The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1) The Alienist discussion

psycopathic killers and the new psychology

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DianeMP 3 stars
The Alienist by Caleb Carr is not tagged “social issue.” However, I think topics and themes which form the core of the story are social issues. The main character, Dr. Laszlo Kriezler, is an alienist or psychologist. During the time frame of the story, the end of the 19th century, psychology was a burgeoning field as- of- yet not accepted by the majority of the populace. Most people of the Gilded Age viewed the field with skepticism and “profiling” killers as downright ridiculous. Killers were born not made.
With a twisted, perverse murderer of young prostitute boys on the loose in New York City, Theodore Roosevelt, then NYC Police Commissioner, engages the services of Dr. Laszlo Kriezler, reporter John Moore and unabashed feminist Sara Howard to catch the killer and solve the crime.
I gave the book three stars. It took forever to read as it didn’t hold my interest. Too many digressions into the rise of steak houses, Mr. Moore’s fall from grace from New York’s finest families, and the NYC Metropolitan Opera. These are a few of the details I found distracting and eventually boring. I would put the book down and later force myself to read it. I hate that! I am not a believer of having to finish every book I start. This may have been the first and the last I force myself to read. Too many good books to get hung up like that.
I know that many people who loved this book will disagree with me. Sorry- each to his or her own. The only question that now remains is should I read the sequel?

Jack I'm currently reading the sequel but, in not way it can hold up to the first. If you didn't like the first one, yet I absolutely loved it, I wouldn't recommend the second book. Something off topic I would like to mention is that there will be a show based off the first book on the 22nd of January on TBS.

Karin Isberg I loved the book (and liked the sequel), however, I had a hard time getting started with it. In fact, I found it extremely dense to the point I had to put it down. It was a little over a year before I decided to try it again, and then I found it brilliant. I'm not sure why that happened, or what changed my ability or desire to give it another go, but I am glad I did. In fact, once I finished it I went right away to the sequel. I am now enjoying the TBS series and find it fascinating revisiting the characters in this format.

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