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Interesting,
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11 reviews

The Alienist: A Novel
by Caleb Carr

Published: 2006-10-24
Paperback : 512 pages
40 members reading this now
31 clubs reading this now
21 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 9 of 11 members
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A TNT ORIGINAL SERIES

“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 ...
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Introduction

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A TNT ORIGINAL SERIES

“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

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Is it nature or nuture that creates a serial killer?
The control of political bosses in NYC at the turn of the 20th Century.
by ccalkins (see profile) 04/30/09

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by RosieW (see profile) 01/17/16

 
by ebach (see profile) 11/17/15

I found this book to beQ too slow, too difficult to keep my mind on it. Interesting history, but nothing much happens for too long a time. However, most of the rest in my book group said that they liked... (read more)

 
  "Fascinating Historical Fiction"by kristinbluedog (see profile) 05/05/11

This was a fascinating drama of the early 1900's New York and the beginnings of psychology, forensics and the origins of the real CSI. A great read that keeps you interested, horrified and on the trail... (read more)

 
  "The author gets lost in details"by mpaniaguatej (see profile) 02/18/11

that make the reader loose the attention, Interesting story but slooow.

 
  "The Alienist"by bnmcaleer (see profile) 10/20/10

I love love loved this book up until the ending. It was so brilliantly written and developed, and was so interesting with historical setting, but I felt like the ending was a little bit of a cop-out. Like...Carr... (read more)

 
  "The Alienist"by hdilaura (see profile) 09/04/10

I read this book years ago and LOVED it. Caleb Carr is authentic to the time period and I love that (at least in the hard cover) there was a map on the inside cover so you could understand where they were... (read more)

 
  "the Alienist"by KKSSLC (see profile) 07/03/10

Loved it, not one for mysteries, not patient enough, but this one was great, enough twists but not contrived.

 
  "The Alienist"by bchamplin (see profile) 03/12/10

At first, I didn't think I would like this book. It was really dark and gory. Then it takes a turn and you are swept away into the story. I liked the way this book was written you didn't get ALL the information... (read more)

 
  "The Alienist by Caleb Carr"by lesliemich (see profile) 03/12/10

 
  "Excellent Historical Fiction/Mystery"by sams (see profile) 12/09/09

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