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The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes

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He was the world's first serial killer and he existed in the late 19th century, operating around the Chicago World's Fair, building a literal house of horrors, replete with chutes for dead bodies, gas chambers, surgical rooms. He methodically murdered up to 200 people, mostly young women. The infamous H.H. Holmes is the next subject of Geary's award-winning and increasingl He was the world's first serial killer and he existed in the late 19th century, operating around the Chicago World's Fair, building a literal house of horrors, replete with chutes for dead bodies, gas chambers, surgical rooms. He methodically murdered up to 200 people, mostly young women. The infamous H.H. Holmes is the next subject of Geary's award-winning and increasingly popular series.


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He was the world's first serial killer and he existed in the late 19th century, operating around the Chicago World's Fair, building a literal house of horrors, replete with chutes for dead bodies, gas chambers, surgical rooms. He methodically murdered up to 200 people, mostly young women. The infamous H.H. Holmes is the next subject of Geary's award-winning and increasingl He was the world's first serial killer and he existed in the late 19th century, operating around the Chicago World's Fair, building a literal house of horrors, replete with chutes for dead bodies, gas chambers, surgical rooms. He methodically murdered up to 200 people, mostly young women. The infamous H.H. Holmes is the next subject of Geary's award-winning and increasingly popular series.

30 review for The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    Of all the Victorian Murder volumes I've read, this is the one most focused on the actual murder case, rather than its broader historical context. To be sure, historical accuracy is as important to Geary here as ever, and the book's rigid visual style does a great job evoking the period's more traditional mindset and slower pace. Still, the spotlight is on the macabre details of the protagonist's meticulously planned, increasingly deranged activities--an approach that makes The Beast of Chicago Of all the Victorian Murder volumes I've read, this is the one most focused on the actual murder case, rather than its broader historical context. To be sure, historical accuracy is as important to Geary here as ever, and the book's rigid visual style does a great job evoking the period's more traditional mindset and slower pace. Still, the spotlight is on the macabre details of the protagonist's meticulously planned, increasingly deranged activities--an approach that makes The Beast of Chicago a more typical representative of the true-crime genre than Geary's other explorations of Victorian murder cases, and probably one of the more popular volumes of the series. The clinically detached narrative tone never allows the reader to get into the protagonist's head or truly empathize with his victims, though, and the result is a rather bewildering, neither historically nor psychologically rewarding reading experience. The stubbornly understated storytelling does have a certain obdurate charm, but I found myself gradually losing interest towards the story's end.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    So I have finally read one of Geary's true crime Victorian murder graphic novels, about Holmes, who killed at least 27 people, here in my Chicago, and got more famous thanks to Larson's The Devil in the White City. Careful researched, meticulously drawn pen and ink. He has a style he seems to keep for all of his work, I note at a glance. We don't get very inside the story or the man, feels detached, almost clinical, like a YA level introduction to the story, just the facts, and it's not really v So I have finally read one of Geary's true crime Victorian murder graphic novels, about Holmes, who killed at least 27 people, here in my Chicago, and got more famous thanks to Larson's The Devil in the White City. Careful researched, meticulously drawn pen and ink. He has a style he seems to keep for all of his work, I note at a glance. We don't get very inside the story or the man, feels detached, almost clinical, like a YA level introduction to the story, just the facts, and it's not really very "graphic" on the crime details. It seems like admirably executed art for true crime murder geeks.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    This is the case of H H Holmes, the "Beast of Chicago". Told succinctly but thoroughly and always clearly, despite the often complicated situations Holmes created, Geary has written a highly engaging book on the man labelled as "America's first serial killer". H H Holmes scammed insurance companies to raise enough money to build his own hotel labelled by locals, "the castle". He hired different companies to build different parts of his hotel with the overall scheme of the building known only to This is the case of H H Holmes, the "Beast of Chicago". Told succinctly but thoroughly and always clearly, despite the often complicated situations Holmes created, Geary has written a highly engaging book on the man labelled as "America's first serial killer". H H Holmes scammed insurance companies to raise enough money to build his own hotel labelled by locals, "the castle". He hired different companies to build different parts of his hotel with the overall scheme of the building known only to Holmes. This was due to the various rooms he wanted built: a hanging room, airtight rooms with gas injectors, secret rooms, a trapdoor in the bathroom leading to and from the basement, an enormous furnace, stairs that led to nowhere, rooms without windows, and a medieval style basement with stretching rack. He then opened the doors to visitors coming to Chicago's World Fair that summer. He targeted mainly young women and estimates on his murders reach triple figures though he only admitted to 27 after he was caught. His "castle" burned down shortly after he was executed. Geary doesn't try to explain Holmes' behaviour through speculation but only mentions the known facts, few as they are. Holmes was beaten by a drunken father as a child and was also locked in a doctor's room alone with a human skeleton. Some schoolmates also remember hearing that he used to dissect stray animals. Though these are signs of a fractured psyche it's no explanation for the pathological and psychotic killings that Holmes committed in his life. He remains a mystery. I'm interested in history but rarely to the extent of reading 700 page books on a particular case or person. It's useful then that Rick Geary's written/illustrated several 50 page graphic novels about fascinating and sometimes forgotten figures in history. This is one of Geary's best, and Holmes' case is a mesmerising read. Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City is also worth reading for the H H Holmes chapters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dov Zeller

    I love Rick Geary's tales of murder. I learn not only about the criminals but also about the time and the place. He does a great job of contextualizing and in this one we meet Herman Mudgett aka H.H. Holmes (just one of many names this one used to swindle and chop) right around the time of the Chicago world's fair of 1893. Geary never sensationalizes (though I suppose there is no need to given his subject matter) and he always draws the architecture of the times with great care. His books have a I love Rick Geary's tales of murder. I learn not only about the criminals but also about the time and the place. He does a great job of contextualizing and in this one we meet Herman Mudgett aka H.H. Holmes (just one of many names this one used to swindle and chop) right around the time of the Chicago world's fair of 1893. Geary never sensationalizes (though I suppose there is no need to given his subject matter) and he always draws the architecture of the times with great care. His books have a cool simplicity that I appreciate and this one is no exception. It's not soul-exploding literature, but from what I can tell, it does what it sets out to do with a bit of perfection.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay♫SingerOfStories♫

    This book is exactly as the title promises: An account of the life and crimes of...H.H. Holmes. In case you don't know, H.H. Holmes is known as America's first serial killer. I first became interested in him when I was in college and living in Chicago, where Holmes built his "murder castle" during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. So basically I already knew the story of Holmes but now in graphic novel form? Exciting! I sat down to read the story of the man and his grisly crimes. Indeed, the cri This book is exactly as the title promises: An account of the life and crimes of...H.H. Holmes. In case you don't know, H.H. Holmes is known as America's first serial killer. I first became interested in him when I was in college and living in Chicago, where Holmes built his "murder castle" during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. So basically I already knew the story of Holmes but now in graphic novel form? Exciting! I sat down to read the story of the man and his grisly crimes. Indeed, the crimes and the story was there but man, there was just so. much. dry. content. (view spoiler)[He changed his name to this. Swooned this woman. Then married her. Made up this story and sent her there. Then another associate came along. Name change. New marriage. Death. Disappearance. New name. Marriage. New story. Death. New name. Marriage. (hide spoiler)] I would say parts of the book were interesting and had good illustrations to go with them, but at some point it just began to drag. And then it was repetitive and I got to the point where I would kill for a contraction. But I made it through and...it was ok.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Licha

    The story in this format lacks. It felt like the highlights were told but not elaborated on. There's a great layout drawing of The Castle, a hotel Holmes built that included a floor with rooms built for specific tortures. However, it never goes into any detail. The story in this format lacks. It felt like the highlights were told but not elaborated on. There's a great layout drawing of The Castle, a hotel Holmes built that included a floor with rooms built for specific tortures. However, it never goes into any detail.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    It's hard to say which is creepier...Erik Larson's Devil in the White City juxtaposition of the Chicago's World's Fair construction with the construction of Herman W. Mudgett's (a.k.a. H.H. Holmes)murder factory in Englewood, or Rick Geary's collection of Victorian picture postcard-esque illustrations accounting Mudgett's infamous deeds. Geary does not attempt to embroider or bridge in the accompanying text the same way that Larson does, and what results is a chillingly matter-of-fact chronology It's hard to say which is creepier...Erik Larson's Devil in the White City juxtaposition of the Chicago's World's Fair construction with the construction of Herman W. Mudgett's (a.k.a. H.H. Holmes)murder factory in Englewood, or Rick Geary's collection of Victorian picture postcard-esque illustrations accounting Mudgett's infamous deeds. Geary does not attempt to embroider or bridge in the accompanying text the same way that Larson does, and what results is a chillingly matter-of-fact chronology of specific events. A brief prologue giving background on Chicago and the World's Fair leads into the story of one of America's first known serial killers. Unlike Larson's version of events, we aren't privy to much of the back story of any of Holmes's victims, and the visual representations of all of the female characters seem to somewhat blend together. Whether this was intentional or not, Geary's droopy and dead-eyed rendering of the serial killer himself only stands out the more. Grim, as might be imagined, but effective.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara Tantlinger

    A cool concept overall if you’re into knowing more about H.H. Holmes. The facts are pretty straightforward and flow well. The graphics are fairly simple, but work well with the narrative and contain some interesting details. I think this concept could have been a little more exciting either with the info or the imagery, but I did enjoy it overall.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ben Dubois

    I learned a lot from this interesting take on the world's first serial killer. Although I did like the factual case study approach I would have liked more meat on the bones of this story's dissociative tone. In all honesty the unbiased coldness in which this book is purposefully written somehow makes the happenings of the account more terrifying. Eager to pick up more of the accurately researched victorian murder series. I learned a lot from this interesting take on the world's first serial killer. Although I did like the factual case study approach I would have liked more meat on the bones of this story's dissociative tone. In all honesty the unbiased coldness in which this book is purposefully written somehow makes the happenings of the account more terrifying. Eager to pick up more of the accurately researched victorian murder series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jace

    I first learned about H. H. Holmes from an old edition of "The TIME/LIFE Book of Serial Killers" that my roommate got at a garage sale. (Yes, there really is such a book--go look it up on eBay.) Holmes' crimes are interesting for a few reasons: he was the first documented serial killer, his methods were extremely elaborate, and he operated for a long time without drawing suspicion or getting caught. For anyone looking for a basic account of Holmes' atrocities, this graphic novel is an entertaini I first learned about H. H. Holmes from an old edition of "The TIME/LIFE Book of Serial Killers" that my roommate got at a garage sale. (Yes, there really is such a book--go look it up on eBay.) Holmes' crimes are interesting for a few reasons: he was the first documented serial killer, his methods were extremely elaborate, and he operated for a long time without drawing suspicion or getting caught. For anyone looking for a basic account of Holmes' atrocities, this graphic novel is an entertaining, informative, and downright creepy read. All that being said, I was disappointed in the lack of detail presented in this book. There are pages upon pages with copious details about Holmes' childhood, education, business ventures, marriages, travels, etc, but when it comes to his crimes--clearly the most interesting aspect of his life--the book becomes extremely vague and bland. Most of the accounts of his murders comprise only 2 or 3 comic panels and read as follows: "Miss So-and-So rented a room from Holmes. Three weeks later she disappeared and was never heard from again. A rumor spread through town that she eloped with a man from San Francisco and moved out West." I don't need all the grisly details and images of her demise, but reading numerous whitewashed accounts like this one in a book about a serial killer is quite a let down. The black & white illustrations of this book are drawn in a realistic manner but with a cartoony roundness to them. The panels are nothing outstanding, but they complement the plot nicely. Perhaps the most visually intriguing illustrations are the diagrams of Holmes' gigantic 4-story, maze-like torture castle. Simply by looking at these chambers, the reader can imagine Holmes' gruesome exploits--it's just a shame that the author forgot to include them in this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Well after loving Rick Geary's interpretation of Lizzie Borden's tale, I was eager to seek out more of his Victorian murder mysteries. Despite remaining unsolved, the Borden murders were finite and the mystery around them contained to a handful of players in Fall River. Holmes's story stretches across the Northeast and Midwest, traveling from Chicago to Toronto to Boston. Holmes confused to murdering 27 people (though he later recounted this confession), but he was tied to the disappearance of m Well after loving Rick Geary's interpretation of Lizzie Borden's tale, I was eager to seek out more of his Victorian murder mysteries. Despite remaining unsolved, the Borden murders were finite and the mystery around them contained to a handful of players in Fall River. Holmes's story stretches across the Northeast and Midwest, traveling from Chicago to Toronto to Boston. Holmes confused to murdering 27 people (though he later recounted this confession), but he was tied to the disappearance of more than double that number. Perhaps he is best known as America's first serial killer and the master of his own murder factory, located only a stone's throw from 1893 Chicago World Fair. As with Geary's look at the Borden murders, he largely shies away from speculation in favor of a chronological retelling of the known facts supported by evidence and testimony of the time. We follow the promising young doctor from his school days in New Hampshire to the University of Michigan Medical School and at last to Chicago, where he reinvented himself as an apothecary. Geary's art style is familar while the narrative is more removed than that used in Lizzie Bordern. No longer are we listening to the gossip of a close friend, but instead we get an omniscient narrator walking us through the doctor's life. This clinical approach is helpful in a story with as many twists and turns as H.H. Holmes's and my only complaint is the book is too short to explore the many plots of the man. The Beast of Chicago was an excellent primer to Murder Palace of Chicago and its purveyor. From here I can't decide if I should read Geary's exploration of Jack the Ripper next or a more detailed account of Holmes's exploits, cons, and murders.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David

    Rick Geary's Treasury of Victorian Murder series is so meticulously well-done, it's hard to imagine treating the subjects any other way. The distinctive inking style and attention to detail seems to highlight the horror of the events the series covers, while at the same time affording a sober look at the banality of evil. This volume, dealing with H.H. Holmes, now generally regarded as America's first serial killer, is a particularly fine example of Geary's singular obsession. Although it suffer Rick Geary's Treasury of Victorian Murder series is so meticulously well-done, it's hard to imagine treating the subjects any other way. The distinctive inking style and attention to detail seems to highlight the horror of the events the series covers, while at the same time affording a sober look at the banality of evil. This volume, dealing with H.H. Holmes, now generally regarded as America's first serial killer, is a particularly fine example of Geary's singular obsession. Although it suffers a little by comparison with "The Devil in the White City," a more-recent and more-comprehensive work on Holmes and the architects of the Columbian Exposition of 1893, this is still a surprisingly thorough and engaging treatment for a work of its slim size.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    Another fun (well not fun but entertaining. You know what I mean.) historical murder from Rick Geary, and certainly a much faster read than The Devil in the White City. Is it weird that I wanted more of the grizzly details? Another fun (well not fun but entertaining. You know what I mean.) historical murder from Rick Geary, and certainly a much faster read than The Devil in the White City. Is it weird that I wanted more of the grizzly details?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniel A.

    "[H.H.] Holmes is generally thought to be America's first serial killer. Rather, he was the first American to be caught and convicted for having committed multiple murders over a period of time. Surely others went before him whose crimes remain, as yet, unrecognized."—from author Rick Geary's introduction The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes is yet another in a line of excellent true-crime graphic novels by Rick Geary; in "[H.H.] Holmes is generally thought to be America's first serial killer. Rather, he was the first American to be caught and convicted for having committed multiple murders over a period of time. Surely others went before him whose crimes remain, as yet, unrecognized."—from author Rick Geary's introduction The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes is yet another in a line of excellent true-crime graphic novels by Rick Geary; in fact, it may well be the best I've read so far. Most of what I've said about volumes in these lines that I've previously read applies here as well; however, what really stood out about The Beast of Chicago was the palpable tone of menace and dread throughout Geary's narrative; perhaps fitting for the subject matter—serial killer H.H. Holmes, a man whose murders were so chilling, particularly for the era in which they occurred (or, more accurately, were sensationalized), that they've made for multiple bestselling nonfiction narratives, more about which below—Geary's own narrative focuses less on the historical context of Holmes'/Mudgett's crimes as the crimes themselves. Geary (obviously) didn't have access to Erik Larson's award-winning The Devil in the White City, much less Adam Selzer's later H.H. Holmes, the latter of which perhaps definitively contextualizes the subject matter (as well as, apparently, strips the 19th-century narrative of much of the misinformation and sensationalism that surrounded the case heretofore), but the sources Geary does use seem to have been pretty much definitive insofar as Geary's narrative seems exhaustive vis-à-vis what information was available. It's also the more ancillary details in The Beast of Chicago that make the book so compelling, most notably among them the oblique references to the corruption that has continually plagued the city, as well as some basic information regarding the World Columbian Exhibition of 1893 that provided the means and opportunity for Holmes' spree. Geary has carved out something of a niche for himself of nonfiction graphic narratives with simultaneously cartoonish and realistic artwork, as well as an inimitable narrative voice that excellently captures the context of the story, as well as the story itself. As I said above, The Beast of Chicago is, so far, the best of Geary's true-crime graphic novels I've read; as always, Geary provides an excellent, brief introduction to the subject matter—and provides the sources to delve further. A smashing book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Scott Southerland

    I chose to read The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes because I have read Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and wanted to see how well the graphic novel held up to it's actual novel inspiration. Actually I'm not sure that the novel inspired the graphic novel as they both came out in the same year, but I assume the graphic novel was based on the novel. The graphic novel does do a very good job conveying the information I chose to read The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes because I have read Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and wanted to see how well the graphic novel held up to it's actual novel inspiration. Actually I'm not sure that the novel inspired the graphic novel as they both came out in the same year, but I assume the graphic novel was based on the novel. The graphic novel does do a very good job conveying the information contained in the novel, though it is intentionally focused on the serial killer aspect of the story and not the World's Fair aspect. The author and illustrator of The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes are the same man, Rick Geary. Geary has put out multiple graphic novels over his career most of which happen in about the same time period, the turn of the 20th century. He is clearly a fan of this period topically and visually. The illustrations in this book have a very genuinely Victorian look to them. The buildings from the fair and from the city of Chicago at the time are all quite accurate. It gives the book an air of credibility and helps create a distinct creepiness, especially when it comes to the depiction of the murderer H.H. Holmes' 'Castle'. The Castle was a Holmes' murder mansion, one he created himself. In the book are very detailed drawings and "plans" (though Homes used no plans) that show all of the secret rooms, false walls and vaults where Holmes is suspected to have killed somewhere between 30 (conservatively) and 200 (mostly) women. The Victorian look is used quite well by Geary to lend the book the extra dark feeling that the text cannot contain since it is meant for slightly younger readers. Nevertheless the book is still able to convey the sheer evil of H.H. Holmes. This book would work quite well in a Sociology or Psychology class as a primer on Psychopaths.

  16. 4 out of 5

    StrictlySequential

    He was the creepiest of all serial killers. You will find out why when you read this. Killers that do it for years with the insane motives that drive them interest me so much because I cannot even begin to understand how their minds work which make them far scarier than fiction could possibly achieve- no matter how twisted! I had known about Mudge from a documentary that included Carl Panzram- someone I wish Geary (or anybody near his talent) did a graphic novel on! His story is blurry from bein He was the creepiest of all serial killers. You will find out why when you read this. Killers that do it for years with the insane motives that drive them interest me so much because I cannot even begin to understand how their minds work which make them far scarier than fiction could possibly achieve- no matter how twisted! I had known about Mudge from a documentary that included Carl Panzram- someone I wish Geary (or anybody near his talent) did a graphic novel on! His story is blurry from being so long ago and but there are enough facts to pull it off with some artistic license. I'll spark some interest in Panzram: Little boy has ear problem and ultra half-assed home surgery removes a part of the brain that would come to be viewed as what most unhinged him over a century later. At the time he was just seen as a bad kid who was sent to a reform school that he would burn down. In a quest for "Cowboys and Indians" he ran away on a train and got gang raped by men which he would then perform on victims though doubtfully homosexual. What he did to people and what was done to him to make him even worse are very telling about jails (which he frequently escaped) and the corporal punishment of the time. If you do nothing else, please read his quotes! *!*PANZRAM COULD HAVE BEEN THE MEANEST HUMAN BEING THAT EVER LIVED*!*

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Geary notes in his introduction to this book that H.H. Holmes has never been well-known in the annals of serial killers, despite potentially killing a hundred people and being the first American serial killer to be tried. Case in point: I grew up in the Chicago area and didn’t even hear of him until that Devil in the White City book came out. Geary says maybe it’s because his motivation was so far beyond humanity that people didn’t bother learning about him. Whatever the case, this is a chilling Geary notes in his introduction to this book that H.H. Holmes has never been well-known in the annals of serial killers, despite potentially killing a hundred people and being the first American serial killer to be tried. Case in point: I grew up in the Chicago area and didn’t even hear of him until that Devil in the White City book came out. Geary says maybe it’s because his motivation was so far beyond humanity that people didn’t bother learning about him. Whatever the case, this is a chilling account of Holmes. We see his move to Chicago, obsessive designing of the Castle, business dealings, and bizarre marriages to several women. My major complaint is that after Holmes leaves Chicago, the storytelling becomes cramped with so many names to keep track of and Holmes in constant motion. This part was not as compelling or streamlined as the Chicago portion. Also, since little is actually known about Holmes’ motivation, we don’t really get inside his head. But I suppose that fits with Geary’s detached storytelling style (which I actually like). In the end, The Beast of Chicago is a fine and horrifying addition to his Treasury series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Grunwaldt

    The Beast of Chicago, by Rick Gary ComicsLit, 80 pages, August 1st 2003 The Beast of Chicago was very interesting to read, it tells about how he grew up and of who he killed, where he did it, and how he did it. He was a very smart murderer and it surprised me how many people he deceived and tricked and for how long he did it. He was a strategic psychopath and was the best at what he did. I really liked this book. I like the way its written, it tells you the main just of it all, and states the facts The Beast of Chicago, by Rick Gary ComicsLit, 80 pages, August 1st 2003 The Beast of Chicago was very interesting to read, it tells about how he grew up and of who he killed, where he did it, and how he did it. He was a very smart murderer and it surprised me how many people he deceived and tricked and for how long he did it. He was a strategic psychopath and was the best at what he did. I really liked this book. I like the way its written, it tells you the main just of it all, and states the facts plainly and simply. It a very easy book to understand and it tells his story very smoothly. I think the book it credible because my teacher recommended it. I would recommend this book to everyone. Its not as creepy as one might presume, becasue it happened in the past I know that this psychopath cant hurt/kill me now. Its very interesting to learn about these types of things, at least to me it is. Book Review by: Audrey G.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I'm intrigued by the fact that people, myself included, are so enamored with these gruesome stories. Is it our desire for horror and the macabre? Is it the need for those sensational stories that invite suspense and terror and the unexplainable into our lives? Perhaps a blend of both? I was familiar with the story of H.H. Holmes and his life of lies, infidelity, destruction, and death, however, I did learn even more from Geary's account. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the artwork. It isn't th I'm intrigued by the fact that people, myself included, are so enamored with these gruesome stories. Is it our desire for horror and the macabre? Is it the need for those sensational stories that invite suspense and terror and the unexplainable into our lives? Perhaps a blend of both? I was familiar with the story of H.H. Holmes and his life of lies, infidelity, destruction, and death, however, I did learn even more from Geary's account. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the artwork. It isn't that it's bad. Rather, the busy quality of the black and white illustrations are a little hard on my eyes. Overall, this is an enjoyable and educational series - one I'm excited to continue.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ian Coutts

    Scary and effectively drawn tale of H.H. Holmes, the man frequently referred to as "America's first serial killer." Geary's style suits the Victorian era, and I was fascinated that Holmes, someone I always associated with Chicago also had a Toronto connection.. Holmes remains an enigmatic figure at the end of this fast little read, but that isn't Geary's fault. He had to work with the historical record, and I suspect that people in those days were less concerned with figuring out the motives of Scary and effectively drawn tale of H.H. Holmes, the man frequently referred to as "America's first serial killer." Geary's style suits the Victorian era, and I was fascinated that Holmes, someone I always associated with Chicago also had a Toronto connection.. Holmes remains an enigmatic figure at the end of this fast little read, but that isn't Geary's fault. He had to work with the historical record, and I suspect that people in those days were less concerned with figuring out the motives of a man who dispatched (conservatively) 27 people than we might be today.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I loved the idea of this book. A graphic novel depicting the life and crimes of one of America’s first serial killers?! I’m in! Unfortunately this book has too many errors in historical knowledge for me to actually love this book. I would’ve liked the author to more thoroughly research his subject because some of the information is glaringly inaccurate for those who have studied Holmes and the Fair of 1893. If the facts had been correct my rating would’ve been higher. Again great concept, bad im I loved the idea of this book. A graphic novel depicting the life and crimes of one of America’s first serial killers?! I’m in! Unfortunately this book has too many errors in historical knowledge for me to actually love this book. I would’ve liked the author to more thoroughly research his subject because some of the information is glaringly inaccurate for those who have studied Holmes and the Fair of 1893. If the facts had been correct my rating would’ve been higher. Again great concept, bad implementation.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael Brown

    Graphic afternoon at the library. The book City of Lights presents the contrast between the efforts to build the Chicago World's Fair and the mystery of the missing visitors. This graphic tale centers on the serial killer and his many little plots and efforts to raise funds and kill those he has targeted. So while the novel jumps from venue to venue we get here a steady presentation of the Castle of Death and the man who murders for fun. Graphic afternoon at the library. The book City of Lights presents the contrast between the efforts to build the Chicago World's Fair and the mystery of the missing visitors. This graphic tale centers on the serial killer and his many little plots and efforts to raise funds and kill those he has targeted. So while the novel jumps from venue to venue we get here a steady presentation of the Castle of Death and the man who murders for fun.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Incredibly lame and utterly pointless. If you are coming into this book with a morbid curiosity, you will be disappointed. Grisly details are sparse, it is mainly biographical. The one instance of violence is glossed over and clashes horribly with the cartoony artwork. I can't feel too offended as it is read in minutes rather than hours. It was a let down and uninteresting, though, so I can't recommend. Incredibly lame and utterly pointless. If you are coming into this book with a morbid curiosity, you will be disappointed. Grisly details are sparse, it is mainly biographical. The one instance of violence is glossed over and clashes horribly with the cartoony artwork. I can't feel too offended as it is read in minutes rather than hours. It was a let down and uninteresting, though, so I can't recommend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shilo

    An interesting read to say the least. This novel really focuses in on the facts and paints you a picture of the crimes H.H Holmes committed. This novel doesn’t really have a storyline per say it just mainly gives you the straight up facts of exactly what played out which I appreciate with true crime.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    I'm surprised that no other reviewer here has noted that Gerard writes that the murder trial of Holmes was held on 28 October 1895 and he was subsequently hanged on 7 May 1895. Hanged five months before his trial? That was fast justice! I'm surprised that no other reviewer here has noted that Gerard writes that the murder trial of Holmes was held on 28 October 1895 and he was subsequently hanged on 7 May 1895. Hanged five months before his trial? That was fast justice!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I really liked this one. I liked how it had all the diagrams of the Murder Castle. I would have liked more info on the building itself, but with how short the book is overall, I can see how that could have been a book in and of itself.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Interesting, but not my fav. The illustrations were just okay and there wasn't much of a "story." More like, this happened, then this, then that. And then it just ended super abruptly. I mean, I learned some things I didn't know, so sure, but it was just ok overall. Interesting, but not my fav. The illustrations were just okay and there wasn't much of a "story." More like, this happened, then this, then that. And then it just ended super abruptly. I mean, I learned some things I didn't know, so sure, but it was just ok overall.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Noninuna

    3.5 starsI am familiar with this case and nothing much that I able to learn from this graphic nonfiction. However, the story about H.H.Holmes was presented in the simplest way that for someone who're new to this monster, they would able to follow. 3.5 starsI am familiar with this case and nothing much that I able to learn from this graphic nonfiction. However, the story about H.H.Holmes was presented in the simplest way that for someone who're new to this monster, they would able to follow.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Billycongo

    I prefer the more whimsical side of Mr. Geary's work. It was valuable in terms of understanding the people involved. I'm getting ready to read 'Timebound' so I thought it would be nice to have some of that information. I prefer the more whimsical side of Mr. Geary's work. It was valuable in terms of understanding the people involved. I'm getting ready to read 'Timebound' so I thought it would be nice to have some of that information.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    sweet little graphic novel about murder most foul.

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