Erik Lawson's third book (following Issac's Storm, 1999
and The Devil in the White City, 2003) confirms him as a master of the
art of turning potentially dull history into riveting narrative.
In Issac's Storm he wrote about Isaac Cline, the respected meteorologist who, in 1891, refuted the public's request for a seawall to protect the city of Galveston by stating that the idea of a hurricane doing serious harm was "an absurd delusion". Nine years later Galveston Island was hit by a hurricane that is still considered the biggest natural disaster in US history, killing thousands including some of Cline's family.
Larson hit his stride in The Devil in the White City, by intertwining two true stories that happened in the same timeframe - one tells of serial killer H.H. Holmes, neatly pulling in true-crime aficionados; while the other tells of the architectural ...
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