I found this book “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr at the flea market for three for a dollar. I hated the cover because it looked old fashioned, but the story sounded good, so I picked it up. I read a lot of books. I am now an author and I like to learn from other more accomplished authors.
First of all, I have to congratulate Caleb Carr. My first book will only be 157 pages when it comes out. This book was nearly six hundred pages and it was a paperback book. The length of this book reminds me of some old Stephen King books from the past. “The Alienist” was a long book about serial killers, but a good book none the less.
I enjoyed “The Alienist” very much. It was well written and very interesting. However, I found myself getting bored and sleepy sometimes while I read the book. I had to put it down, so I would not fall asleep. This interests me very much. I read a very interesting book and it makes me sleepy. This is why I think the book had such an effect on me. It was very scientific in a way. Caleb Carr is obviously a very intelligent writer. I could see his intelligence throughout the pages of his book. The problem for me is this, when a writer is too intelligent, I find myself getting sleepy. I know it is strange, but that is me. So I had a problem with this aspect of the book. It wasn’t one of those page turner types of books to me. I honestly had to put it down because it made me sleepy. No lie.
“The Alienist” was about a serial killer who killed young boys. All of these young boys were boy prostitutes who sold themselves for a sort of living. They put makeup on themselves to make them look like women. Dr. Kriezler headed the investigation, along with his friend Mr. Moore, and a pretty girl named Sarah. They investigated in secret with the help of two police officers who were on loan to them. But there was more to the book than the serial killer. There was Teddy Roosevelt. The author showed the importance of the man to NY City in the late 1800’s. Mr. Roosevelt was both important and very interesting. He was also popular in political circles. His children seemed to be intelligent and a bit on the wild side. The author showed me things about NY City in the late 1800’s which I had no idea about. The city was dangerous, but more dangerous than I could have imagined. Police men were at times hired killers. Many people lived in slums without running water or sewage. The rich lived wonderfully while the poor lived like scum. Many young boys had to become boy prostitutes just to survive. People could be bought for just about anything if you had the money to pay them. There seemed to be so much conspiracy in the 1800’s. I thought conspiracy was made for our generation, but it obviously has been around for a long time. It was interesting to learn that doctors who studied serial killers and crazy people were considered quacks in the 1800’s Caleb Carr brought the late 1800’s alive for me. I am a history buff and I love to learn things about our American history.
“The Alienist” was creative and very suspenseful. It took forever to find out who the killer was. Good people were hurt and even killed. I found myself enjoying the characters. The serial killer was captured and killed near the end of the book. I won’t give the whole book away because I hate it when people do this to me. I found it interesting how investigating techniques back then were very different. It was very hard to get any physical evidence off from the crime scene. Now, we can DNA off crime scenes and match killers much easier than 115-120 years ago.
If you like a page turner type of book. This book is not it. If you are like me, you have to put it down to give your brain a rest. However, if you take the time and energy, “The alienist” is worth the long tedious journey. It is very interesting and makes you think a lot. Carr hides the identity of the killer for a long time. He puts the characters together very well. They become a part of you throughout the book. I would love to read another one of his books, but I am sure I will need a pillow, so I can take a rest between chapters.
Give this book, “The Alienist” a chance. It started out slow for me and I almost gave up on it. I’m glad I didn’t because it was worth it even though at times it bored me and nearly put me to sleep. If you like to read about serial Killers, “The Alienist” is the book for you.