Erik Larson – The Devil In The White City Audiobook
I don’t know if I’m a good audience or if I’m lucky in my reading choices at the moment, but this is another book that I really liked.
I would not speak of “crush” because the events which are related to us are quite terrifying, but this reading is nevertheless an excellent discovery.
At first, I admit I was slightly taken aback. I didn’t really understand the relationship between the life of Daniel Burnham (the architect of the Colombian World’s Fair in Chicago) and HH Holmes (one of the first American serial killers) but, little by little, I understood why the story of these two men is told to us alternately.
More than once, in fact, Erik Larson opposes “The White City” to “The Black City”. The White City is the name given to the World’s Fair because the buildings built by the architects were built according to a very classic model and painted in creamy white. During its duration, the Exposition symbolized the “good sides” of Chicago: its entrepreneurial spirit, its tenacity, its ability to improve.
The Black City, on the other hand, is all that surrounds the Expo; it is the city of Chicago in its ugliest, darkest and most disturbing things: the slaughterhouses, the smoke, the dark and smelly alleys, the unexplained disappearances of thousands of people every year.
And precisely, Burnham and Holmes embody these two facets of the city, the architect being the creator of the white city and the serial murderer taking advantage of the anonymity of Chicago to commit his misdeeds. Moreover, the opening of the Exhibition promising to attract a certain crowd in Chicago, Holmes will take advantage of it and transform his building into a hotel where he hopes to attract tourists Unveiling the hidden text All this allows to understand the links between the murderer and the Colombian Universal Exhibition and this title of “Devil in the White City”.
Suddenly, the alternation of chapters is also understood much better. And we benefit much more from the explanations concerning the construction of this Universal Exhibition and the careers of the various architects who participated in it.
Over the chapters, I have also started to appreciate more and more these passages about the Expo. They explain to us the difficulties encountered during its construction, the socio-economic problems of America at the time (numerous bankruptcies, emergence of unions, workers on strike …) and the doubts of the various architects, fearing not to have completed their respective designs for the opening of the Expo. We feel that a real wind of modernity is starting to blow in Chicago. new construction techniques are put in place, the first “big wheel” is created, new flavors are offered to visitors to the Exhibition (first chewing gum, Shredded Wheat…)
The chapters of Erik Larson – The Devil In The White City Audiobook devoted to Holmes are just as fascinating, but for other reasons. Uncover the hidden text How did he manage to go unnoticed for so many years, to commit his misdeeds with complete impunity? The fascination he exerts on the people with whom he interacts does not explain everything, nor his intelligence.
Finally, “ The Devil in the White City ” is a novel that tells us about a dazzling time when men were capable of the worst as well as the best. And, fortunately, the “bad guys” are not always the winners …