New Op-Ed in the NY Daily News

The Lessons of TerrorA new Op-Ed from Caleb Carr appeared in the New York Daily News this morning. An excerpt from the piece, entitled “Defeating ISIS, slowly but surely: Don’t panic, and don’t expect a Hiroshima moment,” along with a link to the full Op-Ed, can be found below.

Particularly in view of such achievements as the killing last week of Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli — who was, in effect, the treasurer of the Islamic State — it is more vital than ever that the U.S. does not allow events such as the Brussels attacks to derail our current overall strategy against that enemy.

To understand more fully why, we should take a close, honest look at what happened in the capital of the European Union.

Continue reading at the New York Daily News.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, in his life outside of fiction writing Caleb Carr is a military historian who has authored a number of non-fiction works including The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians in 2002. You can read more about The Lessons of Terror, along with Mr. Carr’s other non-fiction works, in the Other Books section of 17th Street.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

Social Media Updates

Over the past few weeks a considerable amount of news has been released about TNT’s TV adaptation of The Alienist, along with Caleb Carr’s upcoming novel, Surrender, New York. As more news will continue to appear over the coming weeks and months for both of these projects, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to highlight a few social media channels that may help you stay up to date. In addition to these, remember that the fastest way to stay up to date is via Twitter and Google+.

Instagram

If you haven’t already taken a peek at 17th Street’s new instagram account, I recommend you do so. In addition to posting occasional news from 17th Street, it is currently featuring a virtual tour of several New York City locations from The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, presented in the order they appear in the novels along with relevant quotes from the novels. So far (see below) we have visited John at 19 Washington Square North, accompanied him to the first murder scene at the Williamsburg Bridge, and have arrived at the Kreizler Institute for Children to visit Dr. Kreizler. What location will be next? To find out, follow us @17thstreetnet!

Facebook

Although 17th Street does not have a dedicated Facebook page, you can find the latest information about Surrender, New York at a Facebook page that has recently appeared. As we get closer to the release of the novel, presumably the dates and locations of book signings, along with any other news that may be of interest of Caleb Carr’s readers, will be released there as well as on 17th Street.

2 Comments

Surrender, New York – Cover Released

Surrender, New YorkEarlier this week, the finalised cover for Caleb Carr’s upcoming novel, Surrender, New York, was released by Random House — and I, for one, love it! To view the cover in full size, click the image to the right.

Atmospheric and reminiscent of The Alienist’s original cover, it seems like a perfect fit for a contemporary thriller whose protagonist, Dr. Trajan Jones, is described in the novel’s synposis as, “the world’s leading expert on the life and work of one Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, the hero of The Alienist, in whose brilliant but unconventional footsteps he follows.” On the novel’s page at Amazon, Caleb Carr also noted, “This book is essentially a modern application of the principles and theories of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler to criminal behavior, especially that directed at children.” To read the full synopsis, please visit the new Surrender, New York page in the ‘Other Books’ section of 17th Street.

This should be an exciting addition to Mr. Carr’s oeuvre for readers who enjoyed the Alienist books, and it is due for release by Random House on August 23, 2016. If you would like to pre-order, you can do so at Amazon or via one of the other retailers listed on the Penguin Random House website.

6 Comments

Audition Recordings from The Alienist TV Series

Earlier this week, I reported that a troubling audition recording for the role of Marcus Isaacson in The Alienist TV series had surfaced publicly on Vimeo. The recording suggested that Marcus had taken a woman with a baby into his family’s house so that he could “fornicate” with her. As any Alienist reader would know, this is completely inconsistent with Marcus’ portrayal in the novel. Since posting this, I have been made aware that several more — equally troubling — audition recordings have surfaced, also publicly on Vimeo (see below).

I am making this public because it disturbs me significantly that the team working on this adaptation appear to be corrupting the characters from the novel. Please note that this concern does not relate to the actors whose recordings have surfaced; it relates exclusively to the script they are reading from. Although most of the recordings have now been pulled down, I strongly encourage Alienist readers to share your feelings about what is being done to your favourite characters and spread this news to any other fans of the novel that you know.

Sara Howard

One of the most offensive portrayals in the audition recordings relates to Sara Howard. In the worst scene, Sara is portrayed as silly and immature, giggling and unable to bring herself to say the word penis, before naively asking her maid about the size of one she saw earlier that day. (This from a character who, in the The Angel of Darkness, told John, “even through the sheets I could clip off both your testicles with one shot — so I advise you to unhand me.”)

In another scene that does not appear in the novel, she indicates that she could be enticed to steal coronial reports, betraying Theodore Roosevelt’s trust, if John would portray Roosevelt and herself in a more flattering light in The New York Times.

The recording has now been removed.

Transcription from the recording —
Sara: “Tessie, have you ever seen a…”
Tessie: “Yes, miss?”
Sara: “I’m trying to say the word but I’m failing…”
Tessie: “What is it, miss? Is it a man’s… manhood?”
(They both giggle.)
Tessie: “Oh dear, what sort of things have they been exposing you to downtown?”
Sara: “It has been mainly civilised, Tessie, I swear it. But I did see one today. And it occurred to me, I didn’t know whether it was a large one or a small one.”
(She tries to demonstrate size using her fingers.)
Tessie: “Was it rigid?”
Sara: “Dear God, Tessie, I didn’t touch it! Have you ever…? I’m sorry, I’m being impertinent, aren’t I?”
Tessie: “No, it’s fine, miss. I never thought I’d have this conversation with you of all people. Yes.”
Sara: “Yes! And…”
Tessie: “It felt… dangerous.”

Marcus Isaacson

As I explained above, Marcus is portrayed in the following recording as a man who would take a woman with a baby into his family’s house under the pretext of caring for his mother so that he can “fornicate” with her. He also chuckles inappropriately at the conclusion of a bastardised ‘prayer’ he sings over the mutilated bodies of the Zweig children that, according to another tape in which the prayer is read in English, translates to: “May the Lord bless us and keep us and our loved ones off the autopsy table.”

Although the recording has now been removed, much of the same dialogue can be found in a Lucius Isaacson audition that is still publicly available.

Transcription from the recording —
Marcus: “Doesn’t the Torah say desire is no more a sin than hunger or thirst?”
Lucius: “If you’d bothered to read the Torah, you’d know it says no such thing. It says there are impulses we have to control. That’s what makes men different from beasts.”
Marcus: “I guess I fall somewhere between the two, then.”

Dr. Laszlo Kreizler

No audition recording has surfaced as yet for Dr. Kreizler. However, hints about how his character has been changed can be found in lines that appear in auditions for other characters. For example, he appears uncharacteristically rude in the preceding Sara audition:

Transcription from the Sara Howard recording —
John: “Miss Sara Howard, this is Dr. Laszlo Kreizler. Dr. Kreizler, Roosevelt, and I were at Harvard together.”
(Sara holds out her hand to Dr. Kreizler.)
Sara: “It’s a pleasure to meet you, doctor. I believe I’ve read a great deal about you.”
(Kreizler does not return the handshake.)
Kreizler: “A pleasure to know you can read. We’re here to see the Commissioner.”

The Sara Howard audition also suggests that Theodore Roosevelt does not want to associate himself with Dr. Kreizler, in complete contrast to Kreizler and Roosevelt’s relationship in the novel.

John Schuyler Moore

As with Dr. Kreizler, no recording of John has surfaced as yet. However, the first scene from the Patrick Connor recording suggests that John is no longer a crime reporter in the adaptation, while the first scene from the Sara Howard recording suggests that he is a society reporter who has published a piece containing the following line: “Her [Sara’s] father was a childhood friend of Commissioner Roosevelt, although the intimacy of their working quarters calls decency into question.”

As anyone who has read the book would realise, this is the last thing John would ever write about either of his friends. In addition, Sara would have to be exceptionally young in order for Sara’s father and TR to have been childhood friends.

Patrick Connor

The recording that has appeared of Captain Connor indicates that he is being used in place of Sergeant Flynn when the body of Giorgio Santorelli has been discovered, and that he has multiple scenes in the adaptation long before he first appears in the novel. While the decision to blend Flynn and Connor may not appear problematic at first glance, I would like to remind readers that Connor’s role belongs exclusively behind the scenes for most of the novel. If he is introduced this early, what will be the big reveal two thirds of the way into the story at the meeting with J. P. Morgan?

The recording has now been removed.

Please share this news with any other Alienist readers who may be interested.

19 Comments

« Older Entries