Essay On The Devil In The White City By Erik Larson

1312 Words 6 Pages
There are plenty great books that can be read about Chicago’s World’s Fair. But, one that stands out the most is the devil in the White City written by Erik Larson. This novel gives the reader a feeling as if he or she is reading two different stories but in the same book. The novel explains how the World’s fair became what it was and how it affected some people’s lives. This book gives all types of different readers a chance to enjoy the same book for a variety of reasons. Whether it be a character, event, or a genre this book is gives an opportunity to all readers. This book also shows the mind of both Olmsted, Holmes and Burnham. All these characters’ experience issues that truly show who they really are in the situations the get in. Olmsted …show more content…
It would be very difficult to write a book like Larson did without any fabrications. Even though his works cited was lengthy, not all the sources could cover the full story of Burnham and Holmes. Although Larson didn’t experience it, he still made this novel as realistic as possible. No event seemed too unbelievable, nothing was too farfetched where a reader would question if it even happened. Even some of the wilder things that happen in this book that seem fabricated are proven to actually have happened after looking it up on the web. For example, when Larson says: “His surgical kits stood open and gleaming, his instruments laid out in a sunflower of polished steel” (148). For most of the descriptive details that are explained from Holmes’s murders are mostly made from Larson’s creative mind of how Holmes would approach his victims. Most readers start to enjoy this novel more knowing that these unbelievable things happened in the eighteen hundred and still today do not seem possible. A talented author like Larson has created a novel that would challenge any other author to create as historically accurate as he …show more content…
Classifying a book like this can become a difficult task as it has a wide range of different genres. History could be categorized for this book since its time and date is in the late eighteen hundred and talks about historical events. The book explains events that truly did happen; such as, the opening day of the fair had a few estimates of how many people attended it which would be around five hundred to six hundred thousand (239). Larson did enough research of the time period and events so that most of the information given in the text is accurate to history. Dates and numbers are very precise and taken from sources who experienced these past events. Another possible genre that could resemble this story is crime which is only applies to Holmes in this book. With his taps in his building and rooms that could be filled with gas to quickly kill victims. For instance, when Holmes trapped Anna in the room and kept her inside for a long period of time till he felt it was right to turn on the toxic gas (296). All these crimes that Holmes does and receives no punishment until later in the book. Which could also lead to this book being classified as somewhat a mystery novel. The lack of knowing who was behind all the disappearances of people who were staying the hotel. For a novel like this, its abundance of sub-genres that can be used for this novel can become quite lengthy. Larson

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