The Alienist Audio Cassette – Sep 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in 1896, Carr's novel about a serial killer lose in New York City was a 25-week PW bestseller.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
A society-born police reporter and an enigmatic abnormal psychologist--the "alienist" of the title--are recruited in 1896 by New York's reform police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt to track down a serial killer who is slaughtering boy prostitutes. The investigators are opposed at every step by crime bosses and the city's hidden rulers (including J. Pierpont Morgan); they distrust the alienist's novel methods and would rather conceal evidence of the murders than court publicity. Tension builds as the detectives race to prevent more deaths. From this improbable brew, historian-novelist Carr ( The Devil Soldier , Random, 1991) has fashioned a knockout period mystery, infused with intelligence, vitality, and humor. This novel is a highly unorthodox variant of the Holmes-Watson theme and the best since Julian Symons's delightful A Three-Pipe Solution . It should entice new fans to the genre. Recommended. Literary Guild featured selection; Doubleday Book Club Selection; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.
- David Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Moore is called to a crime scene by a friend of his, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, the Alienist, to help him with an enquiry. They hook up with the police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt and Sara Howard, the first woman police officer in New York, to investigate the murders along with two 'new age' brother detectives with a scientific bent - Marcus and Lucius. The problem is that the city does not care about the murder of child prostitutes, new policing techniques and Dr. Kreizler has some unorthodox views about metal illness that do not get him much respect in the city. Using Kreizler's ideas about the psychology of the killer the team decides to "profile" the killer to see if they can track him down before he commits the next murder. The Alienist - for all intensive purposes - is about the complex process of developing that profile and this is where the strength of the book really is and is main reason why you will enjoy reading it.
Apart from that deductive element The Alienist is really a run-of-the-mill "hunt the serial killer" type clichéd material.Read more ›
It's a historically accurate (as far as I can tell) novel of turn-of-the-century police investigation in New York City, with an emphathis on the development of forensic science and personality profiling. Lest that sound hiddeously boring, let me assure you this is a good yarn, very well told, with terrific characters, skipping over the scientific details in favor of readability, while painting a thoroughly interesting historical snapshot.
The story moves along nicely, and character development is outstanding. You will love all these very flawed cast members, from the brilliant doctor with the mommie obsession who cares more about his theories than the danger he places his friends in with it, to the fallen socialite turned dissolute police reporter/protagonist who brags up every minor contribution he makes to the case, while recalling every detail of every free meal he is treated to at Delmonico's. They are all believable and human, they all drink too much, and there isn't an old fashioned know-it-all hero in the bunch. The flaws are presented with charming understatement, and provide form to the plot as it developes, but never dominates the story. Rather it provides a backdrop for the story, and interacts with it, just like the real thing.
The story follows, with almost comicly blithe detachment. the course of a secret investigation of an organized serial killer stalking and butchering teenage male prostitutes.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I know Carr did not invent historical fiction but he sure kicked off the genre's popularity in 1994 with The Alienist. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jeffrey Swystun
A little wordy but very reflective of the times. Excellent puzzle solver.Published 4 months ago by Rick Legge
A very well written book. Gruesome some times but the story is very interesting. I loved the characters and the details of that era. I thought that the ending felt rushed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nilton C. Teixeira
Thus novel is amazing and gruesome. A fascinating look at detective and psychiatry in the nineteenth century set against a brutal yet engrossing crime. Read morePublished 14 months ago by deromra
It was slow at the first several chapters, a lot of detail somewhat boring @ first. after the 1st 3rd of the book, it got more interestingPublished on Oct. 11 2014 by Cynthia Chan
It's a great, long, criminal epic. I had a great journey reading it. It made me really want to eat french, multi-coursed meals too. Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2014 by Shesophist
It was a real page turner, with great real historical characters, and convincing fictional characters. I loved it.Published on Aug. 9 2014 by Beverly Cameron
The only reason I gave this book a 4 was because it tended to drag on a little. Other than that this book was probably one of the most detailed I have ever read. Read morePublished on July 17 2014 by Maria Casacalenda (Big City Bookworm)
Enjoyable historic fiction Novel but, quite wordy! I thought it was worth the long read a small diverse group trying to solve the murders of young boys who choose a life of male... Read morePublished on May 19 2014 by Ken Foxcroft