*** The Alientist, Caleb Carr, 1995
I bought this a long time ago and carted it around in boxes from TX to AZ to CO to HI and back to TX. At 600+ pages, it's kind of daunting to pick up. But then I realized it was the perfect elliptical workout book because it's hardback and so big it will stay open without me having to hold the pages down. However, as I began reading it, I discovered it might not pass The Ellipitcal Test.
The funny thing is that this is exactly the kind of book I have always loved to read, especially on a nice winter night by the fire with and a pipe and brandy at my elbow. Old, dead white guy kind of writing. But while working my guts out on an elliptical trainer, I began to lose patience with the slow pacing and "Tour of 1896 NYC" feel. I wanted something exciting to distract me from my pain, but all the book did was make me want to grab a Guiness, lounge in an armchair, and disappear into the world Carr created.
I powered through the first few score pages and after a few workouts I finally got invested enough to get past that issue. That being acheived, I really enjoyed the story. Exactly the kind of stuff I used to read extensively back 10+ years ago. Highly recommended if you like that kind of stuff, and I do.