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Der Teufel von Chicago. Ein Architekt, ein Mörder und die… (2003)

von Erik Larson

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen / Diskussionen
18,623621178 (4)1 / 947
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America₂s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair's brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country's most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his "World's Fair Hotel" just west of the fairgrounds₇a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake. The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before. Erik Larson's gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.… (mehr)
Kürzlich hinzugefügt von-Eva-, mcharbel32, DanteAshton, private Bibliothek, ednasilrak, RickiMorgan, TheGalaxyGirl, nutbrownrose, youngheart80, Rennie80
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The Devil In The White City is a non fiction book written in the narrative style of a novel, and I enjoy that style of writing. The book actually reads like two in one, with one focus on the Colombian Exposition in Chicago, and the other focus being on a serial killer who preyed on people during that time as well. It is a quick, enjoyable read, and details The Gilded Age well. It gives a lot of detail and information about this time in Chicago's history, and left me wanting to read more about various subjects covered in the book. My only wish was that there were more photos of The White City, though it did lead me to make a Google Images search that led me to a treasure trove of photos. ( )
  lonetree1972 | Jun 1, 2021 |
This was one of the best historical non-fictions I've read in quite some time. It has an interesting setting (the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the largest fair in the world and one of Chicago's proudest moments as a city), interesting characters (influential but now-forgotten architect Daniel Burnham, master park-designer Frederick Law Olmstead, magnetic serial killer Henry Holmes, and many others), and the always-interesting themes of sex, power, pride, fame, and so forth to tie them together. It's the story of how Chicago, still an unruly boomtown despite having just taken Philadelphia's place as America's second city, managed to win the honor of holding a World's Fair and execute its colossal plans with the help of leading geniuses like Burnham and Olmstead, while psychopaths like Holmes took advantage of the city's success to satisfy their murderous obsessions. I like how well-grounded in historical details the book is - stranger-than-fiction clichés aside, Holmes was a weird guy even by our jaded post-Manson standards, and Larson was able to present his research into his gruesomely meticulous murders in an amazingly natural style that keeps the tension high without losing sight of the facts. He's candid about what's verified and what's not, but even what's known is still some messed-up Dexter shit. A lesser writer might not have been able to balance the more mundane accounts of building plans, financing negotiations, and lawn arrangements against that kind of sensational story, but the architects' struggles to construct a world-beating fair in the shadow of the Paris expo are just as interesting in their own ways, and possibly even more if you're the kind of person who's interested in all the firsts of the fair (the Ferris wheel, chewing gum, the zipper). The fair was an important milestone not only for Chicago, which honors it with a star on its municipal flag, but also for the US, which proved it could compete with Europe in the arenas of art, progress, and vanity projects. That rapid growth brings problems of its own is a lesson that's well-taken; would that all lessons were as much fun to read as this book. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
It's definitely an original strategy to interweave a serial killer's career with the construction of the buildings for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and it works structurally. At the same time, it discolors my feelings about the glorious Columbia Exposition, a sad thing for this Chicagoan. ( )
  dcvance | May 4, 2021 |
The extraordinary events of the Chicago World Fair gave engaging content to do heavy-lifting when other aspects of the book failed. Larson has flair for drama, but a bad habit of neutering reveals by dragging them out. He kept asserting such hyper-specific and esoteric inner thoughts of historical figures that his writing felt like fabrication, not literary flourish. The format did little to serve the story: the choppy, alternating chapters between the Fair and serial murderer narratives never cohere/converge. ( )
  jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
I am torn about this book. I am going to refrain from a review until further notice. ( )
  MarlaBurr | Mar 14, 2021 |
Mr. Larson has written a dynamic, enveloping book filled with haunting, closely annotated information. And it doesn't hurt that this truth really is stranger than fiction.
hinzugefügt von jlelliott | bearbeitenThe New York Times, Janet Maslin (Feb 10, 2003)
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (16 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Larson, ErikAutorHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Brick, ScottErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Goldwyn, TonyErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Epigraph (Motto/Zitat)
Mach keine kleinen Pläne. Ihnen fehlt der Zauber, der den Menschen ins Blut fährt. - Daniel H. Burnham, Leitender Direktor Weltausstellung 1893
Ich bin mit dem Teufel in mir geboren. Ich konnte nichts dagegen tun, dass ich zum Mörder wurde, so wenig wie ein Dichter etwas dagegen tun kann, dass die Muse ihn um Singen verführt. - Dr. H.H. Holmes, Geständnis, 1896
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Für Chris, Kristen, Lauren und Erin, die es die Mühe wert gemacht haben,
und für Molly, deren Appetit auf Socken uns alle auf den Beinen hielt.
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Es war der 14. April des Jahres 1912, ein schwarzer Tag in der Geschichte der maritimen Schifffahrt, doch das wusste der Mann in der Suite 63-65, Schutzdeck C, natürlich noch nicht.
Zitate
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"Suddenly New York and St. Louis wanted the fair. Washington laid claim to the honor on the grounds it was the center of government, New York because it was the center of everything. No one cared what St. Louis thought, although the city got a wink for pluck."
"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood"
"They are blue. Great murderers, like great men in other walks of activity, have blue eyes."
"In all the workforce in the park numbered four thousand. The ranks included a carpenter and furniture-maker named Elias Disney, who in coming years would tell many stories about the construction of this magical realm beside the lake. His son Walt would take note."
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Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America₂s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair's brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country's most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his "World's Fair Hotel" just west of the fairgrounds₇a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake. The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before. Erik Larson's gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.

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