dominant than the other in this novel.   Larson spends most of the book telling the reader the history of the World’s Fair.  The city of Chicago had to fight for the privilege of being the U.S. World’s Fair location, as New York thought they were the better choice for it.  Even St. Louis wanted to be the city where the fair happened.  There were a lot of firsts that came from the fair like Shredded Wheat and the Ferris Wheel, which was trying to achieve the impact that the Eiffel Tower had.  The Pledge of Allegiances started at the fair, as well.  People fell in love with this American venture, but there many problems that came about with this ambitious task.  Daniel Burnham, the father of this White City, the nickname of the fair, was a difficult boss to work for and demanded things be done his way.  Many of the people who worked on fair had experienced illness, and Burnham’s friend and partner Root died before the fair even started.  Not everything was ready by opening day and they struggled to make enough money from the fair.   This history is juxtaposed with the H.H. Holmes story.  The resources on Holmes are limited, but from little Larson gathered he was able to put together a narrative on Holmes meeting his victims and how he kills them.  He is charming and charismatic making it is easy for him to seduce his victims and con his way out of the various debts he finds himself in.  This frustrated me, because it allowed him to get away with all the atrocious acts he was committing, and he takes sadistic pleasure (even taking the same pleasure he would feel when aroused) in getting away with it.  He even wrote his own memoir.  I’m not an expert but he comes off as narcissistic and delusional.  He practically built his own Empire as he bought several businesses such as a drug store and a hotel.  If you are reading Devil in the White City because of Holmes and thinking he’ll be connected to fair he’s actually not.   A loose connection might be that Holmes used the fair to his advantage.  It was a distraction for his victims and allowed him access to more.  He built the hotel as place his eventual victims could stay and he could eventually kill in way that he could do it without getting his hands dirty.  Hearing about how he set it up and the police eventually investigating the place is disturbing to read about as its described in detail.   I actually enjoyed reading about parts on the fair.  It was cool to read about the history of the Chicago’s World’s Fair and learning the challenges it faced, as well as its cultural impact.  I was morbidly fascinated with the Holmes chapters, especially since my only awareness of him was from him being in an episode of “Supernatural” as a ghost.  I think the author was trying to compare the journeys of Holmes and Burnham.  Holmes was murdering people at the same time that Burnham was trying bring this positive experience to life, and it highlights the different sides of Chicago.

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pphector's review against another edition

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dark hopeful informative reflective sad fast-paced

4.25


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reddeddy's review against another edition

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dark informative mysterious sad tense slow-paced

4.0


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ascalun's review against another edition

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challenging dark informative medium-paced

3.5


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renbot's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny informative mysterious slow-paced

4.5

An incredible journey where you truly care for the victories and failures of all of the characters

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