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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)
"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.
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