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The Alienist by Caleb Carr
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The Alienist (edition 2006)

by Caleb Carr

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6,418166600 (3.96)267
Member:wbwilburn5
Title:The Alienist
Authors:Caleb Carr
Info:Random House (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Alienist by Caleb Carr

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» See also 267 mentions

English (161)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (166)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
[The Alienist], a 1994 novel by Caleb Carr, is about the hunt for a serial-killer in NYC in 1896. The victims, discovered in various obscure locations close to bodies of water, are adolescent boys, cross-dressing prostitutes. The bodies are horribly mutilated. The police aren’t particularly interested, but Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt is very concerned. He is approached by a prominent, pioneering psychologist named Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, who proposes to Roosevelt that he be allowed to assemble a small team to investigate the killings and develop a description of the killer, based on the identities and lives of the victims, the killer’s methods and whatever clues they can find. The future President agrees.

Joining Dr. Kreizler are John Schuyler Moore and Sara Howard. Moore was a Harvard classmate of both Kreizler and Roosevelt, who takes a leave from the New York Times to assist the doctor. Moore is the book's narrator. Howard is the only female employee of the NYPD. Her police job is secretarial, but she's a smart, fearless, assertive woman, well ahead of her time.

To supplement this trio, Roosevelt assigns newly hired (by him) Detective Sergeants Marcus and Lucius Isaacson to the team. The pair are actually unknown to the police, an important benefit, because they reported for duty to TR, not the police chief or his minions. The brothers are, of course, smart, tough, energetic, and over time display an amazingly broad range of interests, knowledge, and experiences. Which know-how they apply to the investigation.

Though the team is operating in secret, word of the endeavor leaks out, and everyone from the mobsters to the police to the mayor to Catholic and Episcopal church leaders and even J. Pierpont Morgan himself express strong opposition.

In a way, The Alienist reminded me of the 1960's TV show The Wild, Wild West, wherein a brilliant scientist-inventor comes up with gadgets to enable his partner to best the villains of the post-Civil War American west. Here what is being created is a new way of assessing evidence, a new way of thinking about and understanding the villain.

It was an engaging murder 'n' mayhem read. I give 'r a thumbs up.
1 vote weird_O | Apr 11, 2016 |
This book reminded me of the Sherlock Holmes movie that came out Christmas 2009 -- there's a lot of the intelligent, deductive, rational reasoning that is always fun (as in the original Sherlock Holmes books, or in the TV show House) but there's also a fair amount of action, which is why it reminded me of the movie more than the books. There are murders, child prostitutes, guns, insane asylums... it's set in quite a rough-and-tumble world.
Very enjoyable, in fact quite addictive, although my one complaint is that I didn't really identify with or find myself strongly rooting for the main character-- I wanted the good guys to win, of course, but I was really just reading a very engaging story; I didn't feel terribly emotionally involved. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
I enjoyed the first 7/8ths of this novel immensely. But for such a long and slowly building plot, it was resolved far too quickly. In short, this book felt very anti-climactic. ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
finding serial killers, years ago

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.
  christinejoseph | Feb 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Nueva York, 1896. John Schuyler Moore, reportero de sucesos del New York Times, recibe en plena madrugada la llamada de su antiguo compañero de estudios en Harward, el famoso psicólogo (o alienista) Laszlo Kreizler. Éste le cita en el puente de Williamsburg, donde se ha cometido un crimen horrible. Ambos amigos deberán colaborar con la policía y trazar, utilizando cada uno sus habilidades, el perfil psicológico del asesino.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Caleb Carrprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"They who would be young when they are old, must be old when they are young."

John Ray, 1670
Dedication
This book is dedicated to

Ellen Blain, Meghann Haldeman,

Ethan Randall, Jack Evans,

and Eugene Byrd
First words
January 8th, 1919

Theodore is in the ground.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812976142, Paperback)

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

        The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.

        Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.


From the Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:44 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

When a madman begins stalking victims on the streets of 1896 New York, a team of investigators is forced to apply radical and untested techniques that include fingerprinting and the controversial science of psychology.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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