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The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The Alienist (edition 2006)

by Caleb Carr

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,749174549 (3.96)284
Title:The Alienist
Authors:Caleb Carr
Info:Random House (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

  1. 130
    The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris (karenlibrarian00)
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    The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: From the case files of Dr. Lazlo Kreizler, a fictitious early practitioner of what is know known as Psychology.
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    The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Interpretation of Murder is also about psychological crime solving in NYC at the beginning of the twentieth century, with Freud and Jung this time.
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    Torikton: "A Conspiracy of Paper" is similar to "The Alienist" in style and tone, though "Conspiracy" is set in 18th century London, not in 19th century New York.
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(see all 22 recommendations)


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» See also 284 mentions

English (168)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Polish (1)  All (174)
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
This was a really great fictional account of the early days of profiling serial killers. It is set shortly before the turn of the last century. Although a bit morbid in its descriptions, I came to know the killer pretty thoroughly before actually meeting him in the story. The way they deduced his character and motivations merely by observing his methods and victims was astonishing but believable. I look forward to reading more of Carr, especially the sequel to this book. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Casually suggested by a friend, much darker than I expected. In listening to the abridged version, the story moved quickly. A great change of pace from my regular reading/listening material. ( )
  MichaelC.Oliveira | Apr 25, 2017 |
The Alienist by Caleb Carr.
Sub-genre: Historical mystery
5 Stars

Before the modern day criminal profiler, there were "alienists" - psychologists interested in the workings of the criminal mind. In this book a crime reporter, John Schulyer Moore, is asked by his friend, Theodore Roosevelt in his days as the police commissioner of New York, to assist one of these alienists in the search for a serial killer butchering young children in the sex trade.

This is a well-researched take on life in New York at the turn of the 20th century. The characterization is excellent, especially that of Sara, Roosevelt's secretary who is determined to become the first female detective, and the alienist, Lazlo Kreizler who seeks to understand the origins of monstrous behaviors while at the same time fighting demons of his own. The books includes some fascinating details on the beginnings of forensic science and has a profound message about humanity and society. The language and descriptive passages can be quite challenging to get through but they are well worth it.
Recommendation: An absolute must for lovers of mystery and thrillers as well as the history of New York. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
Fascinating historical mystery based in NYC. Psychologists were not generally well regarded, it seems, at this time period. ( )
  rwilliams2911 | Jun 21, 2016 |
This is a big book in many ways. It was quite an enjoyable read overall, but it did rather plod along for me in the first half of the book. The second Half was much more enjoyable for me and had more pace. That said I did enjoy the book and story, and the way it unravelled during the book. At times I do feel less description was needed and that there was too much superfluous detail, e.g when they went to Roosevelt's house did we need so much detail about his children as it didn't add to the story. I would have given the first half 3 stars and the second half four stars so I will go for 3.5 stars. I much preferred the books of Jed Rubenfeld in this style. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
Casually suggested by a friend, much darker than I expected. In listening to the abridged version, the story moved quickly. A great change of pace from my regular reading/listening material.

» Add other authors (20 possible)

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

John Ray, 1670
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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