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The Alienist by Caleb Carr
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The Alienist (edition 2006)

by Caleb Carr

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6,160151662 (3.97)256
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 256 mentions

English (147)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
The good news is that it doesn't FEEL like 600 pages. A fun, fast read and very enjoyable, if filled with gristly detail. The bad news is that just about every prediction the team makes about the killer turns out to be true--it's almost magical! This really seems to take some of the complexity out of psychological profiling (though I suspect it's meant to do the opposite). I didn't really know much about this book when I picked it up except that it was a historical serial-killer mystery. It was pretty good, but not great. You can totally read it in a weekend, which was probably the best thing about it. ( )
  sansmerci | May 28, 2015 |
Although not really a "page turner" of a mystery, this is a really well done book. The plot and story are more of a "whydoneit" than "whodoneit".

I did find it hard to get through the first half if the book - mainly because there's lots of backstory and speculation vice "action". Additionally, there is an incredible amount of science - namely psychology. Nevertheless, even this is interesting given the setting - New York in the 1890's when Teddy Roosevelt was police commissioner.

The action picks up in the last half of the book and I found that despite my initial misgivings, I would like to pick up the adventures of the stories investigators in the sequel.

If you like historical fiction and mystery, you will like this book. ( )
  dham340 | May 10, 2015 |
In 1896 in 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.

This is a decent historical fiction work. Where there were a couple historically inaccurate derivatives within the novel, for the most part it is on point. The characters give light to a beginning in criminology that showed how many will still take to change even today. He author also tackles the other tensions of the time for stereotypes of women, poor, and the rich. Whereas this was a darker novel than I normally read, I still greatly enjoyed the smoothness to which the author creates this Jack the Ripper style mystery in determining who could leave behind very few clues, manage to take his victims out of locked rooms, and pass through the city unnoticed. Carr captures the egoism of a serial killer while heading the perspective from the doctors on the hunt. Getting both sides without having me endure the killers POV can be difficult for some authors, but Carr accomplishes it well. ( )
  jessica_reads | Mar 24, 2015 |
NYC commissioner askes the aid of an "Aliensist" to solve the serial killings of cross dressing boy prostitutes. Mentally ill individuals were considered alienated from society. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Tutter | Feb 26, 2015 |
Bello bello. C. ha scritto 500 pag di romanzo solido, documentato, intelligente. Composto con attenzione, mai volgare o qualunquista, è un romanzo la cui copertina rende bene il colore che si respira: virato in seppia.
New York alla fine dell'800 è un girone infernale e puzzolente, dove gli immigrati vivono in tuguri e la dignità dei deboli viene continuamente calpestata. Dove i ricchi sono smodatamente ricchi, i gangster innegabilmente gangster, i poliziotti irrimediabilmente corrotti. Roosvelt - quello che poi sara' presidente - è presente, come un cigno bianco in mezzo alla melma. C'e' il Times, ci sono i manicomi, ci sono i primi psicologi dal nome curioso e dalla provenienza europea... ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
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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
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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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