Asylum

Mass Market Paperback  ñ Asylum MOBI ´
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 272
  • Asylum
  • Patrick McGrath
  • English
  • 03 November 2017
  • 0241973678

About the Author: Patrick McGrath

Mass Market Paperback ñ Asylum MOBI ´ asylum kindle, AsylumAsylum eBookPatrick McGrath was born on th February, in London and grew up near Broadmoor Hospital where his father was Medical Superintendent He was educated at Stonyhurst College He is a British novelist whose work has been categorized as gothic fiction He is married to actress Maria Aitken and lives in New York City.


AsylumMass Market Paperback ñ Asylum MOBI ´ asylum kindle, AsylumAsylum eBookA story of self obsession narrated by the point of view of a psychiatrist, published as a Penguin Essential for the first timeAs a psychiatrist in a top security mental hospital in the s, Peter Cleave has made a study of what he calls the catastrophic love affair characterized by sexual obsession His experience is extensive, and he is never surprised Until, that is, he comes reluctantly to accept that the wife of one of his colleagues has embarked on such an affair.

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10 thoughts on “Asylum

  1. Paul Bryant says:

    It says on the back this book is a meditation on the nature of love So, what is love Love is when someone gently tugs this book out of your hands and says you don t need to read this one, dear All the quotes on the back were paid for It s high class tripe.

  2. Bark says:

    This has been sitting on the bottom of a huge pile of books in my bedroom that topples over every time one of my dogs flops down for a nap I m getting sick of picking them up and will read them from the bottom up It s like a Survivor Challenge as I wiggle out the bottom book without causing the whole lot to topple upon my head I bought it five years ago at a library sale according to the withdrawn library stamp Shameful.Psychiatrist Peter Cleave tells a supposedly sordid tale of a former pat This has been sitting on the bottom of a huge pile of books in my bedroom that topples over every time one of my dogs flops down for a nap I m getting sick of picking them up and will read them from the bottom up It s like a Survivor Challenge as I wiggle out the bottom book without causing the whole lot to topple upon my head I bought it five years ago at a library sale according to the withdrawn library stamp Shameful.Psychiatrist Peter Cleave tells a supposedly sordid tale of a former patient, love affairs gone terribly wrong, sexual obsession and madness but alas he s such a boring fellow the story has no emotional appeal, no sense of drama, and no interesting tidbits to savor and drool over He skims over the good stuff and me, being the fool I am, continued to read waiting for my interest to become engaged and hoping to feel something for these screwed up people Alas, I remain a fool Doc Peter works in an asylum for the criminally insane which happens to be within walking distance of the home of their newly hired superintendent, his beautiful but bored housewife Stella and their young son Charlie When an inmate named Edgar is hired on to do some work on their grounds Stella gets all hot and bothered by his sweltering looks and big brawny chest and begins to romanticize his criminal history She starts to believe he only murdered his ex love because he loved her so very deeply Awwww, isn t that the sweetest So I assumed bad things were going to happen and was looking forward to an emotionally disturbing read about a dumb housewife and a hunky headcase but I was so bored I could barely get through it This could have been an interesting gothic y tale but the problem for me was Peter s first person narration It makes the book feel a bit stuffy and distances me from the people he s prattling on and on about Because the book is told entirely from Peter s point of view or from snippets he gleaned from interviews with Edgar and Stella, who withheld all interesting tidbits it seems, we are only told the unexciting parts of the story Peter has no imagination and doesn t fill in the blanks very well either Damn it all I m not a perv, really I m not, but when a book jacket touts passion and strange love I expect something slightly exciting and not a whole bunch of boring accounts of day to day strolls through the garden, tedious conversations and a painfully slow and uninteresting descent into madness.I waded through countless pages waiting for something interesting to happen and honestly, for me, it never freaking did Even when tragedy occurs I felt so distanced from the characters that there was no emotional reaction from me as a reader And when the last revelation made by Peter is revealed I found it so ridiculously unbelievable that I wanted to scream Finally, an emotional reaction but for all of the wrong reasons I regret wasting several hours struggling through this book and can t recommend it unless you re into really boring melodramas

  3. Michael Fierce says:

    I first discovered Patrick McGrath in 1988 with his often overlooked and under appreciated short story collection, Blood and Water and Other Tales, and became a huge fan of his from then on In 1990, I read his best book to date, The Grotesque Both, are amazing pieces of Gothic fiction Back in those days it was very difficult to find quality writers following in the footsteps of Edgar Allan Poe, especially those who were able to make their own unique imprint and capable of breaking new ground I first discovered Patrick McGrath in 1988 with his often overlooked and under appreciated short story collection, Blood and Water and Other Tales, and became a huge fan of his from then on In 1990, I read his best book to date, The Grotesque Both, are amazing pieces of Gothic fiction Back in those days it was very difficult to find quality writers following in the footsteps of Edgar Allan Poe, especially those who were able to make their own unique imprint and capable of breaking new ground I was delving deep into Poe, Lovecraft, M.R James, Henry James, Sheridan Le Fanu, Ambrose Bierce, Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood, and many others when, I got a strong urge to search out modern writers who might be doing some of the same things with their storytelling And that s how I stumbled across two writers that stood out from the rest of the pack Thomas Ligotti and Patrick McGrath.Ligotti is knownfor telling Lovecraftian tales that are connected as much to dreams as they are to curious realities McGrath is doing something altogether different Patrick McGrath is a writer of immense literary powers Every sentence feels right and natural in its conception This in itself can be good or bad Bad you say Yes It can be bad and a bit offputtiing when the power of the word isimpactful than the story itself Evencommon today is the power of strong likeable characters over the story over the writers gift with a pen Because I like many different voices, I feel that nearly all published writers I m interested in have different gifts, and mattering on my mood, can fall under the spell of any one of them However, so it s clear, Patrick McGrath is a writer s writer And certainly not for all tastes Further, he s not going to be selling out and writing the next book to be developed into a blockbuster Hollywood scare and share movie True, a couple of his books have been developed into moderately successful movies, but, most likely, they re none you ve probably heard of.I think it s writers like McGrath that cancommonly write books that are either a huge hit or miss A contrast to author s who s expectant style is always comfortably familiar, full of characters and a world that are always there for you to sit down with, just like old familiar friends sitting in your living room watching TV with youand so it s a no brainer you can rest easy and enjoy McGrath may even be an acquired taste, though not for me I liked him immediately That may be because I started off with the right book.But, on to this one.Asylum starts off rekindling the fires of a prose I m immediately drawn to, even though its conclusion waslike a slowgoing moth to a flame The brilliant interplay of the dialogue, and cast of characters, pulled me in, as well as the intricacies of the plot set up I think the story synopsis details it very accurately In the summer of 1959 Stella Raphael joins her psychiatrist husband, Max, at his new posting a maximum security hospital for the criminally insane Beautiful and headstrong, Stella soon falls under the spell of Edgar Stark, a brilliant and magnetic sculptor who has been confined to the hospital for murdering his wife in a psychotic rage.But Stella s knowledge of Edgar s crime is no hindrance to the volcanic attraction that ensues a passion that will consume Stella s sanity and destroy her and the lives of those around her. Back then, I never read all the way through the details on the back cover or any book description too deeply because my Sherlock Banana brain was always rushing to story possibilities and conclusions before I even read the dang thing I purchased Asylum at my favorite bookstore in the entire galaxy, The Dark Carnival in Berkeley, CA, and a store employee definitely not Jack, the quiet, brilliant clerk owner , who, misinformed me that Asylum was ..like a Dr Lecter love story set in a mental institutionWell It s not And, he wasn t even close It s nothing like that Not even remotely That would make for a cool book though I thought it started off amazingly and there was no doubt it was anything but a 5 star level book Until about halfway through, that is After that, it wore out a lot of it s welcome and its warm fire started petering out, but, luckily, there was just enough warmth left for me to stay with it It originally had a lot going for it, including plot sequences that were perfectly realized but, just none of them ended up going where I wanted them to go Nor was the story nearly as captivating once the characters started meandering into madness Funny enough, every line in the book was masterful I just thought it lost it s power in the second half, leading to a mostly predictable conclusion, which can only be expected if you ve read the back cover description Predictability doesn t necessarily mean I m not going to like it as a whole I mean, I knew where Star Wars was headed and loved every second of it, all the way up to everybody clapping hands as our heroes got awarded note except for Chewie Doesn t bother me to know where a book s going This one just didn t go to a place I was interested in It all wraps up in perfect late 1940 s film style though it s set in 1959 and is a good book It s just not a great book In 2005, Asylum, was made into a movie I think it might be better that way because you d be able to see and feel the passion coming through living, breathing, characters I haven t seen it.I suggest reading The Grotesque if you want to get your feet wet in Patrick McGrath s pool If you rea fan of supernatural fiction, ranging from fantasy, to sci fi, to horror, or a fan of short stories, go get Blood and Water and Other Tales Read Asylum only after you ve read his better books If you do purchase this book, there are many printed versions I suggest the one I bought It has a black cover with a gold gate like a golden gate that opens to the dark depths of the asylum itself It has a tiny window frame where you can see the word Asylum trapped behind it Opening to the very first page, behind this window, is a photographic depiction of the asylum hospital I also found that many of the quoted reviews inside the book and on the cover were fun to read

  4. Becky says:

    I don t think I would have ever read this if not for the fact that I saw it on Audible, read by Ian McKellan How could I resist I kinda wish I had, though Sir Ian s reading was great, don t get me wrong, and he was a perfect reader for the narrator of the story, but the story itself was just so uneventful I thought that this was supposed to be a psychological thriller, but there was absolutely nothing thrilling about it The narrator is a psychiatrist relating everything to the reader as I don t think I would have ever read this if not for the fact that I saw it on Audible, read by Ian McKellan How could I resist I kinda wish I had, though Sir Ian s reading was great, don t get me wrong, and he was a perfect reader for the narrator of the story, but the story itself was just so uneventful I thought that this was supposed to be a psychological thriller, but there was absolutely nothing thrilling about it The narrator is a psychiatrist relating everything to the reader as though detailing the events for a police officer who needs to get the background details of the case to dot their i s and cross their t s before signing off on a case and filing their paperwork It was dry and boring and if it weren t for Sir Ian s reading of it, I d have just abandoned it and moved on I wouldn t recommend this one Unless you ran out of Ambien or something Then go for it

  5. Anna Janelle says:

    Where has this book author been hiding all my life Because I m SERIOUSLY impressed It s a rare book that makes you want to flip to the beginning IMMEDIATELY after finishing it for a second go through, but I was tempted with Asylum It was that layered, that satisfying, that good I m only forgoing it to start Goodreads stalking the author forbooks to add to my growing Better World Books order.The book is a work of art, painted in cold, clinical strokes on an increasingly unreliable can Where has this book author been hiding all my life Because I m SERIOUSLY impressed It s a rare book that makes you want to flip to the beginning IMMEDIATELY after finishing it for a second go through, but I was tempted with Asylum It was that layered, that satisfying, that good I m only forgoing it to start Goodreads stalking the author forbooks to add to my growing Better World Books order.The book is a work of art, painted in cold, clinical strokes on an increasingly unreliable canvas by Dr Peter Cleave, attending psychiatrist and friend to the female protagonist or should it be antagonist of the novel, Stella Raphael She is the beautiful, passionate wife of a distant, work obsessed psychiatrist, Max Raphael, who has aspirations of becoming the next superintendent of the maximum security asylum where he works Together, Max and Stella live on the sprawling property of the estate, where inmates work as grounds crew members attending to their massive garden and Conservatory both of which have fallen into disrepair over years of neglect There, in the garden, Stella makes the acquaintance of Edgar Stark, a handsome, burly artist condemned to the asylum for the brutal murder and mutilation of his wife, Ruth While Stella has been warned of the dangers in associating with the extremely jealous, delusional Stark, she chooses to abandon all caution and cultivates an illicit, sexual relationship that has devastating consequences for her family I m going to avoid going into detail regarding the trauma and tragedy that unfolds because McGrath does a superb job in revealing these details through the prying eyes of Dr Cleve.Side note Are all Stellas sexual beings ruled by their animal instincts and the urging of their loins The primitive, debasing relationship between Stella and Edgar drew a strong parallel to another sexually charged relationship tinted with domestic violence penned by Tennessee Williams and made forever famous by Marlon Brando I don t know I really don t understand the whole women willing to take blows and suffer abuse for the sake of sexual fulfillment Maybe I m not as passionate, as sexually driven, but I find nothing sexy nor irresistible about black eyes or slaps across the face It s not a good look for me I don t blame Stella for her rejection of Max, but I certainly condemn her for the abandonment of her only son just as I blame the other Stella for the abandonment of her only sister, Blanche Sexual obsession and self absorption shouldn t excuse the abandonment of responsibility to dependent family members The book was perfect, lending itself to the type of psychological interpretation that works so well with literary masterpieces like The Turn of the Screw Dr Cleve s somewhat sinister voice and vision were haunting, and the characters internal motivations draw numerous readings You can immediately add this to my PLEASE RE READ list, and be sure that I ll add to this review my additional thoughts in the future

  6. Tony says:

    Sexual obsession, decapitation, enucleation, maternal filicide, psychological unraveling Or what we call Thursday around here.A psychiatrist s unhappy wife falls for an artist, institutionalized in a mental hospital for a gruesome murder It goes without saying this will not end well.The novel is certainly cinematic but is saved from being a shlock psychological thriller because its narrator is another psychiatrist who in one way or another is treating everyone else involved So, it is inquisit Sexual obsession, decapitation, enucleation, maternal filicide, psychological unraveling Or what we call Thursday around here.A psychiatrist s unhappy wife falls for an artist, institutionalized in a mental hospital for a gruesome murder It goes without saying this will not end well.The novel is certainly cinematic but is saved from being a shlock psychological thriller because its narrator is another psychiatrist who in one way or another is treating everyone else involved So, it is inquisitive in tone, a slow unraveling The narrator refers to a sculpture as being in a style Italians call morbidezza and perhaps that could apply to the literary style at work as well.One note if you removed all the cigarette smoking and gin drinking, this would have been a very slim novel indeed

  7. Amanda says:

    3.5 stars Fascinating, dysfunctional tale of obsessive love.

  8. Jenn Ravey says:

    Stella Raphael s story is one of the saddest I know, intones Dr Peter Cleave, the senior psychiatrist in the mental hospital central to Asylum by Patrick McGrath Asylum is a story of obsession.Stella and her husband Max have moved outside London for Max s job Hoping to eventually become superintendent of the facility, Max is quite involved in the asylum s day to day activities, and the couple s home is on the property Max has big plans, including renovating the conservatory and gardens of Stella Raphael s story is one of the saddest I know, intones Dr Peter Cleave, the senior psychiatrist in the mental hospital central to Asylum by Patrick McGrath Asylum is a story of obsession.Stella and her husband Max have moved outside London for Max s job Hoping to eventually become superintendent of the facility, Max is quite involved in the asylum s day to day activities, and the couple s home is on the property Max has big plans, including renovating the conservatory and gardens of the home Some of the better behaved patients are allowed on work teams, and Edgar Stark, a former sculptor, is given the task of carpentry work in the conservatory Charlie, Stella and Max s son, is fascinated with the work and the gardens and the pond, spending many of his days outside When Stella encounters Edgar while outside with Charlie, she is drawn to him Edgar doesn t look insane He is polite and talented The two become friendly, and Stella, lacking passion in her own marriage, falls in love with Edgar.Edgar Stark is Cleave s patient, and Edgar s intelligence fascinates the doctor Edgar murdered his wife and brutalized her body after suspecting her of multiple infidelities for many years Edgar feels completely justified in his actions, and Cleave counts Edgar one of hisinteresting patients because of this It is only when Cleave observes subtle changes in Stella that he suspects the impossible When Edgar escapes from the facility, Max and Stella both come under scrutiny, leading to a chain of events that is both disturbing and engrossing.McGrath s Asylum is an elegant novel Gothic and dark, it explores the nature of love and obsession as well as mental illness The novel is, in many ways, timeless, and particularly, it was some time before I could have stated with any assurance the time period in which Asylum is set Late 1950s, to be exact.Cleave is narrating the novel, yes, but he is doing so after discussions with Stella, after something has apparently gone badly wrong, and the impending sense of doom only adds to the novel s complexity Not that Asylum is a mystery It isn t Edgar murdered his wife He escapes from the asylum Stella goes to him Nothing surprising here When Edgar begins exhibiting erratic behavior, though, she runs However, the story doesn t take the reader into the places you d think it would Stella is not repentant Instead, she feels torn from her lover and sorrowful that she ever suspected his behavior Willing, even after knowing the full extent of his crime, to go to him and be with him, and Cleave notes this At root, I suppose, in spite of everything she loved him, or told herself she did, and women are stubborn in this regard She had made her choice, she had gone to him willingly, and it was unthinkable to run home because he was ill and his illness robbed him of responsibility What did surprise me was that she could ignore the proliferating signals that an act of violence was imminent.Just as Edgar seems to relish the idea of bedding a psychiatrist s wife, so too does Stella enjoy her role as caretaker Edgar is ill therefore, Stella must take care of him, even if it means abandoning her husband and her child The child she increasingly grows to resent because he is part of his father and therefore part of the imagined trap she feels exists around her.If you have not yet picked up on it, this is an unreliable narrator speaking to another unreliable narrator Both Stella and Cleave are obsessed with Stark, Cleave referring to Stark as my Edgar many times, a point of pride that Edgar is his patient So we know what the characters intend to tell us, emphasizing that we never truly know the nature of anyone, much less someone with a mental illness.The nature of these obsessions is, of course, destructive, and everyone involved hurtles toward that destruction in ways both expected and unexpected I listened to this on audiobook, and I usually stick to my time on the elliptical only to listen to audiobooks This was one, however, that after a certain point in Asylum, I had to put my headphones on for the rest of the day, no matter what else I was doing to absorb it all Unlike Cleave, I don t think Stella s is the saddest story I know, and I had very little sympathy for her outside her feeling of entrapment, but I was still completely captivated by her ability to dismiss all rational thought in the face of the man she loves.The narration by Ian McKellen is absolutely first rate, and Asylum is a story that will sink in slowly, insidiously, forcing you to think about the characters and their decisions long after the end

  9. Ridge Cresswell says:

    I had already read one book by Patrick McGrath, The Grotesque, when I picked this one up This book issubtle andbeautiful in many ways Told from the perspective of the main character s friend and eventual psychiatrist, it follows the arc of a desperate, obsessive love, and reactions to the loss of said love McGrath s prose gives us a perfect window into the setting, mood, and overall feeling of each scene, all the while colored with the emotions of the narrator It s a strange sort I had already read one book by Patrick McGrath, The Grotesque, when I picked this one up This book issubtle andbeautiful in many ways Told from the perspective of the main character s friend and eventual psychiatrist, it follows the arc of a desperate, obsessive love, and reactions to the loss of said love McGrath s prose gives us a perfect window into the setting, mood, and overall feeling of each scene, all the while colored with the emotions of the narrator It s a strange sort of storytelling, but one that I found quite compelling I m also startled at how much horror one can put into a book without resorting to muchthan steady character development or perhaps disintegration All I can say is that I m going to go buybooks by McGrath in the coming days

  10. Sharron says:

    This book is totally pointless and depressing The only thing going for the audio version is the narration by Sir Ian McKellan There was not a single sympathetic or positive character, not much atmosphere or sense of place, and little motivation for some of the odder events This book didn t teach me anything, didn t entertain me, and didn t inspire any insight or thinking on my part a total waste of time