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The Alienist (1994)

by Caleb Carr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,752239757 (3.95)351
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.
Recently added byJoeB1934, AutumnSiren, dresdon, ejmw, private library, panamamama
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    PghDragonMan: From the case files of Dr. Lazlo Kreizler, a fictitious early practitioner of what is know known as Psychology.
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» See also 351 mentions

English (230)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (238)
Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
This book was compelling in the way its mystery was told and unraveled. Trigger Warning: sexual assault of a child. This story felt like a Victorian era retelling of an episode of Bones. It was dark, twisted, and well thought out. Each character has their own obstacle to navigate as the book goes on, all having something to prove. Dr. Laszlo Kreisler (what a name) desperately wants behavioral science and psychology to be credited. Sara Howard wants to prove she's as good as any man in solving mysteries. John Moore plays a journalist trying to strike it big. ( )
  sarahlynnb | Jul 29, 2022 |
844065295X
  archivomorero | Jun 27, 2022 |
Pretty graphic, but very good writing and storytelling. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Loved the 1890s history of NYC wrapped in a mystery. Found myself researching a lot; I LOVE when a book makes me do that! This book was like CRIMINAL MINDS' techniques applied in the 19th century. Plus, the writer's dad was "the glue" of the Beat generation = total geeky awesomeness. #randomfact

Favorite Quote: "Absolutely nothing brings out the killer instinct in the upper crust of New York society like a charity function." ( )
  crabbyabbe | Feb 24, 2022 |
For some reason, it took me a while to get into this book. Maybe it was because of the time period. But once I got to know the characters and late 19th century New York City (which is almost a separate character in itself), I found it hard to put the book down. In an odd way, I see similarities between this book and the Lincoln Rhyme books I enjoy. The difference is that Lincoln uses forensic evidence to put together a profile of the killers and Laszlo Kreizler uses psychological evidence to put together a profile. He and his colleagues try to determine what kind of person would commit the murders and from there they're eventually able to find the killer. I found the story fascinating and the characters well rounded. I am looking forward to reading the second book he wrote with these same characters. ( )
  marymatus | Jan 12, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 230 (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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Epigraph
"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?
--Piave,
from Verdi's Macbeth
Dedication
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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