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Asylumby Patrick McGrath
Synopses & Reviews
From our most celebrated writer of the psychological thriller comes this nerve-wracking yet eerily beautiful work of erotic obsession and madness.
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.
"Superb....Asylum is McGrath's most somber and most realistic book, and also his best." The New Yorker
"In every other respect...the book is hypnotizing, with its own strange but darkly convincing pace and style; and the way in which nature and climate are woven into the fabric of the bizarre couple's strange love is masterly." Publishers Weekly
"A contemporary master of highbrow gothic fiction....[A] truly complex (but never obscure) novel. McGrath, always a worthy descendant of Poe, here takes things a level higher — producing fiction in the tradition of Henry James." Kirkus Reviews
"A virtuoso of contrast, McGrath wields a cleverly modernized form of Victorianism, precise and stately, to render scenes of unsettling and suspenseful eroticism..." Booklist
"[S]tylish...should only add to [McGrath's] reputation as the leader of the neo-Gothic pack....
"Taut, tension-filled...a chilling story that works as both a Freudian parable and an old-fashioned gothic shocker." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Beautifully written, morally complex, utterly convincing." People
"A book as absorbing as it is intelligent....The story of this love affair unfolds like a dream into a nightmare — the characters move relentlessly toward their tragic end with desire raging like a fire, gathering strength and destroying everything and everyone in it spath." Los Angeles Times
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters), Natasha Richardson (The Handmaid's Tale), and Marton Csokas (The Bourne Supremacy), with a screenplay adaptation by Patrick Marber (Closer).
About the Author
Patrick McGrath was born in London and grew up near Broadmoor Hospital, where for many years his father was a medical superintendent. He is the author of Blood and Water and Other Tales, The Grotesque, Spider, and Dr. Haggard's Disease, and he was the co-editor, with Bradford Morrow, of The New Gothic. He lives in New York City and London and is married to the actress Maria Aitken.
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