Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: First Vintage Books, Feb. 2004
Lexile Measure: 1170L
The Devil in the White City is a non-fiction work that reads like a novel. It is set in Chicago in the 1890s and tells two tales: the story of Chicago’s ultimately successful quest to put on the greatest world’s fair ever seen, and the story of a serial killer who lured female victims to his lair on the fair’s doorstep.
This book contains little profanity. There are a few references to ass and the like, but they are few and far between.
Drug and Alcohol Use:
Adults smoke and drink regularly, sometimes excessively.
Violence and Crime:
As stated, this is a book about a serial killer. His methods are described in exceptionally gruesome detail throughout the book and references to his murders are too numerous to detail. Additionally, Chicago at that time is depicted as a rough and ready place inhabited by prostitutes and their customers, drinkers, drug users, brawlers, and criminals of all sorts. Although references to same are used to create a sense of place and are by no means gratuitous, they are, nevertheless, ample and too numerous to mention. See, for example, pp. 11-12,31-32, 70-71, 150-151, 190.
Although not the focus of the book, characters have sex, including extramarital affairs, premarital sex, and prostitution. Further, one character has an abortion. Although too numerous to mention see, for example, pp. 21, 41, 147, 149, 212.
I do not know where this fits, because it is not violence in the traditional sense, but the book contains several references to Chicago’s slaughterhouses and their operations, including a vivid descriptions of pigs led to the slaughter on pp. 264-265.
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