Wow, I loved this book all the way through! Despite some concern with the author’s lack of transparency when making things up, I couldn’t put this down and will definitely be reading more of his books. I also can’t wait until this a movie. I’m excited to hear what you all thought of it too, so on to the questions!
- What was your favorite fun fact from the book?
- Did reading about this era make you want to live then? Why or why not?
- Do you think this story will make a good movie?
- What are you thoughts on authors sharing sexist or racist views of their characters/people from another era?
- Do you plan to read more books by Erik Larson?
- I had so many favorite fun facts! I think my very favorites had to do with new technologies at the time, like the air conditioning that used ice or our modern type of bicycle being exciting new things.
- Yes and no. I would love it if things like the world fair happened today, because I think it’s an amazing way to get people excited about science and technology. But, as with any previous era, I’d hate to give up all our modern conveniences and innovations in health and safety to live in the past.
- I’m optimistic! I suspect the parts about building the fair will have to be seriously streamlined and I think how much I like the movie will depend on how well that’s done. It can’t drag, but I hope they don’t cut out all the fun facts I enjoyed learning either.
- To me, the most important thing about sharing sexist or racist views held by your characters or by other people is to make it clear that they’re not your beliefs. Erik Larson wasn’t always completely successful at that for me. For instance, he describes a female architect who had a nervous breakdown as going mad and in the context of this book and of the times, this reminded me in a really bad way of how women were sent to madhouses and abused there, simply for being stressed out or depressed.
- I don’t think I can help it! As I said in my previous answer, sometimes I felt as though he could be more careful to be clear that he wasn’t being sexist. And I’m not sure I consider him a trustworthy, transparent author in terms of his use of sources. However, he’s a very entertaining author, so while I’ll keep these caveats in mind while reading his other books, I’ll definitely be reading them.