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Patrick McGrath (1) (1950–)

Author of Asylum

For other authors named Patrick McGrath, see the disambiguation page.

32+ Works 4,868 Members 101 Reviews 26 Favorited

About the Author

Patrick McGrath was born in London in 1950 and grew up near Broadmoor Hospital where his father was the medical superintendent for many years. He attended Stonyhurst College and received his BA in English from the University of London. Among other jobs, he worked as an orderly in a mental hospital show more and as a teacher before becoming a writer. He is seen as a leader of the neo-Gothic writers; his books include Spider, The Grotesque, Port Mungo, Trauma and Asylum. His novel Martha Peake won the Premio Flaiano Prize in Italy. McGrath resides in New York City and London. (Bowker Author Biography) Patrick McGrath is the author of Asylum and The Grotesque, among other novels. He lives in New York City and London and is married to the actress Maria Aitken. (Publisher Provided) show less
Image credit: Photo © 2004 Elena Seibert

Works by Patrick McGrath

Associated Works

In a Glass Darkly (1872) — Foreword, some editions — 1,418 copies
Don't Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne du Maurier (2008) — Introduction, some editions — 634 copies
I Shudder at Your Touch (1991) — Contributor; Contributor — 548 copies
The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales (1992) — Contributor — 539 copies
Don't Look Now (1971) — Introduction, some editions — 168 copies
Granta 29: New World (1989) — Contributor — 151 copies
A Mountain Walked (2014) — Contributor — 112 copies
A Taste for Blood (1992) — Contributor — 108 copies
The Literary Ghost: Great Contemporary Ghost Stories (1991) — Contributor — 75 copies
Dark: Stories of Madness, Murder and the Supernatural (2000) — Contributor — 58 copies
Love Is Strange: Stories of Postmodern Romance (1993) — Contributor — 32 copies
Harde liefde de ruigste verhalen uit de wereldliteratuur (1994) — Contributor — 12 copies


Common Knowledge



A tragedy of Shakespearean proportions, a tale of forbidden, obsessive love and the worst psychiatrist ever. The marvelous reading performance by Ian McKellan made for engrossing entertainment on a long drive. I think actually reading it myself would have been rather tedious.
Kim.Sasso | 34 other reviews | Aug 27, 2023 |
Listening to the audio book. Just finished chapter 8. Not fully committed to this story yet.

And we're done. Meh.
beentsy | 34 other reviews | Aug 12, 2023 |
Meh. Didn't like the writing style, didn't like the way the MC communicated despite his being a shrink...borrrring
kwskultety | 13 other reviews | Jul 4, 2023 |
Patrick McGrath's latest novel is set in the London theatre community in the years right after the Second World War. The "Wardrobe Mistress" of the title is one Joan Grice, who is grieving following the sudden death of her actor husband Charlie Grice, a leading figure in Shakespearean drama. It is a difficult time for her, especially as the circumstances of his tragic demise are unclear - Joan's son-in-law Julius, husband of her daughter Vera (also an actress) might actually have had a hand in the accident. To complicate matters, Joan starts to believe that "Gricey" might have possessed a young actor who has taken on his leading role. And then there's the matter of Gricey's shocking, Fascist past...

McGrath is known as one of the leading contemporary authors of Gothic fiction, and this is what drew me to the book in the first place. I must say I was rather disappointed in this regard, as this is more of a "period drama" or historical/psychological thriller than your typical Gothic novel. That said, the work does feature a number of the genre's tropes - there is an ambiguous "haunting" which could be interpreted both literally and psychologically and there's also the theme of a secret past which rears its ugly head.

What irked me most however, was the novel's narrative voice. The tale is ostensibly related by an unnamed minor member of the theatrical world, but it is soon evident that this "third party" is an omniscient narrator who takes on the role of a Greek chorus. It is an original idea and one which fits nicely in a tale about the theatre. However, I often found it to be rather artificial and intrusive. Somehow, the idea of a "cockney" Greek chorus didn't work out for me.

On the plus side, the novel is effective in conveying the life and emotions of actors as they fashion and shape their on-stage role. The parallelism between a production of "The Duchess of Malfi" (in which Vera plays the lead role) and the tragic tale of the "wardrobe mistress" is also beautifully done. Indeed, whilst for me the novel was entertaining but unremarkable, theatre buffs would probably enjoy it immensely.

I received this title as an ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review
… (more)
JosephCamilleri | 3 other reviews | Feb 21, 2023 |



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