Caleb Carr Master Class at NYC’s Center for Fiction

Caleb CarrThe Center for Fiction, a literary organization that connects readers and writers in New York City, has announced that Caleb Carr will be offering a Master Class in November as part of their Crime Fiction Academy. The Crime Fiction Academy was established in 2012, and offers students the chance to attend workshops and Master Classes with successful crime writers. If you are interested in attending Caleb Carr’s Master Class, you can view the details of the event and RSVP at the Center’s website. The Master Class will be taking place on Thursday, November 3rd at 7:00pm.

And don’t forget that Caleb Carr’s upcoming thriller Surrender, New York will be released in less than three weeks, on August 23rd! For anyone who hasn’t pre-ordered it yet, you can now “look inside” the book and read the first few pages on the Penguin Random House website and Amazon.

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Third And Fourth Alienist Novel Announced!

The Alienist 2006 EditionIn an exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, it was revealed this morning that Caleb Carr will be returning to the Alienist series. Mulholland Books have announced that they will be publishing two new Alienist novels that will act as ‘bookends’ for the two current novels in the series, The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness.

The first of the two new novels will be set 18 years after The Angel of Darkness, in New York City of 1915. Josh Kendall, VP, Executive Editor, and Editorial Director of Mulholland Books explained that this book, “set against a stage of rising nationalist violence and the early spy state,” is “centered on nativist violence and terrorism during America’s involvement in World War I.”

The second of the novels will take us back in time again, presumably to the late 1870s or early 1880s (assuming the events in the summary from the publisher’s press release matches the timeline already established in the series so far). In this novel, titled The Strange Case of Miss Sara X, “a youthful Kreizler, after finishing his psychology training at Harvard, falls under the spell of William James, has his first run-in with Roosevelt, and delves into the secret life of Sara Howard, heroine of the first books.”

For those of us who have wondered if there would ever be a third novel, official confirmation of two new Alienist novels is something to be excited about! However, the wait need not be arduous; we are also lucky enough to have Caleb Carr’s upcoming contemporary thriller Surrender, New York to look forward to! If you haven’t already done so, I recommend reading more about the novel and pre-order before its release on August 23.

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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.

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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.

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