This novel really depicts two stories in which one is about murder through the hands and the maddened mind of H.H. Holmes. That part is truly terrifying. On the other hand you have this magical part of the story of the World's Fair and all the components necessary to pull it off. I marvel that this was probably the start of the creation of Amusement Parks like Walt Disney World. I found these details fascinating. It was intriguing how all of these components and people came together working so hard to achieve this unique venue. In some ways they triumphed and in other ways they even failed. They were tenacious and disbelieving that they could actually pull this off. It was sheer madness to even consider at that time period what they dreamed up, i.e. a GIANT wheel that transports people into the air just for fun to give them the sensation that they are flying and also made completely out of steel! Really? A Ferris Wheel. So insanely amazing!
On the back of my book cover I found these two quotes about this book that really caught my attention before I read it:
So good, you find yourself asking how you could not know this already.
A wonderfully unexpected book...Larson is a historian...with a
novelist's soul. ~Chicago Sun-Times
As I read this book, I found out exactly the truth of what these quotes meant. I'm glad that I did as well. I did find myself wondering and realizing how little I know about this time period. I also like the fact that one, as Larson did, can present facts in a vitally interesting way which made me feel as if I was reading and being entertained as a fiction novel does for me. To me as one who values writing, this represents a work of art. I also feel that I've retained many facts from reading this book so I think that it will be something that will stay with me. Finally for me, this so-called staying power is also a work of art.
447 pages, Vintage; Reprint edition (February 10, 2004), My rating: 4.5 stars