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Asylum (1997)

by Patrick McGrath

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,335299,897 (3.66)31
A woman whose husband is a doctor working in an asylum has an affair with a patient, a sculptor who killed his wife from jealousy. When he escapes she follows him, but his jealous fits send her back to her husband. The sculptor is caught, the doctor changes jobs, but that is not the end of the story. One day she will rejoin the sculptor, this time as a fellow-patient.… (more)
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» See also 31 mentions

English (23)  Italian (5)  Indonesian (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Competently written but ultimately rather dry novel about a psychiatrist’s wife who becomes romantically involved with one of her husband’s patients. I felt sure there must be some reason for the whole thing being narrated at some remove by another of the psychiatrists at the mental hospital - who by his own admission didn’t personally observe very much of what went on, and was relying on things he was told. I suppose there was, in a way, but I can’t be sure I totally understood it. ( )
  jayne_charles | Aug 4, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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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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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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