What setting (time or place) from a book or story would you most like to visit?
A difficult question, simply because there are so many possibilities. After reading Erik Larson’s spectacular The Devil in the White City, I’d have to say that 1893 Chicago would be somewhere near the top of my list. Without, you know, the serial killer skulking around.
I wrote in an earlier post about the grandeur of the 1893 World’s Fair and how the fair’s most recent incarnation, the 2010 Shanghai Expo, utterly failed in projecting even a modicum of the same. Through Larson’s writing, the majesty of that pivotal event cannot but impress even the most jaded reader.
Granted, Larson also details the more sordid and grisly aspects of that day and age – this dichotomy between the resplendent and the sinister is the force which drives the narrative forward. Still, the reader is most forcefully affected by the wonder and awe which the 1893 World’s Fair inspired in its visitors, a sense of wonder and awe that is difficult to even imagine in the age of frequent flying and instantaneous information.
Alas, time machines are in short supply. Luckily for us, writers such as Larson can provide this sense of amazement through their writing.