Why you don't get published.
Very tired sqrl :D.
Here I am. Am I showing up as freddie on this account?
Yup, it is. Cool.
Long day, buffy?
hi, Robin, Kiersten, EE :)
Howdy, Robin and Kiersten!
And hello to you, EE!
started at oh-my-god am, yeah
Apparently no Dave and possibly no Sylvia, so off we go.
no Dave? who's going to misunderstand the book for us?
Turns out I hate architecture. Now I feel so uncultured.
So what did you think of the book?
May I begin by nominating this Holmes guy for worst person ever to exist?
I would have liked less architecture.
I really enjoyed it- and I really ennjoy your all's comments.
Seconded. Thirded.I can't tell you the things I thought they should have done to him. My husband was rather shocked at my reaction. I was just glad his neck didn't snap and he had to choke to death.
This was like two books. A history book and a novel, except most of the novel was true.
*dashes into the room and stumbles onto the floor*I'm here.
Oh yeah, that Holmes guy was creepy, it seemed, from birth, from before he was Holmes.
can't be worse than hitler, that guy in serbia whose name escapes me, stalin, harold shipman, the dutch guy who would be another harold shipman if killing old people didn't happen to be legal there, etc etc etc
YES, EE!!!!!!Talk about a sucky existence. And to think he lived in Chicago. Where we're, of course, not at all familiar with violence.
hey Sylvianeed a hand up love?
I don't know, Buffy--they all killed for a purpose. Which doesn't justify it, but there was a point.This guy...killing was the point.
Here's how I imagine it went.Larson: I wanna write a book about the architects who designed the World's Fair in Chicago. Also, pork.Publisher: Nobody wants to read about architects. They're boring.Larson: But the World's Fair--Publisher: Boring.Larson: The mayor gets murdered.Publisher: When?Larson: At the end.Publisher: (yawns) Too late.Larson: If I could find some juicy murders to spice it up...?Publisher: We'd take a look.
If he were in charge of a country he would have done what all those guys did. Maybe worse.
I quite liked the architecture - or at least, I like the combination of Burnham and Holmes in terms of getting the bigger picture.I liked the feeling of context. A murderer in the city isn't the full context, there are other things happening around.
Yes, it's true who buffy mentions killed a lot more people. But they seem like people who killed for mere gain in one way or another. Holmes was someone who LIVED to kill. He even said he felt compelled to do it in the same way a poet feels compelled to sing. (I'm paraphrasing.)But I personally felt Larson got carried away with the architecture stuff.
what was shipman's purpose then?
I agree that the connection between Holmes and the fair was weak.
Would if I could, but I've got a Mum in the hospital that I have to get back to...(A stroke the other night that we caught early, so not too bad all things considering).Plus I got to meet some of our cool neighbors (and find out we had a mountain lion in the yard last week and I didn't even know it)...Toodles...
as a book about a serial killing bastard with all the conscience of a mosquito, it was a very good book about the fair
When faced with a long, long fighting over getting things built and delays and struggles chapter, I actually skipped ahead to see what Holmes was up to. Then I went back and read it.Oh, can we talk about his heavy-handed and annoying use of foreshadowing?
Ah, I saw that on your blog, buffy. I came away with the same feeling. But I did read in an interview on the site for the book that Larson had to piece more together about Holmes. Like there wasn't as much information readily available. So that could have been a factor.
I see your point Buffy - and yeah, I can see that angle as well.I guess I'd have read either novel so to get them combined was fine by me ;)
Hey Scott,Hope all goes well!
Eeek Scott, hoping everything is ok!
eh, he claims the book is true, then makes stuff up; that's annoyingi hated it when he tried to tease us with what the big attraction was when we knew it was the freaking ferris wheel
meant to say hi, Sylvia.
When he would drop a "soon he would find out..." or "little did he know..." or "what the next month would bring..." line I just wanted to chuck the book and go look everything up on Wikipedia. Would have saved me a lot of pages.I think that's a fine tool every now and then, but he used it way, way too often to try and build suspense.
The fair part was saved to some extent by how impossible it was for them to put it together. I Googled the fair and looked at some pictures of the buildings. Unbelievable that they put that together at that time. The pyramids? Child's play.
I checked into Larson's other books - for instance, Thunderstruck, I believe- and he combines something new and novel about an age with a story - like with T-Struck... the Marconi and a purported killer fleeing on a ship. Except the ship could receive communciations. Change - looked at in a new way.I kind of liked that,
The one who actually pissed me off was Larson.I quite enjoy novelisations of factual events but I do feel I need to know where the lines are drawn and that I can trust the author. Larson came across a few times as very emotional, I didn't feel I could trust him to accurately represent.
/me hates "little did he know"(also, mac keyboards)
I also thought the Holmes/fair connection was rather weak. It kind of gives credence to buffy's point that he put in Holmes to sell more copies. But Larson claims he started with Holmes. (I did a little homework.)
all that stuff about what the woman thought and did while she was locked in the death room was made updo all n/f writers secretly want to be novelists?
I'm afk for a moment trying to find a reference to explain what I mean.Pretend I'm getting drinks ;)
homework?i read the bookwhat more do you want! lol :D
The notes in the back of the book explain a lot of his reasoning for things that he didn't get from Holmes's memoir and news reports.
mine's a rum and coke, Syl
I Googled the fair and looked at some pictures of the buildings. Unbelievable that they put that together at that time. The pyramids? Child's play.Yep. But that's something about the book that annoyed me. It had hardly any pictures. I had a hard time imagining (and believing) the grandeur. But I do feel the book was saved by how impossible it was to put it together. But that's Chicago for you. We're always slapping things together at the last minute.
I have to say I wish he'd stuck with Holmes a bit more and built SOME of the fair into the story.
notes? sqrls don't read notes!
i thought the author liked holmes a little too much
What amazes me is how little I knew about any of this. You'd think there'd be more mention of it in history books.
Also, it appears the national press was no different back then than now, jumping on sensational stories.
I saw the end of book notes- they were as interesting as the book - almost made me wish he'd built his search INTO the book.
homework?i read the bookwhat more do you want! lol :DHah! Well, I asked to "lead" the chat for this month, so I felt I should go above and beyond. Although I can see it's more of a task of reigning everyone in. Or riding the horse til it drops. Or . . . can you see I'm due for a bad analogy exercise?I didn't read the notes in the back. Oops.
I liked learning about it, and the fact that they pulled off the fair really was amazing. I probably would have been happier just reading a few pages about it and looking at the pictures online though.Thinking about it, however, it wouldn't have had as much an impact. Since he made me wade (and wade and wade and wade) through all the muck Burnham had to go through, I really did appreciate it more in the end.
Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Thirty pictures and they cut have shortened the book a lot.
Really, buffy? You thought the author liked Holmes?
Kind of a Gonzo nonfictional blending account.
I got the sense the author really admired Burnham (and for good reason).
OK, this bit is factual about Holmes:He describes a turning point in his life as the day some older boys forced him into a village doctor's office and face-to-face with a skeleton. "It was a wicked and dangerous thing to do to a child of tender years and health," Holmes says, though he admits that the experience cured him of his fears. He attributes his desire to go into medicine to this memorable incident.
I think the author liked Olmsted (sp?), too.
Larson writes: The incident probably did occur, but with a different choreography. More likely the two older boys discovered that their five-year-old victim did not mind the exursion; that far from struggling and shrieking, he merely gazed at the skeleton with cool appreciation.
It's true, EE, I can't believe everyone has heard of Jack the Ripper but not Holmes.
yes, i did
Olmstead's work lives on. Biltmore House, Central Park...
Yep, Syl, I think the kid was born the way he was. I agree.
well, apparently nobody here has heard of shipman
*brings Buffysquirrel a rum and coke*Now isn't that just total fantasy? Larson, I mean, not me. Well, ok, both.
Holmes makes Jack the Ripper look like a boy scout. That hotel he built. Yikes.
...and, believe it or not, the parks in Louisville, Olmstead designed. They're gorgeous.
personally don't see any reason why a five-year-old should be scared of a skeleton anyway
I've heard of Shipman!Hell, I lived in Shipman's catchment area :)
Nope, never heard of him, Buff.I thought a lot of the side characters were interesting. I'll probably read up on Sol Bloom.
Tell us about Shipman.
I agree, too, but it kind of bugged me that Larson made that statement. The truth is, no one really knows.
shipman was a GP who murdered 100-200 people
He seemed to do his best to throw in every famous name of anyone who had anything to do with the fair, or even went to it.
his (mostly) elderly (mostly) female patients kept dying and there was talk but nothing was done for years and years and yearsthe exact death count isn't known because not everybody agreed to exhumations of possible victims
general practitionera doctor in other words :)thx for the drink Syl
Ah, general practicioner. Got it.Hrmm...I wonder if people with this type of disorder are attracted to medicine...because there have been a lot of those, it seems.
I remember something about this.
a General Practitioner. A Family Practice doctor.
was a big story for a while
There's something about Holmes tha makes him seem worse. The way his victims were young women setting out on their own, trying to make it in tough times, and then they run into this clown.
The stuff with Sullivan cracked me up. Although I probably shouldn't laugh at the bitterness.
but the public prefer serial killers to be infamous, then caught....
I agree about the famous name tossing. There were so many elements that could have been amazing and were still good, but could've been more - by bringing in less.
oh, yeah, the murders of young women are always sexier :D
Yeah, the way he planned everything and even built the hotel to kill people. Talk about a haunted house.
You check into a hotel and the next thing you know you're being tossed into a pit of quick lime, or a kiln.
Yeah- the discussion about the young women from rural towns doing somethig that was apparently relatively new for the time, and going to the city to find work - and in that new vulnerability - finding users like madams and vermin like Holmes.
eh, used to be british hotels where you would check in and during the night the top of the four poster would be lowered and you would be suffocated in your sleep
The part with the kids at the end was really sad. What Holmes did to them.
Sorry, I was busy getting my query rejected.Where were we...ah, yes.I wondered at his diagnosis of Holmes. It seems to me he was a sociopath, not a psychopath, so now I have another thing to research. Dang Larson.It also makes you wonder about our macabre fascination with this sort of thing--In Cold Blood, this book--we're horrified, but at the same time, I liked those chapters more, because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
Should we move to talk gadget and see what happens, or are we surviving?
If nothing else, I learned a lot about a time/an era I knew little about.
Whichever. I prefer the gadget...I'm multitasking and so forget to refresh.
if i'm going to read about serial killers i generally prefer more scholarly worksi'm not sure it's worse to lure people into hotels and murder them than it is to take advantage of a person's trust in their doctor to murder them, tbh
Oh no Kiersten :(
Let's give it a shot. Are you gonna put it on here?
We can go to gadget.
I don't think there's a "worse" in those situations, Buffy.Evil is evil.
i thought sociopath was the new name for psychopatheh, gadget, here, whichever
There's a really good quote that totally explains why I was unhappy with the book but I'm having to reread the whole damn thing to try to find it.Will follow you guys where ever you go, on the assumption that I'll eventually find it.
Yes, exactly, the diagnosis seemed outdated to me.
i don't find "evil" a useful term myself :)
Sylvia, I always think you're about to get rained on, with that dashing poncho.Has everyone/anyone read In Cold Blood?
i haven't read it
I can't invite anyone but Kiersten into the room. I guess you need to launch talk gadget.
Nope, not yet. Cat peed all over the book, so I haven't touched it.Saw Capote. That's about it.
Poncho - it's a djellibebi from Morroco. Something like that anyway.I had this great idea that I could do tons of different avatars with different moods (happy, sad, concentrating, flippant) and it would be recognisable as "me" as the turquoise thing is always there.But I'm lazy. And I never change it. So I might as well take a sane photograph, really.
robin, sylvia, freddie, launch talk gadget.
Sylvia??? Launch talk gadget, OK?robin
I haven't read this, but OMG these comments are complete teasers! Sounds like an awesome book. I never heard of Holmes---will google, but am afraid...
I enjoyed this - thanks !
Ah, I didn't realize this was the book. I'm fairly familiar with the story. Glad I didn't read the book. These things bother me too much.
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