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Customer Reviews for

The Alienist

Average Rating 4.5
( 310 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(172)

4 Star

(93)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Great Read...Like CSI NYC - 1896

Wow. What a read. I don't think I've gone through 600 pages faster than I did with "Alienst" over the past week. The story is exciting. The writing is vivid. And the characters are interesting.

Think of this as CSI - New York - 1896. The story: a turn of the century...
Wow. What a read. I don't think I've gone through 600 pages faster than I did with "Alienst" over the past week. The story is exciting. The writing is vivid. And the characters are interesting.

Think of this as CSI - New York - 1896. The story: a turn of the century psychologist, a crime reporter, Theodore Roosevelt, and a few other detectives and support staff search for a serial killer who's horribly butchering children in New York City.

There are virtually no lulls in the story, as author Carr drops clue after clue, and slowly builds up an empirical profile of the mysterious killer. There are no obvious points to put the book down and take a breather, as I continuously found myself staying up later and later following each new lead and discovery.

The book is a bit gory. There's nothing held back in the details of bloody murders, and reflections on stories of abuse. If you're able to accept this level of realism, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book.

posted by JGolomb on June 4, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

dissapointing

For a book that i heard so much about when it was published, i was rather surprised to find how dull it was. it's an interesting subject, but the author just couldn't pull it off.

posted by Anonymous on January 19, 2000

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 310 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 16
  • Posted June 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read...Like CSI NYC - 1896

    Wow. What a read. I don't think I've gone through 600 pages faster than I did with "Alienst" over the past week. The story is exciting. The writing is vivid. And the characters are interesting.

    Think of this as CSI - New York - 1896. The story: a turn of the century psychologist, a crime reporter, Theodore Roosevelt, and a few other detectives and support staff search for a serial killer who's horribly butchering children in New York City.

    There are virtually no lulls in the story, as author Carr drops clue after clue, and slowly builds up an empirical profile of the mysterious killer. There are no obvious points to put the book down and take a breather, as I continuously found myself staying up later and later following each new lead and discovery.

    The book is a bit gory. There's nothing held back in the details of bloody murders, and reflections on stories of abuse. If you're able to accept this level of realism, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thriller Fans, put this at the top of your lists!

    I am typically a very slow reader, but when I get something really great, I go through it too fast. This is one of those books. The characters are compelling, but the plot and setting are so unusual. The historical details are so interesting. It is hand over fist one of the most intelligent thrillers I have ever read. I generally love historical thrillers anyway, but this one is top notch. If you are a fan of the genre and haven't yet read it then this must go to the top of your list!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    A rewarding read!

    I absolutely loved this book!
    There is a little bit of everything in this novel--part murder mystery, part psychological thriller, with a generous dose of historical accuracy thrown in. The reader is thrown into New York City at the turn of the 20th century, where the field of psychology is fighting to emerge into legitimacy. A rag-tag team is formed to stop a serial killer brutally murdering child prostitutes using rudimentary criminological science. It's fusion with real characters of the time (Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan) with an electrifying story made it impossible to put down. I can't wait to read the sequel!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    A book I hated to have end

    Reading Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter recently caused me to remember how much I had enjoyed this book years before.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great book. The story is intriguing and the writing st

    This is a great book. The story is intriguing and the writing style engaging and fun. The time is 1896 and the place is New York City. Police commissioner is Teddy Roosevelt, the future President of the US. And the search is on for a serial killer of children, mainly young boys involved in the sex trade. The story is fictional but uses real scientific premises and psychological/forensic theories to contextualize the story of the young investigators, including the first New York City Police female secretary. She is also a good shot with a revolver and an early feminist advocate. The murderer is a fiendish, very damaged individual and how the investigators search out clues, tease out his psychology and finally set their trap makes this novel a great read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    An excellent historical mystery

    I've read this book twice now. The depiction of turn of the century New York is richly envisioned. Teddy Roosevelt is fascinating. The characters are fully developed people you can care about.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2000

    dissapointing

    For a book that i heard so much about when it was published, i was rather surprised to find how dull it was. it's an interesting subject, but the author just couldn't pull it off.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    One of my absolute favorites.

    Everyone I've recomended this to has loved it as well. A great mix of history, mystery and suspense.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Excellently written. Best book Ive read recently.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Buy this book

    This is my first online book review. I am a pathological reader with high standards for plot accuracy and complexity/writing quality and character development. Although i have read thousands of books in my time THIS is one of the top five I have ever curled up with and enjoyed. Plunk down your VISA card number and beprepared to enter a steamy funky immigrant world in old NY where the men are brilliant, the girls are brave and tough and the murders are spooky and scary not to mention the politicians who never seem to change. Buy it read it and keepit to reread over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    I've read this multiple times.

    This book is amazing. Attention to detail, timeline characteristics, and a rag tag group to pull it together. This book will catch you in the first twenty pages (first 10 for me).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Cannot put it down

    Marvelous account of the "birth" of forensic psychology in crime solving. Dark, disturbing, and full of intriguing historic detail, plus a team of oddly assorted investigators wjo rival anything currently on television. A fantastic read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Best book!

    Fantastic turn of the century historical fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2011

    Good, but not thrilling enough

    Set at the end of the 19th century in New York and with a dark, gloomy Edgar Allan Poe savor, this original novel approaches the crime genre from another angle, profiling, that is, getting into the mind of a serial murderer, step by step through forensic deductive sciences and psychological insights arising from the knowledge and technology available at that time. The plot featured as a blend of historical fiction and psychological thriller, it is well constructed, but it goes at a very slow pace sometimes with very tedious pitfallings. Though in general has a fair resolution, the events that give way to the definition suddenly speed up too much in relation to the very long slow prior structure of the plot, subtly tarnishing the quality of the story overall. Deep and complex requires concentration and patience

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Awesome page-turner!

    Loved this book! I found the story gripping, the plot well-planned, and the book itself written very well. I have never read this author before but am now looking to see what else he has written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2014

    loved the holmes vibe to this book

    loved the holmes vibe to this book

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  • Posted February 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Very good historical fiction!

    Caleb Carr weaves an interesting tale in and out of history. While the crimes are gruesome, the methods of solving those crimes is fascinating to see in their infancy. While at times I felt Carr was unnecessarily wordy, his prose was very good. The characters were complex and even the writing style somewhat unusual, in a good way. I'm looking forward to checking out more by Carr.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Great read.

    Found it captivating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Wonderful historical crime

    If I like a book I will read it more than once. I have read this book four times, and each time I am just as caught up in the characters and the story as if it was my first time. If you enjoy historical crime/thrillers, this book will not disappoint!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    Carr is dead on

    Great mystery novel. Move over Sherlock Holmes!

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 310 Customer Reviews
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