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The Interpretation of Murder by Jed…
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The Interpretation of Murder (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Jed Rubenfeld

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2,229862,887 (3.32)77
Member:SouthernKiwi
Title:The Interpretation of Murder
Authors:Jed Rubenfeld
Info:Picador (2007), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:santathing, series; stratham younger, 01, historical fiction, mystery, 13 in 13, new york, 2013

Work details

The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld (2006)

  1. 60
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Also about psychological crime solving in NYC at the beginning of the twentieth century, with Teddy Roosevelt this time.
  2. 20
    Freud's Alphabet: A Novel by Jonathan Tel (KayCliff)
  3. 10
    Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow (Booksloth)
  4. 00
    Dark Hearts of Chicago by William Horwood (Booksloth)
  5. 01
    The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl (edwinbcn)
  6. 02
    Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Amy Chua ist die Ehefrau von Jed Rubenfeld. Die Ehe wird eigentlich ausgeklammert in dem Buch der "Tiger-Mutter". Nur in einer Szene wird beschrieben, wie sie bei einem Besuch in London anlässlich der Preisverleihung für das Buch "The Interpretation of Murder" verzweifelt ein Klavier zum Üben für die Töchter gesucht haben.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
I really loved this book. Great descriptions of fledgling New York city. An unpredictable and suspensful plot. Great read! ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
This falls in the category for me of books read for entertainment. The fact that it contained as characters both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung drew me in, having studied them in school and having been drawn to Jung's work. The Jung portayed here was not the Jung I recall learning about! Not a likeable person. The edition I read contained notes by the author that explained his research and the license he took with historical facts and timelines, which is really a bonus IMHU. Detective Littlemore was endearing as the good guy policeman who wouldn't give up. The writing was fine, nothing annoyed me or excited me either way. The number of red herrings seemed to pile up a little over time, but it wasn't a big distraction. A good sort of book for in-between other books when you need a pleasant break! ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
Set in 1909 at the time of Freuds one and only visit to America this is an atmospheric murder mystery.

A beautiful society lady is found whipped, cut and strangled in a hotel room, shortly after another society heiress Nora Acton is found another victim of the same attacker only this time she has survived.

The coroner using evidence found on the body sets out to convict his suspect, while the policeman Littlemore using evidence at the crime scene persues another avenue entirely.

As Nora has lost her memory Stratham Younger a disciple of Freud is allowed to psychoanalyse her in the hope of helping her regain the suppressed memories and to name her attacker before he comes back to finish the job.

A complicated story of love, jealousy, anger and possession that leads the reader down many dead ends.

The character of Nora is based on Freuds most controversial case that of the woman he called Dora.

In the background to the murder Freuds theories of the role of sex and the Oedipus complex are being undermined.

A well researched novel that uses several well known events and characters to add colour and depth. ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Based on Sigmund Freud’s only trip to the U.S. (which left him calling Americans ‘savages’ amongst other choice phrases) this is a literate murder mystery set in Victorian New York high society. Someone is offing young women, but one of his victims survives. The problem is she can’t remember what happened. The good news is that Dr Freud is just off the boat from Europe and he has created something called psychoanalysis that might help the girl remember who attacked her. The real life events meld seemlessly with the fictional (though Rubenfeld separates the two in the endnotes for the curious). Meticulously researched, this is an unputdownable novel with breathing characters, a fast-paced plot and intelligent dialogue. ( )
  vlcraven | Feb 16, 2015 |
I really enjoyed most of the book, however, the ending was a little disappointing: a little convoluted as far as the murder mystery goes, and a little simplified as far as Freud and Jung's relationship goes. Some of the story lines never developed into anything (Jung's story line). However, the first 3/4 of the book are really enjoyable: NY architecture, history, society... ( )
  E. | Jun 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jed Rubenfeldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zuppet, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312427050, Paperback)

It has been said that a mystery novel is "about something" and a literary tale is not. The Interpretation of Murder has legitimate claims to both genres. It is most definitely about something, and also replete with allusions to and explications of Shakespeare, to the very beginnings of psychology, to the infighting between psychoanalytic giants--all written in a style that an author with literary aspirations might well envy.

In 1909, Drs. Freud and Jung visit Manhattan. They no sooner arrive when a young socialite is murdered, followed by another attempted murder, bearing the same characteristics. In the second case, the victim lives. She has lost her voice and cannot remember anything. The young doctor, Stratham Younger, who has invited Freud to speak at his University, soon involves Dr. Freud in the case. Freud, saying that Nora's case will require a time committment that he does not have, turns her over to Younger. The rudiments of Nora's case are based on Freud's famous Dora, complete with sexual perversions, convoluted twists and turns and downright lies.

That is just one of the myriad plot lines in the novel, all of which are intricate, interesting and plausible. All it takes for all of the incidents to be true is a great deal of bad will--and it is abundant here! There are politicians who are less than statesmen, city employees at work for themselves and not the city, doctors who will do anything to undermine Freud's theories, thereby saving the neurotics for themselves, and opportunists at every level of society, seeking psychological or material advantage. Carl Jung is portrayed by turns as secretive, mysterious, odd, and just plain nuts, while Freud remains a gentleman whose worst problem is his bladder.

Not the least interesting aspect of the book is all the turn-of-the-century New York lore: bridge building, great mansions, the Astor versus Vanderbilt dustup, immigrant involvement, fabulous entertaining, auto versus carriage. Despite the tangle of tales, debut author Jed Rubenfeld finishes it with writerly dexterity--and the reader is sorry to see it all end. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:55 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

'The Interpretation of Murder' is an inventive tour de force inspired by Sigmund Freud's 1909 visit to America, accompanied by protege and rival Carl Jung.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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