Another Interview with Caleb Carr

Caleb CarrCaleb Carr appeared a podcast with James Altucher earlier this week. During their hour long discussion, the pair touched on numerous different topics ranging from Mr. Carr’s childhood through to his latest novel Surrender, New York. They also discussed the process of writing, and touched on his methods when writing The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. An excerpt from the interview appears below along with a link to the full podcast.

James Altucher (JA): “So, fast forwarding, you did a bunch of best-selling novels. You also did a lot of nonfiction books about military history, terrorism; you’ve done a ton of essays. I recommend people read all of them actually, because they’re all so intelligent. But I do want to get to Surrender, New York. Why now? Why is this … the first time you’re doing a contemporary thriller set in modern times? You’ve done future, you’ve done past — you haven’t done now.”

Caleb Carr (CC): “Two reasons. I reached a point in my life where I wanted to write something that would give people really close insight into my life without it being blatant. I wanted to return to that idea. Get a little closer than the Alienist books did. And also, I’m now going to do two more Alienist books.”

JA: “A sequel and a prequel, right?”

CC: “A sequel and a prequel, right. And they’re both going to be told by Kreizler.”

JA: “Which is different than The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness.”

CC: “Right, and I needed to find a way to speak in the voice of what’s always considered the man behind the curtain in these things. Like Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle wrote one story told by Sherlock Holmes — terrible failure. But Kreizler’s a very different character. I wanted to find a way to speak about these matters — about all the things we’ve been discussing, these psychological matters and personal matters — in a way that would make people comfortable … so it didn’t sound like a case file, so it didn’t sound like a scientific study. So it gave you insight into the character because people really are fascinated by Kreizler. They want to know what gives with this guy.”

You can listen to the full interview on James Altucher’s website.


Caleb Carr Talks to WAMC

Caleb Carr appeared on WAMC Public Radio on Monday, talking to Joe Donahue in an interview that can be heard on the WAMC website. In the interview, he primarily discussed current affairs but also touched on his latest novel Surrender, New York, the TV adaptation of The Alienist, and his plans for the next two Alienist novels–namely, revealing the long-awaited news that they will be narrated from Dr. Kreizler’s point of view. He appeared on WAMC again on Tuesday afternoon’s book show to discuss Surrender, New York in more depth.

For more, you can listen to Monday’s full interview and Tuesday’s book show on the WAMC website.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

New Interviews with Caleb Carr

Caleb CarrNew interviews with Caleb Carr appeared earlier this week on the August 20 episode of The New York Times Close Up and Literary Hub. In The New York Times Close Up interview, which can be viewed around 10 minutes into the episode (view here), Mr. Carr discusses his new novel Surrender, New York which was released on August 23 by Random House. In the Literary Hub interview, Mr. Carr discusses growing up with the Beats, living on Misery Mountain, plans for his continuation of the Alienist series, and his new novel Surrender, New York. An excerpt from the Literary Hub interview appears below along with a link to the full article.

Now Carr has published his first thriller in 15 years with Surrender, New York, a contemporary story set in the fictional Burgoyne County in upstate New York, full of ominous mountain passes and bankrupt factory towns. Returning to the theme of murdered children, several abandoned teenagers have turned up dead and a serial killer may be at work. Dr. Trajan Jones, a bitingly cynical profiler and a 21st century disciple of Kreizler, has been called in to consult on the case.

“I had planned to write a simple book about these dead children,” said the 61-year-old Carr in a telephone interview from his stone house on the top of Misery Mountain, in Renssalaer County, New York. “I was going through these New York State documents, and I kept finding references to ‘throwaway children,'” where in post-2008 Great Recession America, some desperate parents have been abandoning their children and even moving out of state. “It turns out it is a widespread problem. That is the pitfall of research. It takes you places you didn’t plan to go. It stopped being a simple book.”

Continue reading at Literary Hub.


Surrender, New York Praised in The New York Times Book Review

Surrender, New YorkIn exciting news for Caleb Carr readers, more advance praise for Mr. Carr’s upcoming thriller Surrender, New York has appeared in The New York Times Book Review this week. In a cover review by multi-award winning crime novelist Michael Connelly, Surrender, New York is described as “an addictive contemporary crime procedural … [a] mystery with multiple messages.” Connelly notes that, “The crime novel, in its most serious form, has always been used to reflect trends and lament losses and clang the bell of warning to the ills of society.” For long-time readers of Mr. Carr’s work, this description used in reference to a Carr novel should come as no surprise; lurking under the surface of his previous bestselling historical thrillers, The Alienist and its sequel The Angel of Darkness, were superbly constructed social commentaries that were not just about society of 120 years ago, but our society, too.

And what of the trends, losses, and warning bells in Mr. Carr’s latest offering? Connelly explains that in Surrender, New York we are introduced to an experienced criminal investigator Trajan Jones, “a man of science … who also possesses a jaundiced eye when it comes to the science of crime detection.” While The Alienist “celebrated the dawning era in the application of science to crime detection … Carr now uses Jones to sound the warning that things may be going awry. Forensics should not be treated as faith.” However, Connelly also makes it clear in his review that the warning bells sounded in Surrender, New York are not limited to modern forensics. Namely, that while “so many are left in the shadows even in a prosperous nation,” Surrender, New York also shows us that there are “those of power and wealth who are willing to kill to keep some uncomfortable truths from being revealed.”

Even though Surrender, New York may ask us to stare “ugly realities full in the face” just as Dr. Kreizler asked of us in The Alienist, Connelly reassures us that Mr. Carr’s latest offering still retains the same big-heartedness that made its predecessors so well-loved. As he writes at the conclusion of his review, “It is hard to resist a character with such eloquent charm and a story with such deep meaning, no matter what its time and place.”

Michael Connelly’s full review of Surrender, New York can now be read in The New York Times Book Review. Surrender, New York is published by Random House and will be released on August 23, 2016.

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