The Alienist

The Alienist

Book - 1994
Average Rating:
17
1
1
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
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.

Baker & Taylor
In 1896 New York, psychologist--or in period terminology, an alienist--Laszlo Kreizler joins forces with journalist John Schuyler Moore to track a vicious serial killer

Blackwell North Amer
The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times crime 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 tarnished 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.

Baker
& Taylor

In 1896 New York, psychologist--or in period terminology, an alienist--Laszlo Kreizler joins forces with journalist John Schuyler Moore to track a vicious serial killer. A first novel. 100,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo. Lit Guild Feat. Tour.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c1994.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780679417798
0679417796
Branch Call Number: M CAR
Characteristics: 496 p. ; 24 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Comment
JENNELISE HAFEN Aug 22, 2014

A book that grabs from the beginning telling of early "criminal profiling" in a work of fiction that incorperates real characters and events from history.


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

w
wendyheath
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.

TNT

k
kevinjtate
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!

n
nikkiandmer
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.

g
greg1881
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.
FIVE STARS FROM ME!!!!!

t
Triciaph
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.

l
lham19
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.

b
blueroo276
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.

c
cottellr
Sep 25, 2014

could not get into it - did not finish

JENNELISE HAFEN Aug 22, 2014

A book that grabs from the beginning telling of early "criminal profiling" in a work of fiction that incorperates real characters and events from history.

View All Comments

Summary

Add a Summary

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.

Notices

Add Notices

chulsey May 20, 2015

Other: child abuse

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at OPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top