Reviews for Devil in the White City : Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Booklist Monthly Selections - # 2 May 2003
When the grandiose Columbian Exposition opened in Chicago in 1893, a smooth, self-assured psychopath known as H. H. Holmes was quietly killing young women, many of whom were lured to the city by the fair. Brick wisely adheres to the "less-is-more" style in his seductive reading of this nonfiction best-seller that intertwines Chicago history with the murderous escapades of Holmes. Brick lowers his tones slightly during passages about the cunning serial murderer. These descriptions of the creepy Holmes will keep listeners on edge. Despite the mispronunciation of one Chicago suburb, Brick's reading is impeccable. History buffs will especially enjoy the exhaustive details about the planning, design, and construction of the exposition. --Sue-Ellen Beauregard Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 March # 1
This is a steady performance of a book that, while gripping in its content and crisply paced, isn't quite a gold mine for an audio performer. It relies on journalistic narration and includes almost no quotes, so there isn't much chance for interesting characterization. But it is excellent nonfiction, chronicling the hurly-burly planning and construction of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (which did, as the title suggests, include building what amounted to an entire city) and a cruelly calculating sociopath who used the event's tumult and crowds to serve his homicidal compulsion. Goldwyn is an experienced narrator with a keen dramatic sense, and his resonant voice is well-suited to the project. Music is used only sparingly, but the few subdued, creepy bars Goldwyn reads over in the beginning do an excellent job of creating atmosphere for a tale that is subtle but often genuinely unsettling. Listeners will also be fascinated by descriptions of the sheer logistics of the fair itself, which serve as not only carefully crafted and informative history, but also as welcome breaks from the macabre and relentless contrivances of the killer. In all, it's a polished presentation of an intriguing book that outlines the heights of human imagination and perseverance against the depths of our depravity. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Forecasts, Dec. 16, 2002). (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.