The Alienist (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Caleb Carr's most famous and successful novel, The Alienist, is a story of 19th Century New York City and its struggle with squalor, violence, madness, vulnerability, and, appropriately, alienation, through a manhunt for a vicious serial killer. A team of police, a journalist, and the titular alienist (an old-timey word for psychologist) develop and use the concept of psychological profiling in the days when fingerprints were still just barely understood. The Alienist is an unforgettable tour of New York at the fin de siecle, from the glittering dining room of Delmonico's to the slimy, dripping underbelly of the old Croton Reservoir.

Picked by Nick T. in Fort Greene

— From Staff Picks


Soon to be a TNT original series

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

"Caleb Carr's rich period thriller takes us back to a moment in history when the modern idea of the serial killer became available to us... and] tracks the efforts of a team of farsighted investigators working frantically to solve a string of hideous murders... Absorbing... suspenseful... gratifying." -The Detroit News

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.

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.

Praise for The Alienist:

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

"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

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

About the Author

CALEB CARR was born in Manhattan and grew up on the Lower East Side, where he still lives.

Praise For…

"You can smell the fear in the air." --The New York Times

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

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780812976144
ISBN-10: 0812976142
Publisher: Random House Trade
Publication Date: October 24th, 2006
Pages: 498
Language: English