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The Alienist (1994)

by Caleb Carr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dr. Laszlo Kreizler

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,391229743 (3.95)340
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.
  1. 140
    The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (karenlibrarian00)
  2. 153
    The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (bnbookgirl)
  3. 101
    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.
  4. 71
    An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (Booksloth)
  5. 50
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (Othemts)
  6. 50
    The Waterworks by E. L. Doctorow (oregonobsessionz)
  7. 40
    Drood by Dan Simmons (bnbookgirl)
  8. 51
    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.
  9. 30
    The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl (Othemts)
  10. 52
    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind (freya727)
  11. 20
    The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld (PghDragonMan)
  12. 10
    The Yard by Alex Grecian (majkia)
    majkia: similar in that both books - although one in New York, one in London, follows the beginnings of modern forensics and modern policing.
  13. 10
    Commissioner Roosevelt: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt and the New York City Police, 1895-1897 by H. Paul Jeffers (oregonobsessionz)
  14. 10
    Billy Bathgate by E. L. Doctorow (Laura1124)
  15. 10
    The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (citygirl)
  16. 10
    The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  17. 00
    The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale (elia1168)
  18. 11
    The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen (Othemts)
  19. 00
    Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (brewergirl)
    brewergirl: Set in different historical periods, but both books involve tracking a serial killer of children.
  20. 00
    The Night Inspector by Frederick Busch (Othemts)

(see all 22 recommendations)


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» See also 340 mentions

English (222)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Polish (1)  German (1)  All languages (229)
Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
The concept was terrific but the book needed some heavy editing. I was longing for the end when I should have devoured the last 50 pages ( )
  scoene | Jul 13, 2021 |

I enjoyed this book overall. It was written very well and the historical accounts were great. I especially liked the descriptions of early psychology and criminology in their infancy. We often take for granted our current wealth of knowledge. ( )
  Tosta | Jul 5, 2021 |
psychological approach to serial killer in 1890 NY
  ritaer | Jun 27, 2021 |
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. ( )
  amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
(correct that we own 2: HC & PB) ( )
  dtscheme | May 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
A series of gruesome murders and mutilations of heartrendingly young prostitutes--boys dressed as girls--reunites three alumni of William James' pioneering Harvard psychology lectures: Times reporter John Schuyler Moore, eminent psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (called, after the fashion of the time, an ``alienist''), and New York Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt.... The result is somehow gripping yet lifeless, as evocative period detail jostles with a cast of characters who are, for the most part, as pallid as the murder victims.
added by Lemeritus | editKirkus Review (Apr 1, 1992)
Kreizler is a fictional hero, but in Caleb Carr's imaginings he becomes every bit as believable as the book's real-life characters, and the murders he sets out to solve take on a ghoulish plausibility.... The Alienist isn't only an ingenious thriller. Carr brings enormous gusto to his portrait of old New York, where breakfast for the well-to-do might comprise 'cucumber fillets, Creole eggs, and broiled squab'. From the fetid reek of 'stale beer dives' to the baronial splendour of bankers' mansions, from dirt-poor tenements to the fanciest French restaurants, the city seems to rise off the page....Part of the book's triumph is that it accommodates big questions without sacrificing anything in accessibility; it recreates a world that is simultaneously alive and haunting

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carr, Calebprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dobson-Wright, ReneeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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
2017 edition:
Whilst part of what we perceive comes through our senses from the object before us, another part (and it may be the larger part) always comes out of our own mind.
--William James
The Principles of Psychology
2017 edition:
These bloody thoughts,
from what are they born?
from Verdi's Macbeth
This book is dedicated to

Ellen Blain, Meghann Haldeman,

Ethan Randall, Jack Evans,

and Eugene Byrd
2017 edition:
This edition is dedicated to
Those Readers Who Made It Possible
and to the memory of
Dr. David Abrahamsen
First words
January 8th, 1919

Theodore is in the ground.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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