The Alienist : Laszlo Kreizler and John Schuyler Moore

  • by Caleb Carr
  • Narrated by George Guidall
  • Series: Laszlo Kreizler and John Schuyler Moore
  • 20 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.
The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.
Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Serial murder mystery back in 1890's New York City

Would you listen to The Alienist again? Why?


Its a fascinating look at the lifestyle of late 19th Century New York City
From the sights and smells of a culture just beginning to move from being a horse drawn society to the "Toasted Angels" ( bacon wrapped oysters broiled ) of Delmonico's Restaurant, its a glimpse of a time long gone and yet still effects us today

What other book might you compare The Alienist to and why?

I generally read science fiction or military history, but this book is part of my permanent library. It recreates a world with the same depth and development as Frank Herbert's "Dune" or Larry Niven's "The Mote in Gods Eye"

Any additional comments?

If you like historical novels about subjects not normally addressed, you should enjoy this book.

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- John

An Enjoyable Procedural

My expectations may have been too high going into this novel. It's an entertaining book but I found it overly long, bordering on tedious at times, especially because in essence, it's a pulp novel filled with larger-than-life characters. The Alienist takes a bit too much too much time to get where it's going.That said, the historical setting is interesting and Carr practically makes turn-of-the-century New York into an additional character.

George Guidall's reading is superb, one of the best I've ever heard for an audiobook. He brings the characters to life, raises the tension in scenes where it's appropriate and overall, just does a fantastic job.
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- Jim N

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-06-2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio