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The Interpretation of Murder (Freud #1)

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  10,606 Ratings  ·  1,107 Reviews
Experienced readers of crime and thrillers tend to stifle a yawn these days when they encounter a mountain of hype about a new book or author. But the fevered word of mouth that has been generated by Jed Rubenfeld's The Interpretation of Murder is, for once, justified. This is a remarkably ambitious book, taking on a powerful suspenseful narrative, assiduously researched h ...more
Paperback, 529 pages
Published 2007 by Headline Review (first published 2006)
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Oct 03, 2015 Jaidee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-stars-books

5 "Lions and Tigers and Freud, Oh My!!
Twists and turns along with Carl Jung -why oh why!!
A vixen, an ingénue, some psychiatrists and a sexy detective too!!
Complex, delicious, fun and macabre- you won't go wrong if you give this a try" STARS.

6th Favorite Read of 2015

This is just what the doctor ordered as a salve to my recent brain numbing with young adult books.

I have not enjoyed a historic literary thriller like this in many years. The last book that I enjoyed this much in this genre was "Th
im pretty neutral about this book. it was a fine sortof historical mystery with all the requisite elements like red herrings and dubious intentions and misread signals and girls tied up and whipped, but... eh. and im torn, because it is a perennial table book, but i think i might have to regulate its inclusion from now on, because in my opinion, it is all right but no great shakes. maybe people who are really into freud would like it more than i. this is me being too early for class and writing ...more
Dec 31, 2011 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not just like this book, I LOVED it. And on so many levels. I found it clever, informative, well written and even humorous at times. The characters were interesting and I was kept guessing even when I pretty much decided I knew what was going on. This was really a page turner, especially when they were down in the caisson. I could so visualize that. This is my new "You gotta read this book" recommendation. The Freud, Jung and Shakespeare inclusions was an added bonus. Loved the early 1900 ...more
Aug 17, 2007 Coy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Coy by: Kenneth
When I sit down to what I hope will be a great meal, I look forward to the side dishes, but it's the main course that is central. Don't get me wrong, I love potatoes, but give me the steak! Interpretation of Murder is a side dish and not a potato side dish, more like peas or carrots or something.

Reading the author's notes at the end of the book gave me a better appreciation of the novel. I respect that it was well-researched, but to borrow from the same analogy, I like a little history with my s
Mar 01, 2008 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mysteries
Sigmund Freud, along with his protege Carl Jung, arrives in New York for a series of lectures at Clark University in Massachusetts. A young woman is murdered, apparently by a serial killer. Another young woman, Nora Acton, is suffering from amnesia after another attack by the same criminal. Dr. Stratham Younger, a high society Freud acolyte, undertakes a psychoanalysis of Nora, in the hopes of unraveling the mystery.

I wanted to like The Interpretation of Murder. I really did. It had an intrigui
Rowland Bismark
Jul 27, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Her entire body glistened in the unbearable August heat. Her long legs were bare, as were her arms. Her elegant shoulders were nearly bare as well. The girl’s consciousness was fading. She tried to speak. There was a question she had to ask. It was there; it was gone. Then she had it again. ‘My name,’ she whispered. ‘What is my name?’

"... So, is Nora still a victim when she is empowered by a sympathetic listener?"

Feel like there's class conflict in the book: psychoanalysis versus
Meghan Cooper
This book was difficult and slow to read. I liked the whole idea of the story, but I did't feel like I connected with any of the characters in the story. When the author started a new chapter and brought in a different character with it, I kept not even knowing who they were talking about. I had to go back and refresh my memory of who was who. To be honest the characters descriptions were really bad. The author did his best to add tension to the whole book but half the time this tension just wou ...more
Arun Divakar
Quite a long period of time had passed since I read a whodunit. It was more of an impulse that made me pick up this book while walking the shelves at the library. I remember reading the blurb on the back page and thinking back to Caleb Carr's Alienist and then deciding on giving this one a try.

It is an extremely light and breezy read. I was juggling three books at the same time and could only get to this by late Friday and even then could finish it by a Sunday evening. Contrary to my own prej
Oct 16, 2007 minnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Is it possible to be totally gripped and bored rigid at the same time ? That’s how I was for most of this book, the writing style I found stilted at first but the murder plot kept me going. Ultimately this was a bit of a let down as the plot was so convoluted, all the loose ends were tied up ‘Columbo’ style at the end. The best character was detective Littlemore, he was the only one I had any feeling for, in fact Littlemore and Younger as a detective duo were great. This book is to Psychoanalysi ...more
Dec 16, 2008 Aretha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing...last time i listen to blimin' Richard and Judy!!!
Aug 03, 2016 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read for years, a real page turner that I couldn't put down!
Jan 03, 2009 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is about a murder mystery of Elizabeth Riverford, a young socialite in the impressive Balmoral Hotel, Manhattan and the reputedly accurate recounting of a visit made by Dr Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to New York in 1909 to speak at American Universities in an age when psychoanalysis is in it's infancy.

Although not directly involved in the murder, Dr Freud offers advice to the budding psychoanalyst, Dr Stratham Younger, as to how to treat one of the murderer's surviving victims. The yo
Jed Rubenfield’s book borrows quite a few things from the famous non-fiction book The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud. To start with, the title is intentionally made to look like a spoof on the original book. The author and psychologist, Sigmund Freud is one of the characters in Rubenfield’s book. Several real characters like Carl Jung, Abraham Brill and George McClellan, Mayor of New York City appear in this fictional book.

To begin with, I liked the idea of creating a fictional story
Apr 28, 2010 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book's summary is a bit misleading in terms of Freud's overall role in the events of the book. In any case, I still really liked the story.

The main character of the book (there actually are two, but since his story is told in the first person, I'll label him as the lead,)is a young psychiatrist who is an avid follower of Sigmund Freud. He is charged with hosting Freud and several of his followers in New York before bringing him to Boston for a lecture at the university he teaches at.

Jan 22, 2012 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
Wow! I finished this, and wrote the review below, on the day I started it.

Books based on historical figures can fall into two camps: having so much speculation and fiction that one cannot always relate it to the person from the history books or their work (sorry Ms Gregory, but I think your Henry VIII is a bit like this), or making such an effort to base their conversation on things the person actually said that the dialogue becomes stilted or the person comes across as a pompous oaf, rather too
Apr 05, 2013 Phoebe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointment! I really thought I'd like this because initially it looked like it might be a blend of history, psychology, literature, & criminal investigation. Those things did provide some satisfaction, but at times it read as if the author had simply copy/pasted his college papers on Freud or Hamlet into the text, resulting in a dry, disjointed lack of continuity.
Mostly what ruined this story was the unnecessarily detailed descriptions of the sadistic sexual assaults, described in
Aug 31, 2007 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alienist lovers
Shelves: book-club-picks
First off, in my defense, I took such a long time to read this book for a reason. I only read at the gym. And lately, I have become rather, bouncy, while on the elliptical machine. When I'm bouncy, I can't read because I get seasick. So at first I'm doing ok on the machine, reading away, really into the book, and then suddenly, a bout of bounciness strikes, and I'm forced to close the book and put on my ipod. But tonight I persevered and pushed through said bounciness and kicked this book's ass! ...more
Dec 05, 2007 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This probably should get about 2 and a half stars. More than 2, because it did keep my interest. Less than three, because next to the Alienist it's a bit of a disappointment. The plot doesn't hang together like it does in the Alienist, the characters aren't as interesting, and it's too easy to figure out who did it. On the other hand, I did enjoy it, and it is worth the read.
Joanna Nelson
Feb 06, 2017 Joanna Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story, but not really sure whether the inclusion of Freud in the book added anything
Oct 25, 2011 H rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
On August 29, 1909, Dr. Sigmund Freud and his colleagues, aboard the George Washington lands in New York...

Later, on the same day, a young woman is brutally beaten and murdered in her apartment in downtown New York...

The Interpretation of Murder, written by Jed Rubenfeld, is, essentially, a murder mystery, about the strange events that happened the same week Dr. Sigmund Freud, Dr. Carl Jung and Dr. Sandor Ferenczi arrived in New York City to deliver a set of lectures.

The Interpretation of Murder
Mar 09, 2013 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book in a row that I read to have a cover blurb comparing it to Caleb Carr's The Alienist; the other was Harold Schechter's Nevermore, about Edgar Allan Poe and Davy Crockett ratiocinating together. In this instance the comparison is a little more apt, since the detection is set early in the 20th century and involves not just one but a bunch of mentalists -- in this instance psychoanalysts, among them Freud, Jung and Ferenczi, visiting the US so that Freud could deliver a ser ...more
Thomas Edmund
Aug 01, 2010 Thomas Edmund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading the interpretation of murder one has to remind themselves that this is only Rubenfeld’s first novel. Given the authorative yet easy reading style of interpretation of murder I would almost believe it if Jed had published another name.

Interpretation of murder is a murder conspiracy mystery set in the early 1900s, and based around the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s only visit to the U.S. Coincidental (or is it?) to his arrival in the U.S. a young woman is found murdered and shortly t
Devilyn (Emily)
Coinciding with Sigmund Freud’s first and only visit to the United States, there is a murder of a young debutante and the attack of another. Although Freud and his companions are in the US for a series of lectures, his American disciple Dr Younger is called on to help get to the bottom of the attack that left a young girl unable to speak or remember anything. With pieces of the investigation coming from all sides, we are lead on a trail through the human psyche.

Freud has always been an interest
This was a good vacation read. Nothing fancy, just solid writing, fantastic period detail and good pacing. The story never slowed down, not even on the parts that I didn't really enjoy.

I enjoy a good who-done-it. And this has a very satisfying twist to it and a great "reveal" of the why, when, where, etc.

The hook of the book is that Sigmund Freud himself has been called in to help solve some murders in New York City. The story is based on enough fact to make it really enjoyable. Much like some o
Dec 23, 2010 Lea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010, reviews
Having just read & enjoyed Jed Rubenfeld's second book, The Death Instinct, I had to read this book too.

The Interpretation Of Murder features Dr. Stratham Younger, a doctor & psychiatrist, & Jimmy Littlemore, NYC detective, both of whom are also in the author's second book. One thing I really appreciated about Rubenfeld's writing -- which was especially obvious when read out of order -- was the change in the characters over the 10 years between their appearances. Both Stratham &
Karen maslen
Jan 29, 2012 Karen maslen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Experienced readers of crime and thrillers tend to stifle a yawn these days when they encounter a mountain of hype about a new book or author. But the fevered word of mouth that has been generated by Jed Rubenfeld's The Interpretation of Murder is, for once, justified. This is a remarkably ambitious book, taking on a powerful suspenseful narrative, assiduously researched historical detail and a brilliant evocation of time and character. It's not surprising that the book has already been sold in ...more
Oct 07, 2008 Rosey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
hhhmmm, what to say.....

There are 2 stories running through this book. The first is a gothic murder mystery, a jolly good boys own story with enough twists and turns to keep you interested, more than one heart thumping, read faster bits, and a couple of "wow, i didn't see that coming" moments.

Sadly, there was the psychoanalysis theme as well *YAWN*. Now, i studied psychology at university, and i find the workings of the mind absolutely fascinating and criminal psychology is my bit thing BUT the
Jun 11, 2014 Hattie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
We were recommended this book to read for Psychology at college. I'm really intrigued by Freud and his work so I thought I'd give it a go. I wasn't really expecting much, but I mostly loved it. It had me gripped the whole time, I loved that it mixed psychoanalysis with murder mystery, a lovely combination. I found the characters of Littlemore and Younger particularly endearing, and I found myself wanting Nora and Younger to get together throughout. Also, I don't know if it's just my dark sense o ...more
Nov 18, 2008 Suzie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, detective
Murder mystery thriller set in early 1900s NYC including Freud and friends. Pacing is good. Historical research is good. Plot is convoluted, and if you think about it too hard at the end, you will find plot holes, and you will think it is dumb. One character randomly has 1st person narration, while the rest have 3rd, for no good reason. Everyone is not quite what they seem, except not so much. For example, the main detective is less dumb than he seems, which should be obvious if you read his dia ...more
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Jed Rubenfeld a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University and magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School is the author of the hystorical and psychoanalytical novel Intepretation of Murder.

His experience in both Shakespearean Plays and his thesis on Sigmond Frued helped him to make an anlytical yet fictional work; Intepretation of Murder.

A master in the field of Law, he has proved himsel
More about Jed Rubenfeld...

Other Books in the Series

Freud (2 books)
  • The Death Instinct (Freud, #2)

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