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Publisher's Summary

New York, 1896: Reporter John Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend, psychiatrist Laszlo Kreizler, a brilliant pioneer in the new and much-maligned study of society's "alienated" mentally ill. At the river, Moore and Kreizler view the horribly mutilated body of a young male prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels. Supervised by the police commissioner, the newsman and his "alienist" mentor embark on a revolutionary attempt to identify the killer by assembling his psychological profile. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before...and will kill again.
©1994 Caleb Carr, All Rights Reserved; (P)1994 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved; Audioworks is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Michael
  • Santa Rosa, CA, United States
  • 08-31-12

Great listen. Unfortunately it is abridged.

I really enjoyed the book. I really wish that it was not abridged. The story was too condensed for me. I wanted to luxuriate in the prose.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Scary....

Fairly raw murder descriptions, but accurate historical detail, thanks to Mr. Carr's historical background. Plot gets you engaged, and you like the main character despite his faults. Good mystery!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The Alienist by Caleb Carr revolves around a wealthy crime reporter for the New York Times in 1899 and his search for a savage murderer. Teamed with a renowned psychiatrist (in those days called an "alienist"), the pair uses psychological theory with deductive reasoning to tract the serial killer who preys on poverty-stricken young boys, victimized by powerful forces--club and hotel owners who control the city's dark world of prostitution.

Although not one of my favorite crime reads, the novel does give a sense of New York during the Victorian era with its presence of governmental corruption. It also highlights the gradual acceptance of criminal profiling as a vital police tool.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

One of the best period suspense/detective stories.

What made the experience of listening to The Alienist the most enjoyable?

Great period descriptions and characters.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Its a long story that builds but characters keep the story going.

What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Since he's been in many period movies his narration fits easily.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Great Cast of detectives drive a period horror and suspense story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Harvey
  • WASHINGTON, DC, United States
  • 12-05-12

Good as far as it went

Would you listen to The Alienist again? Why?

No. A good enough story, but not sufficient for a second listen.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Obviously the heroine.

What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

Yes, well done

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

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  • Story
  • Louann
  • CHARLOTTE, NC, United States
  • 07-09-12

Great Period Book for fiction lovers

What did you love best about The Alienist?

Nice suspense novel set in another decade.

What did you like best about this story?

Narrator was excellent and kept you drawn in to the story.

Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, this is my first.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Death and Decay inhabit more then the murders

I admit this was not the type of book I'd pick up for fun, I was told to read for a class on cultural History in North America on the advance of the Prof with the cheery comment that it was a best seller and write by a person with an MA in History.

If you LIKE Freud theories of childhood, poop and sex then you may very well find the ideas of a police investigation team using them to be interest and exciting. The murders are grim, dark and of children.

The main "police" characters are flat, having each a single attribute of virtue and nothing else to define them.

The Reporter - Bravery - though it look more like fool heartiness
The Female Admin - Knowledge of Children - not that she has any
The Good Doctor - Intelligent - or more correctly the ability to connect the others ideas into a chain

Edward Herrmann does a good job, giving each of the characters there own voice and feel but is fighting an uphill battle with 1 D plot and little better characters. Truely if you want a thrill there MUST be something less girt, grim and with a storyline.

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  • Performance
  • Story

I need to listen to it again

I'm going to have to listen to it again.
I was too distracted and had a hard time following everything. I liked enough that I will relisten

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Mediocre narrator

Probably the prissiest, least imaginative narration I have ever encountered in an Audible download. I nearly gave up on listening to it!

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Aileen
  • 04-11-15

Abridged?!? Dammit!

Why oh why didn't i see this was abridged? I HATE abridged books. They are so cobbled together and hopelessly unsatisfying. So annoyed with myself. Who on earth actually prefers an abridged book to a real book, anyway???

2 of 3 people found this review helpful