Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.52 shipping
Asylum Hardcover – August 20, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
MY TOP 5 ASYLUMS By Madeleine Roux
While writing ASYLUM, I turned to some of the following hospitals and institutions for inspiration, to bring in that real world touch. Some of the stories and histories I stumbled across were almost too intense and gruesome to be believed.
I. Norwich State Hospital for the Insane
Preston, Connecticut 1904 ― 1996
When most people think of an asylum, they probably picture a giant looming mansion that looks something like Norwich State Hospital for the Insane. It has one of those iconic, red brick exteriors with columns and a steep roof. The hospital is also notable for its maze of underground passageways. It’s considered by creep and ghost aficionados to be extremely haunted. Several shows have featured the hospital, including the popular series Ghost Hunters.
II. Whittingham Asylum
Lancashire, England 1869 ― 1995
Whittingham Asylum, charming and even quaint on the outside, makes the list if only for its sheer size. Whittingham was virtually a miniature city, and its expansive grounds included a brewery, post office, and even its own brass band. It was also the sight of some seriously scary allegations, with an inquiry in the 1960s that included reports of cruelty and fraud, complaints that were kept quiet with threats. Reportedly, some wards were infested with vermin, while others were left freezing cold. There were even rumors of a “wet towel treatment” involving a cold, wet towel wrapped around the patient’s neck until they passed out.
III. Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Louisville, Kentucky 1910 ― 1962
The architecturally stunning Waverly Hills was built to house a sudden influx of tuberculosis patients in the county, but closed after only fifty years when medical advances rendered the facility obsolete. Considered to be one of the most haunted hospitals in the eastern United States, it has played host to scores of reality TV shows about the paranormal, including Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Hunters. It gets creepier―there are currently plans to renovate the hospital into a hotel for those looking to have a spooky spot to stay.
IV. Lier Mental Hospital
Buskerud County, Norway 1926 ― 1986
Perhaps the scariest thing about Lier Mental Hospital is its murky involvement in experimentation linked to pharmaceutical companies from the United States. This postwar hospital was used for experimentation and research into lobotomies, LSD, electroshock therapy and more.
V. Topeka State Hospital
Topeka, Kansas 1872 ― 1997
Topeka State Hospital may look cute and charming on the outside, but on the inside it was home to some unbelievably dark rumors. By far the creepiest allegations leveled against the hospital? (Brace yourself, it’s pretty gross.) There are stories of patients strapped down for so long that their skin began to grow around the straps. Yeesh. Nowadays, you can sometimes hear music playing from inside the abandoned hospital and spot shadows peering out at the windows.
Heather Brewer Interviews Madeleine Roux
HB: The imagery was so vivid in ASYLUM and the photographs throughout were just gorgeous―was it based on anywhere you’ve visited personally?
MR: The admittedly limited travel I’ve done in Europe included some incredible ruins and castles. There’s a feeling you get in those places, a sort of wonder and terror that you just don’t feel in new buildings. I tried to draw on those memories for Brookline. I also grew up in an old Victorian farmhouse, and . . . I don’t want to say it’s haunted but there were certainly times it felt haunted. To this day, when I visit my parents, I feel eyes on me at night in the hallway. The hairs on the back of your neck go up and you can sense there’s history there present with you. I wanted that same feeling to come through with Brookline.
HB: I felt really connected to Dan Crawford, your main character. What part of your fabulous mind did he come from?
MR: I was kind of a weird kid. I loved school. I wasn’t so much a loner as a gigantic nerd, always with my nose in a book or writing my own scripts and stories. There’s a good bit of my own insecurities and childhood memories in Dan; that same geek pride mixed with a constant fear that maybe life would be easier if I veered more toward the mainstream. Writing a male perspective is intimidating in the sense that I wanted it to feel authentic, so I would stop every once in a while and ask a friend if it was reading correctly to them. Having honest buddies helped, it always does for writing. They weren’t shy about saying, “I’m sorry but no guy would do/think/act that way, try again.”
HB: Has horror always appealed to you? If not, why now, why this story? If so . . . well . . . same question.
MR: The first two novels I did had a certain creep factor, too, since they were about zombies and survival. The irony here is that I’m a huge wuss when it comes to scary movies. I spent most of Cabin In the Woods whimpering in someone else’s lap. I’m not good with scary movies or gore or anything like that, but I find myself drawn to that kind of story again and again. It’s like I know it’s going to keep me up all night but I can’t help myself. I think that’s probably common, though . . . . We all test ourselves now and again, see where our boundaries and limits are. I get a kick out of pushing those limits for myself and exploring the darker parts of my imagination. My life isn’t all that adventurous, so writing darker stories gives me a chance to indulge in the more morbid thoughts that cross my mind.
HB: I know you probably get asked this a lot, but what’s your favorite piece of writing advice for the writers out there?
MR: It comes from Neil Gaiman and is infuriatingly straightforward and simple. “How do you do it? You do it. You write. You finish what you write.” And it’s true. As I’m sure you know, there’s no magic button. Sometimes you can’t write a sentence and other times you can’t stop, but just sitting down and making yourself do it is the key. You have to practice. You have to do the work, over and over. He also has another great piece of advice somewhere (I’m an unabashed Neil fangirl, I can’t help it) about getting out and living life, and not feeling upset or pressured if you don’t have a huge well of experience to draw on. The best inspiration comes from falling in love, falling out of it, getting your heart broken, just being present and showing up, you know? You won’t have anything to draw from if you guard yourself too closely. You have to risk life changing you in order to have something there to write about.
HB: What’s next from the shadowed mind of Madeleine Roux? What are you working on, and when can I have it? :)
MR: I’m notorious for starting new projects and then abandoning them, but I’ve had a gritty YA fantasy series cooking in my head for a while now. I’ve been taking down tons of notes for it and I’ve even started a few chapters, so right now I hope that has wings and takes off. You can have it the second I manage to get it all down!
From Publishers Weekly
Horror author Roux makes a strong YA debut with this creepy tale of a haunted asylum and the teenagers who are drawn to it. When Dan Crawford attends a summer program at New Hampshire College, he ends up housed in Brookline, a former asylum now being turned into a dorm. Along with fellow students Abby and Jordan, he starts exploring the basement of the dorm, where (conveniently) old records are stored. As they investigate, the students are plagued by horrifying dreams, and Dan starts to have blackouts, discovering strange unsent texts and emails and learning about conversations that he doesn't remember. Students are being attacked in the dorms, and as Dan begins to unravel his own ties to the asylum, he wonders if he might be responsible for the crimes. Roux (aided by unsettling photo illustrations of abandoned asylums and tormented patients) creates an entertaining and occasionally brutal horror story that reveals the enduring impact of buried trauma and terror on a place. Open questions at the end invite a sequel, though there's also a good sense of closure. Ages 14-up. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The first few chapters went pretty smoothly. The writing definitely felt like it was aimed for younger readers, potentially even middle graders, in spite of the heavier/scarier topics promised to come. I quickly decided it wasn't a book for terribly young readers when the teenage characters started swearing with moderate frequency. I acknowledge that teenagers do swear and many of them do so awkwardly as they experiment with it almost as a form of rebellion, but I'm not going to pass a book to a youngster if it's got swearing. Just my personal taste.
Aside from their language, the characters seemed interesting at first. The main character is a boy named Dan. He's smart (a requirement for this school program) and a bit of a loner. He also has some undisclosed psychological problems for which he seems to have a therapist on speed dial. This doctor is referenced numerous times but never called. On arriving at the school Dan meets his roommate for the summer, a boy named Felix. Felix is also smart and definitely socially awkward. Dan immediately feels a bit put off by Felix and his semi-neurotic tendencies. Frankly I felt like Dan's dislike came on a little too sharply especially considering they were going to be rooming together and also because Felix's actions may have been a bit odd and off-putting but they certainly weren't offensive. Still, Dan decides to avoid Felix and instead searches out new friends. He meets an artsy girl named Abby and immediately falls in crush with her. He's quickly jealous of any other guys talking with her, even Jordan the gay math genius.
From a quick high level description, the characters sound interesting and have some potential. Unfortunately they never seemed to grow on me. They started out a little bit flat but I expected them to flesh out or mature throughout the story. Instead I was left feeling like their actions were forced and their motivations weren't believable. Some of their actions felt unrealistic for the characters I believed (wanted?) them to be. I think a lot of the problem was that there was more "telling" than "showing" in terms of trying to develop the characters. I was told what their characteristics and motivations were but when the characters acted, the actions felt disconnected and a little flat. I felt like there was a lot of missed potential in terms of using character development to draw me into the story. Still, accepting this as a younger novel, I moved on and assumed the characters for what I was told.
The book was definitely a plot driven story and the plot was intriguing. When Dan arrives in his dorm he finds a stack of old photos in his desk drawer. The photos are presumably from back in the day when the asylum was in full operation. Aside from being creepy depictions of strange old hallways and operating rooms, the pictures are extra creepy because the eyes are scratched out on all the photos of people. Dan asks Felix about this and Felix informs him that he found an old off-limit office downstairs with similar photos. With that, the mystery is underway.
Dan, Abby and Jordan decide to explore the office where they find more creepy old photos, hospital records and bloody handprints. As the story goes on, they explore farther and farther into the off-limits wing and discover more hidden secrets. Dan starts conducting research on the Asylum and interviewing people in town. He starts receiving strangely threatening notes and weird visions.
As the story went on, I felt some of the portions of the plot to be predictable and I quickly guessed the direction I was being taken. Then we start having murders and attempted murders and I began to doubt some of my predictions. The author worked to throw in a number of twists and turns filled with plot points that seemed predictable but questionable. Chapter after chapter I found more and more threads emerging with strange questions and weird side-plots. I still felt like I was predicting the main action but I was getting confused with all the extra material. Finally I arrived at the climactic ending where a few of the key plot points were wrapped up very cleanly...too cleanly. Honestly it felt a little dissatisfying. Even then, I hoped that the next few pages would wrap up some of the peripheral elements that were presented as important but alas those elements were left dangling.
Because I never felt particularly attached to the characters and as a result I wasn't especially invested in their success or failure. I felt a little let down that they didn't develop into more. The plot had me intrigued and curious as to what was really going on. There were definitely some good surprises and creepy moments that could have been more suspenseful or exciting if framed in a different way or if I was more attached to the characters. By the end of the story I was looking for a nice explanatory denouement to help wrap things up and answer all my various questions. Sadly that was not to be. Many of the peripheral plot elements that I thought were most compelling were left unanswered and almost wholly ignored at the end of the book. It left me unfulfilled and wanting more. I guess that means that in spite of the shortcomings, I was invested in finding out what happened. I just didn't feel like the ending satisfied that desire. The main plot ended with a small deus ex machina moment to resolve the main plot but then didn't bother to answer the lingering questions.
Overall I felt like this book had a lot of potential that just wasn't fully realized. It didn't work particularly well as a suspense novel for me because I didn't feel attached to or invested in the characters. It had some thrilling/horror elements but they were pretty low key overall since the goal seemed to be suspense more than shock. The mystery was compelling but was left so unresolved that it was unsatisfying. I honestly feel bad for rating this one low as I really felt like it had potential and I really wanted to like it but in the end, I wanted a lot more from this book and was left dissatisfied. Maybe others will like it more, but for me, it fell flat.
2 out of 5 stars
Not to say that I don't believe others will FLIP over this book. I can think of a few readers who would snap up this work and then talk about it... incessantly.... over the next few weeks.
Things I loved:
This books is most CERTAINLY creepy. I mean spooky to the point where I actually considered putting it down for the night or risk having bad dreams. I didn't listen to my own worries and read on until my eyes refused to cooperate a moment longer and demanded rest.
I did have nightmares last night as a result of reading the book. Nothing too horrifying, but I was forced out of sleep one or two times and I didn't exactly feel relaxed this morning upon waking.
The utilization of photographs in combination with the text WAS really hard hitting.
The author does an AMAZING job of setting everything up for one of the creepiest experiences you'll ever have reading a YA book.
I would not agree that this book is for fans of "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children", as "Asylum" was much more disturbing and dark.
The author knows suspense. Absolutely. That tingly feeling you get when you know something's about to happen, but you're not sure what, and you're not sure you want to find out... readers will encounter that. Brilliantly done.
Things that rubbed me wrong:
The pictures didn't always match the text. There were a few pictures randomly thrown in that I had to pause at and consider. "Does this have anything to do with what's going on right now?" When the answer was no, I skipped along and the creepy photo lost some of its punch due to its irrelevance.
Some of the images seemed manipulated. I was expecting every image in the book to be original and unaltered but I felt that there were a few that were altered in SOME form (even a miniscule one) to create a more startling effect. Feeling that I was looking at original images that had been faked up a bit for the shock or creepy factor took away from them somewhat.
Ghost story? Psych Thriller? I didn't know in the beginning and that was half the fun. As the book continued I settled in quite happily to the "Psych Thriller" aspect. What was real? What wasn't? Someone was crazy.... what was going on? I kept waiting for the answer. I was reading for the answer!
But wait... 85% through the book and suddenly.... it's ghosts? Or, hold on, some kind of metaphysical merging of energies? There wasn't enough information to explain what had happened or what was going on. I was left feeling thoroughly confused and not at all satisfied.
This was probably done purposefully as there's a second book in the series. What I'm saying is that the build up (the majority of the book) was phenomenal, but the climax and conclusions were somewhat of a let down.
At the same time "Occam's Razor" (mentioned in the book) may have been the moving force behind the somewhat simplistic ending explanations. Occam's Razor basically states that in the presence of exceedingly complex alternatives and possibilities, the simplest explanation is often the correct one. So... ghosts. Right? Wrong? I HAVE NO IDEA.
I'm just not so sure that (if it's meant to be a redirect to the original idea of Occam's Razor) readers would catch the connection or find it riveting enough for the feelings of "AHA!" to overshadow the disappointment of a somewhat dud conclusion.
Guess I'll just have to read the next one to find out what the heck is actually going on.....
Clever you Ms. Roux.
Most recent customer reviews
Genre: YA Horror
Recommended Age: 13+ (jump scares and creepy)
Amazon Link...Read more