The Alienist

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The Alienist

Format:  Paperback,

498 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Oct 2006

ISBN-13: 9780812976144

ISBN-10: 0812976142

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
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.

"From the Paperback edition."

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Oct 2006
ISBN-13: 9780812976144
ISBN-10: 0812976142
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 498
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.05
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.2 x 1.2 x 8.0

About the author

Biography of Carr, Caleb

Caleb Carr, a lifetime resident of New York, was born in 1955 and grew up on the Lower East Side. His father was an editor and close friend to famous Beat Generation writers, such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Although Carr was personally exposed to their style of writing and Bohemian lifestyles, he chose to take his own work in a different direction. Where the Beat writers wrote purely from expression and feelings, Caleb Carr's works are diligently researched and known for their historical accuracy.

Caleb Carr developed a love of history at a young age, acquiring a keen interest in military history while attending a Quaker high school. This interest led him to major in history at Kenyon College and NYU. Notable works by Caleb Carr are The Alienist, which was on the New York Times' bestseller list for 24 weeks; The Devil Soldier; and Angel of Darkness. In addition to writing fiction, Carr is a contributing editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History.

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (1993-12-01)

Historian Carr hits the big time with this story, set in 1890s New York, of a journalist who joins the hunt for a serial killer. Paramount Pictures has bought the film rights, and the first printing is huge.

Review by Library Journal (1994-03-01)

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

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal (1994-07)

A serial killer is butchering boy prostitutes in New York City. Police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt enlists a reporter and groundbreaking psychologist (known as an "alienist" in 1896) to track the killer by compiling his psychological profile. The real mystery here, however, lies in finding out what happens in the sections of the novel that were abridged. Who are all these characters? How did they jump to their apparently absurd conclusions? Where is the social history of the city and the celebrity cameos that the printed book's reviewers found so enticing? To judge by the level of suspense reader Edward Hermann can generate during selected passages, this may be a very good novel. Libraries would do best to wait for an unabridged release or stick with the print version.

-John Hiett, Iowa City P.L.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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