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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (53,184 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Caleb Carr Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Laszlo Kreizler and John Schuyler Moore Series Release Date: May 1994 ISBN: 9780743520089
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A new breed of evil in Old New York

New York, 1986: Lower Manhattan's underworld is ruled by a new generation of cold-blooded criminals...Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt battles widespread corruption within the department's ranks...and a shockingly brutal murder sets off an investigation that could change crime-fighting forever.

In the middle of a wintry March night, New York Times reporter John Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a brilliant pioneer in the new and much-maligned discipline of psychology, the emerging study of society's "alienated" mentally ill. There they view the horribly mutilated body of a young boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels. Supervised by Commissioner Roosevelt, the newsman and his "alienist" mentor embark on a revolutionary attempt to identify the killer by assembling his psychological profile -- a dangerous quest that 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.

As rich in vivid period ambience as Ragtime and Time and Again, and as relentlessly suspenseful as Red Dragon or The Silence of the Lambs, The Alienist will take you to a New York that no longer exists -- to confront an evil of timeless savagery. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “You can smell the fear in the air.” 

    New York Times

  • “Gripping, atmospheric, intelligent, and entertaining.” 

    USA Today

  • “A high-spirited, charged-up and unfailingly smart thriller.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “This story boasts a veracious historical feel and a tight plot that keeps open the murderer's identity to the end. An original that fits no established mystery niche, Carr’s fictional debut could be the start of something big.” 

    Booklist

  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1995Anthony Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 1994Bram Stoker Award Nominee
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Barnes & Noble Recommends Selection chosen by Gillian Flynn
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terence Mcallister | 2/20/2014

    " "Criminal Minds" in 1890s New York, it was fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dany | 2/15/2014

    " Would make a great movie... If it is not one already. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mckenna Coyle | 2/13/2014

    " I LOVED this book! Caleb Carr did a fantastic job composing it. The Alienist is a longer book, but as I was reading, I never wanted to put it down. I do not recommend this book though, to people who cannot take gory details. The descriptions of the murders are extremely vivid. Also there is a lot of violence and illegal things that take place over the story so anyone who is a "light and happy" person might not want to read this story. For all others who can stomach such a novel, I advise you to read it! The mystery and psychology behind every clue is amazing. The history is right on point, I found no fault with the book. There was no slow chapters, all were packed with new murders and evidence, drawing the group closer to solving the case. The Alienist by Caleb Carr is a must read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nowreen | 2/6/2014

    " totally boring...could barely get through it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 1/31/2014

    " Great book. You really get the feel of walking around 1896 New York City. Of course, you also get the sensation of profiling a gruesome serial killer, so if that's something that bothers you...you may want to skip this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lex Crane | 1/25/2014

    " Quite good. I believe Sherlock Holmes was actually mentioned in the book. It felt like an introductions to the developmental processes pre-Sherlock to me with a bit less of the theoretically fantastical. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 1/24/2014

    " Glad to be done with this book. It was slow going and really jammed up my reading progress. While the mystery and late 1800s NYC setting were interesting at times, it seemed like the author shoved as much of his research as he possibly could into the book without regard for whether it worked in the narrative. Would've been a much better book at 300 pages instead of 600. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rayne Wylder | 1/21/2014

    " Something drew me to this when I saw it in the bookstore and I have never regretted buying it. The story takes place at a point where 'profiling' was as yet unheard of and, for a disciple of deviant psychology, it's interesting to see the techniques unfold. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne O'donnell | 1/11/2014

    " Something about this book intrigued me -- still don't know why "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcie | 1/8/2014

    " I have now read this book twice. I love it and love the details and the history. Caleb Carr is a great author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan Keating | 1/5/2014

    " Could not put it down. Please Caleb more of the history of the best city in the world "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Quincess Za | 12/26/2013

    " Tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers adrenaline rushing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacy Huber | 12/18/2013

    " Loved the suspense, characters, settings everything about this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 12/1/2013

    " One of my all time favorites. I read it in 95', 99', 05' and 2010. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anni | 11/9/2013

    " The morbid-ness of the murders is completely overruled by the psychology of finding the murderer. The year is 1890 something so some of the ideas are old but most of them are still used today. Definitely worth the read if the gory-ness does not bother you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lela | 10/26/2013

    " This book haunted me for years. The honest realism of it was admirable even though disturbing. Our society had a ways to go in the understanding of what makes people kill. I suppose we still do. Really good writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Melo | 10/9/2013

    " Love historcal fiction!! Couldn't put the book down and sigh...it's over. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken Goach | 9/25/2013

    " I loved this book. Fantastic mystery, sort of a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Silence of the Lambs. The sequel was not nearly as good, unfortunately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise Waggoner | 11/12/2012

    " A Deliciously gory mystery that bring 1896 NYC and forensics to life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 9/8/2012

    " If you love historical fiction and intrigue, this is the book for you, hands down. An amazing novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meghan Anderson | 3/1/2012

    " I thought this was an entertaining book from a historical-fiction standpoint, but I felt that the writing wasn't very good and it all sort of fell apart at the end. If you dig crime and/or historical fiction, you might enjoy this, but I was a little disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Hamburger | 9/23/2011

    " Very good read, Carr is not only a historical expert in this one, but owns a good grip on suspense. He paints the picture of post industrial revolution NYC so vividly you can almost smell the poor sewage system. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie Trdenic | 9/12/2011

    " My favorite time and place drew me to this book. Good mystery and I lived the inclusion of real-life characters, such as Teddy Roosevelt as chief of police (which he was at the time.) a real page-turner for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Knight | 9/11/2011

    " Well written, but terrifying and gruesome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 7/26/2011

    " A decent but not great serial killer mystery. It's different only because it features Teddy Roosevelt when he was Police Commissioner of New York. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 7/21/2011

    " Really great fun read. Some interesting historic facts and characters added interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 6/30/2011

    " I could not put this book down...a great mystery/historical fiction book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 6/26/2011

    " One of the best crime/mystery novels I have ever read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denise | 6/26/2011

    " Very thrilling, a bit too blood and guts for my tastes......read it 10 years ago and it is definitely one of the most well-written thrillers I've ever read. Call me squeamish but I was turned off by all the detailed torture and murder descriptions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 6/22/2011

    " Wish I could give this book 4.5 stars. It was awesome but just short of a 5 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 6/21/2011

    " Love historcal fiction!! Couldn't put the book down and sigh...it's over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katarina | 6/14/2011

    " Deliciously dark. Vivid historical setting, but the suspense and action never got bogged down in the history or the style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 6/13/2011

    " It took me awhile to get into this book. It was a bit gruesome, but very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gale | 6/13/2011

    " I bought this book at New York's Tenement Museum. It is a murder mystery set in the Lower East Side of New York around the turn of the century. It is historically interesting as well as suspenseful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 6/10/2011

    " Loved this book. I've read many books about the psychology behind profiling serial killers & found this to be among the best. Lots of history thrown in also, which was great! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Verena | 6/10/2011

    " Slow, but almost perfect.... Looking forward to the next installment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 6/9/2011

    " One of the BEST historical fictions written mixing fictional characters with real life people. Carr has a true flair for bringing you into New York City of the day. You can see, hear and smell the city. A great thriller - one that paved the way for many many followers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 6/4/2011

    " Excellent! References to the Chicago mass murderer who was still at large. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heron | 6/1/2011

    " A masterful piece of speculative historical fiction. I enjoyed every second of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah | 6/1/2011

    " One of my favorite books. Well written, challenging mystery. Subject matter is not appropriate for YA readers, in my opinion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 5/29/2011

    " Excellent book. Interesting and suspenseful throughout. It's not a quick read but I became totally engrossed with it. This book was recommended by Roger F "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chuck | 5/25/2011

    " I thought it was a well written book. Maybe a little on the long side and a bit over done in parts. I can't say I found myself wanting to pick it up again after putting it down but am glad I read it all the same. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brittany | 5/24/2011

    " An ancient Criminal Minds episode! Captivating and full of suspense, I found myself working the case as though I was part of Kreizler's team, too. "

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About the Author
Author Caleb Carr

Caleb Carr is a novelist, military historian, and screenwriter. He is the son of beat generation figure Lucien Carr, and he received a degree in military and diplomatic history from New York University. Some of his fiction and nonfiction work includes Casing the Promised Land, The Angel of Darkness, The Italian Secretary, and The Lessons of Terror. He was a contributing screenwriter to Exorcist: The Beginning and shared a screenplay credit on Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, which received high praise.

About the Narrator

Edward Herrmann (1943–2014) was one of America’s top audiobook narrators. He won multiple Earphones and Audie Awards, and his narration of the King James version of the Bible remains a benchmark in the industry.