The Alienist The Alienist discussion


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I love this book!

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message 1: by Pat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pat Gerber-Relf Another episode in american history as a byline. I enjoyed this book very much - I could feel the time that it took part in, the arrival of the immigrants in New York and the story was very good. I learnt something about the first Roosevelt president - he was a real family man.


Jennifer I have yet to read it, but I just picked up Satan's Circus: Murder, Vice, Police Corruption, and New York's Trial of the Century. It sounds much like the Alienist (the setting is Manhattan, it's about murder and police corruption and makes mention of Roosevelt). Only difference is it's nonfiction. So, although you didn't ask for a suggestion on something to read next, I'm making one.


Valerie Knox Someone told me to read this book because at the time, all I reading was romance novels. I figured, why not a change of pace. I was quite surprised, I liked it very much. And Jennifer Satan's Circle does sound like The Alienist. I just might pick this up - Thanks


message 4: by Ruth (last edited Oct 27, 2011 07:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruth Kevghas This book is well known in my field of work-- I am a Sex Offender Therapist-- The author even spoke at a conference I attended out in San Diego in 2004 (I think it was). Awesome in person too. His other books are very good also!


message 5: by Tim (last edited Jan 27, 2012 06:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim Does anyone know of another other books that take place during this time period? They don;t have to be criminal fiction books, but I want them to describe NY in the same non-fictional/historical fiction context during the "industrial revolution"

Anywhere from, the 1860's to the 1910's.

So basically I am looking for Historical Fiction novels that take place anywhere from the 1860's to the 1910's in the Northeast, New York or Boston.(As I have the read the Dante Club)Even London will work, since I have read a couple Sherlock Holmes. Again they dont have to be criminal/murder/horror driven plots though. But I would like them to describe these cities in the same fashion those books did (ie: Not semi fancy like The Great Gatsby)

Thanks.


Becky Tim wrote: "Does anyone know of another other books that take place during this time period? They don;t have to be criminal fiction books, but I want them to describe NY in the same non-fictional/historical fi..."

The Virgin Cure is set in NY in the same time period.
Also, Caleb Carr wrote a sequel to the Alienist, The Angel of Darkness. I found it to be very similar to The Alienist though


Brenda Elizabeth Street starts out in Italy in the 1880's and moves to NY during the late 1800's and early 1900's.
The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness are 2 of my favorite books. I have read most of what Carr has written though have not always enjoyed them as much as these 2 books.


Becky Elizabeth Street looks good I'll have to check it out.
I think read a book about the Black Hand a few years ago, but I can't remember what it was.


message 9: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ To Tim - Devil in the White City is a great historical fiction that takes place in Chicago (more the midwest)but based on true stories of the Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer in Chicago at the time. Great book!

Loved both the Alienist and The Angel of Darkness!


Michelle Garthe This is Caleb Carr's best book. I loved it. Angel of Darkness was good too but this one is fantastic.


message 11: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Westerfield I wish he would write another book in this series.


message 12: by Carol (last edited Mar 16, 2012 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol The Alienist is a thrilling novel. I stayed up into the late night reading it and enjoyed every word. Caleb Carr is a superb writer!


Whitney Tim wrote: "Does anyone know of another other books that take place during this time period? They don;t have to be criminal fiction books, but I want them to describe NY in the same non-fictional/historical fi..."

The Waterworks, by E.L. Doctorow has lots of details of underworld New York in the 1870's, and a somewhat ridiculous but enjoyable criminal plot. It drew a lot of comparisons with The Alienist for it's similar setting and theme. Doctorow's Ragtime is set in turn of the century New York and has three families representative of the times.


Marcia Forecki I bought this book a few years ago, to take on vacation. I was intrigued by the cover. I could not put this book down. We went to the Ozarks, and I spent more time in the hotel room reading than I did enjoying the lake. I could feel the opressive closeness of the tenaments, people crowded together in the heat, noise and soot of turn of the century New York.


Catherine This is one of my favorite books. I've recommended it to several people. I think it's brilliant!


message 16: by T.M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

T.M. M. Brenner The Alienist is one of my biggest inspirations for writing my novel Luminaries. I loved both it and Angel of Darkness. Carr is definitely one of my favorite authors.


Jeanine I read it in one sitting. I simply couldn't put it down.


Jeanine MJ wrote: "To Tim - Devil in the White City is a great historical fiction that takes place in Chicago (more the midwest)but based on true stories of the Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer in Chicago at ..."

Devil in the White City is another excellent read.


Carolyn In answer to message 5 - There's a book called Time *+& TIme Again by Jack Finley. It's an illustrated novel that takes you back to NYC in 1882. It's a mystery and quite well written. It was on the NYT bestseller list for some time.
I think you'll like it.
As for the Alienist - I took a day off from work so I could finish it. Couldn't put it down.

Carolyn


Brenda I read this book years ago. I got it at a yard sale. It was a GREAT story. Unfortunately, the second book he wrote, was just awful. It just went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

And you think what I just posted was annoying, this is nothing compared to the second book. And the third book I couldn't get past the first chapter.

So, don't bother with his 2nd and 3rd book in the series. Don't waste your time. This is my opinion of course.


Marcia Forecki I agree, Brenda. We can't recapture the joy of our first love, and I think the same is true of book and movie sequels. The magic of The Alienist was its cast of characters. They were all so different from each other, and they had to learn to trust each other and work together. In the second book, they already knew and liked each other, so that initial tension was missing, and the story had to be much flatter. Also, Sarasota NY was not as intriguing as the immigrant tenaments of the city. The third book, I didn't even finish.


Brenda my understanding is he has a fourth book out. i hope not. what a waste of paper and ink.

like i said, i got the first book at a yardsale. so when the second one was coming out i got on the presale list and was all excited. talk about disappointment. i could barely finish the book.

the third one i found as paperback at a closing k-mart store for $1. and after i started reading that it wasn't worth it. how awful.

Marcia, do you have any suggestions for books like this one. The first was good.


Marcia Forecki Brenda, a book that comes to mind which was equally engrossing to me, and full of historical and cultural information new to me, is The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Don't be put off by the Dracula connection, this is not a vampire story at all. It's gothic and mystery, and quite unique. It was actually recommended to me by a native Bulgarian who vouched for its historical and geographic accuracy. I loved it.


Brenda thanks. i'll see if i can get it for my nook or from the library


message 25: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma Debruyne Hoho wait, there is a third book,... of Lazlo Kreizler.
What is its title! Lazlo is my constant companion, he helps me trough boring classes and dull trainrides with his intresting conversations or often just with his company. I'm afraid I've developed an imaginary friend!


Marcia Forecki The third book is set in the future, right?
Caleb Carr also wrote a new Sherlock Holmes book, sanctioned by the Doyle estate, as I understand it. Anyone read that?


James Its called the The Italian Secretary I enjoyed it and I'm picky about Holmes


Sabrina Flynn I just finished this book too, and loved it, although the ending was so-so. I would have liked to see more of Lazlo. Did anyone else feel like the serial killer was the main character of the book?

There's a new book out called 'Gods of Gotham' that is set in 1845 New York when the very first police force is established. The author is Lyndsay Faye, who also wrote an awesome Sherlock Holmes book where he's investigating the Whitechapel murders. It's called 'Dust and Shadows'. I highly recommend both books, especially if you liked the Alienist.


message 29: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue Merrell I read this one about 10 years ago and loved it too. Glad that so many people are still discovering it.


message 30: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma Debruyne But that third book isn't about Lazlo isn't it? I'm waiting on another book in the Lazlo Kreizler series because I think there are some pretty good caracters in there and I would like to see more of them. I've heard about the Italian Secretairy but I didn't tried reading it because I'm also a bit carefull with Sherlock Holmes stories. But maybe I should try it!


Brenda Marcia wrote: "The third book is set in the future, right?
Caleb Carr also wrote a new Sherlock Holmes book, sanctioned by the Doyle estate, as I understand it. Anyone read that?"


I'm not reading anything more by Caleb Carr. He's just too boring for me.


HeatherGunsalus I loved this book when it first came out and thought about reading it again very soon. Carr doesn't just write historical fiction like other authors, he is an actual historian, which is probably why he writes in the manner he does. He doesn't want to leave out any historical detail, no matter how small and maybe unrelated to the storyline.


Caroline Bartels I remember when this book came out back in the early/mid-90s and I poo-pooed it because everyone was reading it and I was just a bit annoyed by it but I read it recently and LOVED it...wow, what a great crime novel and as someone who lives in NYC, it was absolutely fascinating to read the story and know exactly where Carr is referring in so many scenes.


message 34: by Cy (new) - added it

Cy I picked up this book for twenty-five cents at a library booksale because it was practically free and I had some pocket change. It sat on my shelf for two years before I, on a whim, decided to read it.

I blew through the book in about three days. It's just that great. In the years since, I've probably read it and its sequel a dozen times easily and will probably read them again many times more. I wholeheartedly recommend the book to all of my friends (if I know they can stomach the graphic depictions of the murders and such) and have gotten back nothing but praise and gratitude for the suggestion. For years I've been waiting to hear about a third book in the series. It's been nearly ten long and trying years since then and I have yet to give up hope.


Andrew Clawson This is by far my favorite book of all time. It was when I first read it about fifteen years ago, and it still is today. The way Carr immerses the reader in turn of the century NYC is unmatched.


Carol One of my favorites of all time. It was a page turner from start to finish. I know a book is good when I am sad that it ends!


message 37: by Tomerobber (last edited Aug 16, 2012 01:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tomerobber This book and it's sequel have been in a bag of books I planned to donate to my local library . . maybe I should drag them back out ;-) I read both of them years ago and always hoped he would write more books involving the characters in them . . sigh! . . I guess I'll never get to see that happen . . . but if you have a chance to find a copy of either of them . . . you're in for a treat.
The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1) by Caleb Carr The Angel of Darkness (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #2) by Caleb Carr by Caleb Carr Caleb Carr


message 38: by Dave (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dave Tim wrote: "Does anyone know of another other books that take place during this time period? They don;t have to be criminal fiction books, but I want them to describe NY in the same non-fictional/historical fi..."

Ruth wrote: "This book is well known in my field of work-- I am a Sex Offender Therapist-- The author even spoke at a conference I attended out in San Diego in 2004 (I think it was). Awesome in person too. His..."

I recommend David McCullough's "The Great Bridge" (1972). A great piece of historical writing on the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.


Carolyn Tim - I'm reading a mystery series from Victoria Thompson. She calls it her gaslight mysteries. There are 14 books an they take place in NY during the time Roosevelt is commissioner. She also describes the old area of NYC long forgotten. And, like the Alienist - the characters are believable.


David A. Tim: Check out Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy series set in NYC in the years you are interested in.
For a series set in London, check out Will Thomas's Barker/Llewellyn series.
And hang in there, I heard a while ago that more Victoria Thompson books are coming.


Alexes I, too, loved The Alienist. At the time, I hadn't read anything that transported me to another time and place quite so completely. I may have to dig it out and read it again.


message 42: by Daniel (new) - added it

Daniel I found the second book in this series (if this is a series) is it any good? The first was good. Just looking for an opinion before I start such a large book


message 43: by Marcia (last edited Sep 20, 2012 06:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcia Forecki The Angel of Darkness The second book was well done. Carr used the same group of characters, but focused on the female character from The Alienist. (Sorry, name escapes me.) Lazlo is a minor character in this book. I can't say I was disappointed by the book, but it just did not carry the punch of the first. I don't know if Carr intended to do a series of books, each focusing on a different character from the ensemble. But, he has not done that, and maybe the lack of enthusiasm about Angel of Darkness was part of the reason - or maybe he just got interested in other projects. Writers follow the shiny idea sometimes.


message 44: by C.s. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.s. Thompson Jennifer wrote: "I have yet to read it, but I just picked up Satan's Circus: Murder, Vice, Police Corruption, and New York's Trial of the Century. It sounds much like the Alienist (the setting is Manhattan, it's ab..."

Thanks for the tip. I loved The Alienist so I'll give it a try


message 45: by Fill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Fill Corey MJ wrote: "To Tim - Devil in the White City is a great historical fiction that takes place in Chicago (more the midwest)but based on true stories of the Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer in Chicago at ..."

MJ, I think if you read the jacket & liner notes you'll find that DWC is entirely well-researched non-fiction. I seem to recall that the author even refrains from inventing dialog; anything in quotation marks can be backed up in his references.


Euraylie This is one of my all-time favorites. Just recently re-read it. I also loved the sequel, by sadly Caleb Carr's other books didn't really do it for me.


Stephen Welch Definitely one of my favorites as well. Terrific as historical fiction ... loved how it transported me to the NYC of the time.


message 48: by Eric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eric Andrews-Katz Originally, Carr wanted to write a different mystery from each of the main (group) character's perspectives. That's why The Angel of Darkness is the same characters but a different protagonist. (It's also not as good).
I really enjoyed this book. I looked up Albert Fish (one of the psycho basis for this killer) and found HIM to be just as disturbing if not more so.
I wish he continued with the idea from different character perspectives, but I also hope to enjoy them as much as I did this one.


message 49: by Dale (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dale Kutzera It's one of my favorite books of all time. I'd kill to make it into a movie, but the rights have been locked up for a long time. The sequel was a major step down.


message 50: by Fred (new) - rated it 4 stars

Fred I read this book some years ago and loved it. Without a doubt my favorite Caleb Carr novel. Highly recommend it.


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