The Devil in the White City

Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

The No. 1 New York Times bestseller about the architect who led the construction of the great Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, and the prolific serial killer who used the fair as a lure. Just blocks from the fairgrounds, the killer built a hotel of horrors equipped with an acid vat, dissection table and crematorium. The book won an Edgar Award for best fact-crime writing, and was a finalist for a National Book Award. In November 2010, Leonardo DiCaprio acquired the rights to make a feature film based on Devil, and has stated he plans to play the role of the killer, Dr. H. H. Holmes.

“[Larson] relentlessly fuses history and entertainment to give this nonfiction book the dramatic effect of a novel. Mr. Larson has written a dynamic, enveloping book….It doesn’t hurt that this truth is stranger than fiction.”—The New York Times

“A hugely engrossing chronicle of events public and private. Exceedingly well-documented, exhaustive without being excessive, and utterly fascinating. Its joined tales of an urban utopia with a sensational understory of the torture of innocents deserves to be hugely popular.”—Chicago Tribune

“As absorbing a piece of popular history as one will ever hope to find.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“A wonderfully unexpected book. . . Larson is a historian . . . with a novelist’s soul.”—Chicago Sun-Times Review

“So good, you find yourself asking how you could not know this already.”—Esquire

“Another successful exploration of American history. . . . Larson skillfully balances the grisly details with the far-reaching implications of the Worlds Fair.”—USA Today

“A great story, recounted with authority, entertainment, and insight…Larson writes with marvelous confidence, enthusiasm, polish, and scholarship.”—New York Daily News

“[A] vivid history of the glittering Chicago World’s Fair and its dark side.”—New York magazine, best pick of the week

“An irresistible page-turner that reads like the most compelling, sleep-defying fiction.”—Time Out New York

“This is, in effect, the nonfiction Alienist [and] everything popular history should be.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Gripping drama, captured with a reporter’s nose for a good story and a novelist’s flair for telling it…Superb.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

All Books by Erik