Monday, October 5, 2009

A Letter Composed in my Head, to Eric Larson, Whilst Riding My Bike Through the City, Later Transcribed Here

Dear Mr Larson,

I was recently assigned The Devil in the White City as reading for a class I am taking, and was secretly excited, because I had been avoiding reading your book due to all the hype surrounding it. However, being a lover of Chicago history, in particular turn of the century Chicago history, I have had a secret interest in your book for quite some time. Having it as assigned reading was perfect because I "had" to read it. Although armed with the excuse of, "I'm reading it for a class," I was still embarrassed to read your book in public. I therefore spent most of my time reading it in the privacy of my own home.

I did once find myself in the unfortunate situation of having no other reading material while in a coffee shop. I considered hiding it behind a news paper, but it proves to be quite a difficult task to hold a book, a newspaper and sip a hot drink all at the same time. So I made sure there were no scholarly types, potential publishers, or cute boys around, that I might embarrass myself in front of, and then I not so proudly read your book.

That being said, I would like to extend my congratulations to you, for your ability to do research. You must be a pro at the micro film as well as most search engines. Your collection of data and multiple page bibliography is impressive. However, this does not overshadow what I can only call shoty and embellished prose. Your attempts at literature are an embarrassment to yourself as a writer as well as Dreiser and Sinclair and any other real authors you refer to in your text. Stick to the facts Larson, stick to the facts. On top of this, your lack of credit to the intelligence of your readers is insulting and yeah I'll say it, rude.

In conclusion, I find it offensive that you received an award that has the name Edgar Allan Poe in it as your name and his name should never be used together.

I hope this letter finds you in high spirits, rolling in the dough of the unsuspecting consumer.

Hoping to hear back from you, and with warmest regards, I remaine,

Maria Ortiz


  1. Wow. You smack the bouweee down! I laughed when I read this post. It amde me happy. I want all the pent up energy of my writers to EXPLODE.

    But Larson is probably a little--just a liitle--better than you think. At least as a researcher.