This book was terribly interesting. A story about the 1893 Chicago World Fair could have been dry, but it wasn't at all. Erik Larson is an amzing writer. Originally I had the feeling that the serialm killer element would be needed to boost interest on a dry subjucet, the fair. This was completely wrong. The author makes the fair come alive. You really feel the excitement of the fair. You wish with all your heart you could be there. You see the fair so clearly. You smell it. You hear it. You feel it. A tremendous writer. I am very tempted to read his other book about the hurricane in 1900 Galveston, Texas. I bet he will make that come alive too. I adored the description of Olmsted and his frustrations with landscape architecture - his worries about Central Park. He cared so much that his projects were not in any way diminished. They were his dreams. He struggled so with illnesses. In Larson's hands the characters come alive. Actually the serial killer was the least interesting part of the book. For me he remained an enigma. I don't think anybody could comprehend this man, and this too comes through in the book. He does this and this and that - but who he is, why he does what he does remains unclear. Larson is a good author! No where can I find any information about his Swedish ancestry - but the name and particularly its spelling, ERIK Larson, has to indicate Swedish background. Does anybody know?