Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Alienist by Caleb Carr Review

My best friend recommended me the show a couple of years back, and I loved it. Wanted to check out the book too, and when it was picked in the Book Lovers Club on Discord, I finally got around to it!

This book is up all my alleys. It's dark, set in victorian times, a murder mystery and investigation.. I immediately loved it, and got Sherlock Holmes vibes from the writing style. It's like it could have been a victorian novel, but it is modernized just enough; you've got diverse characters, with more progressive views, but we are still shown how things usually were back then. The Isaacson brothers provided a nice comedic relief to all the brutalness.

I love how we get a historical architectural tour of New York, the detailed description of their investigation (which uses methods that were very modern at the time, that are completely normal today), how politics is blended in, and other historical details sprinkled in throughout.

I thought the chapters were pretty much perfectly set up, they all seemed to be timed well. I guess I noticed because I've read a bunch of books lately where the chapters are super short for no reason, or just to create cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. I loved the writing, but I can see that it could be wordy for some people. The ending was good, I was worried it would feel a little rushed when I noticed how few pages were left, but it didn't feel that way to me. I do wonder how the ending sets up the next book. I've already seen season 2 of the show, but I of course want to read the second book. I think I'll wait a little until my memory of the show has faded. By the time I read this, I had forgotten most plot details from the first season. Think I'll give that a re-watch now! I also see that there's a third book coming up next year, so definitely wanna snap that one up too! Hopefully that'll give us a third season of the show as well.

Oh, and let me show you my outfit inspired by Sara Howard! She's such a badass, I love her. Fun fact; Both me and Dakota Fanning who plays her in the show were born the year this book came out!

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