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Asylum by Patrick McGrath
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Asylum (1997)

by Patrick McGrath

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1,251289,707 (3.66)31
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» See also 31 mentions

English (22)  Italian (5)  Indonesian (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Magnificently creepy and beautifully disturbing. Asylum reminded me of Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina with a Freudian twist. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
The plot is crazy! The story seems realistic to the point where I was literally gasping because I always thought that Stella's life couldn't get any worse. I'm looking forward to reading other McGrath books soon. ( )
  Denicbt | Feb 5, 2018 |
I can think of no other book that this is like ... I was so surprised by it!!

Adrianne ( )
  Adrianne_p | Mar 6, 2017 |
Psychiatrist's wife meets mental patient at an institution in the 1950s. Tawdry affair ensues. What wasn't cliche was horribly pointless and depressing and by the end I felt like some hospitalization myself. It felt like something I'd be forced to read in a dreary "let's look for deeper meaning in plain old crappy writing" class. Will NOT be revisiting this author. ( )
  grammarchick | Aug 14, 2016 |
Gripping story, had me from the start. Had an issue with the story arc - I have the movie on loan from the library and will be anxious to see if they shorten the last 1/3 of the book. It seemed to drag needlessly.

I also am curious about the "head hopping" that went on as far as point of view. Since I listened to it on Audible rather than read it, I'm sure I missed something in the translation. I have the hard copy on its way to me as well...I'll update when I have a chance to analyze. ;) ( )
  Frances.S.Brown | Apr 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Dedication
For Jack Davenport
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The catastrophic love affair characterized by sexual obsession has been a professional interest of mine for many years now.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
As a psychiatrist in a top-security mental hospital in the 1950s, 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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679781382, Paperback)

The New Yorker review praised Patrick McGrath's "ornate, deadpan style . . . distinguished by its unusual seriousness, its lack of camp," and described Asylum as a "layered, implicating book, whose terrors and malignities aren't quite the ones we expect, and are a matter of mood and viewpoint as well as of plot." McGrath's fourth novel (his other three are also highly recommended) features a subtly deceptive narrator whose confident, musical voice seduces you--a voice that mirrors, in its meter, emotions ranging from lyrically obsessed, to meticulously fond, to cautious and stiff with horror. And the imagery is unforgettable: the grim architecture of the asylum; a ravaged human head with empty eye sockets; a drowning in a pool on a barren heath.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Stella Raphael, a woman of great beauty and formidable intelligence, is married to Max, a staid and unimaginative forensic psychiatrist. Max has taken a job in a huge top-security mental hospital in rural England and Stella, far from London society, finds herself restless and bored. Then into her lonely existence comes Edgar Stark, a brilliant sculptor confined to the hospital after killing his wife in a psychotic rage. He comes to Stella's garden merely to rebuild an old, Victorian conservatory, but there's an overwhelming physical attraction to this desperate man that Stella is powerless to ignore. Their explosive affair pits them against Stella's husband, her child, and the entire institution. When the crisis comes, Stella makes her decision - one that will destroy several lives and precipitate an appalling tragedy that could only be fueled by illicit sexual love."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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