The Alienist

The Alienist

eBook - 2006
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"A first-rate tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers guessing until the final pages."-- Entertainment Weekly

"Caleb Carr's rich period thriller takes us back to the moment in history when the modern idea of the serial killer became available to us."-- The Detroit News

When The Alienist was first published in 1994, it was a major phenomenon, spending six months on the New York Times bestseller list, receiving critical acclaim, and selling millions of copies. This modern classic continues to be a touchstone of historical suspense fiction for readers everywhere.

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler--a psychologist, or "alienist"--to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.

Praise for The Alienist

"[A] delicious premise . . . Its settings and characterizations are much more sophisticated than the run-of-the-mill thrillers that line the shelves in bookstores." -- The Washington Post Book World

"Mesmerizing." -- Detroit Free Press

"The method of the hunt and the disparate team of hunters lift the tale beyond the level of a good thriller--way beyond. . . . A remarkable combination of historical novel and psychological thriller." -- The Buffalo News

"Engrossing." -- Newsweek

"A ripsnorter of a plot . . . a fine dark ride." -- The Arizona Daily Star

"Remarkable . . . The reader is taken on a whirlwind tour of the Gilded Age metropolis, climbing up tenement stairs, scrambling across rooftops, and witnessing midnight autopsies. . . . A breathtaking, finely crafted mystery." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Gripping, atmospheric . . . intelligent and entertaining." -- USA Today

"A high-spirited, charged-up and unfailingly smart thriller." -- Los Angeles Times

"Keeps readers turning pages well past their bedtime." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Harrowing, fascinating . . . will please fans of Ragtime and The Silence of the Lambs ." -- The Flint Journal
Publisher: New York : Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2006
ISBN: 9781588365408
Characteristics: text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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Aug 11, 2017

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.


Dec 24, 2016

This has all the elements of a good story except the most critical: editing. The level of detail and description is excruciating and beyond even the worst 19th century fiction. Even the author runs out of steam: if the second half of this book was as thorough as the first it could easily be longer than War and Peace. Save your time, read something else!

Jun 23, 2016

I wanted to really like this book but it was so hard to get into. Carr's writing is...very odd for my taste. I feel dumb saying this, but there were so many words I had to look up that it took me out of the story. I liked that it was a Sherlock-Holmes-type story and even Mr. Kreizler had some Sherlock characteristics. I'd say give this book a shot but it just wasn't for me.

Jun 13, 2016

Great book! Caleb Carr's creation had me from the get-go, all other tasks were put off, including sleep, until the end. The main fictional characters, and Teddy Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, the mob / the brewery turned opera house... The details from the multi-mirrored wall to onion sandwiches etc., were absolutely brilliant. Mr. Carr, hats off to you. I must go now, to complete tasks I had put off.

Jul 18, 2015

I had to read this in two tries. I didn't have time to give the book enough concentration the fist try, so waited weeks to read from page 325 to the end. It is absolutely fascinating. The historical and geographical detail is absorbing and very accurate. It is a horror story but dealt with so clinically that you can bear to read the gory parts.

Jun 30, 2015

Absolutely mind blowing. I was hooked from the first word and could not put it down. Would highly recommend to anyone fond of Sherlock Holmes.

Apr 27, 2015

It's "Criminal Minds" in 1896! Seriously, though this book was rather slow in places, I enjoyed it and would read more by the author.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 27, 2014

A mystery that evokes New York at the turn of the century. Through the foggy streets, a serial killer is sought out by an "alienist" (psychiatrist), a reporter, and Teddy Roosevelt's secretary! The descriptions of the city, the crimes and the criminal are disturbing and haunting.

Sep 25, 2014

could not get into it - did not finish

Jun 22, 2013

I loved this book! a historical pychological thriller...The pace is good, the characters are well defined so all in all a very good read, there's apparently a sequal, I will absolutely be checking out ;-)

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notTom Dec 16, 2010

Dr. Laszlo Kreizler is a child psychologist who learns of a series of brutal killings in 1896 New York City. Believing that criminal minds can be formed early in childhood, he introduces the idea of profiling. To identify and apprehend the killer, he puts together a team of investigators to delve into the dark underworld of the city, using scientific methods that were state-of-the-art at the time, such as fingerprinting. Told through the eyes of Kreizler's long-time friend and journalist John Schuyler Moore, the detailed description of New York City and its people (including historical figures Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan) on the verge of the 20th century is clever and entrancing. Those who enjoy Sherlock Holmes will certainly enjoy the cool, calculating Dr. Kreizler, who, as a prophet of 20th forensics, uses science and not just logic, to solve the crime.


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chulsey May 20, 2015

Other: child abuse


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