Asylum - download pdf or read online

By Patrick McGrath

ISBN-10: 0679781382

ISBN-13: 9780679781387

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Against my advice Jack offered him the job, and a few weeks later the Raphaels arrived at the hospital. It was the summer of 1959 and the Mental Health Act had just been passed into law. This is a desolate sort of a place, though God knows it’s had the best years of my life. It is maximum-security, a walled city that rises from a high ridge to dominate the surrounding country: dense pine forest to the north and west, low-lying marshland to the south. It is built on the standard Victorian linear model, with wings radiating off the main blocks so that all the wards have an unobstructed view across the terraces to the open country beyond the Wall.

She enjoyed watching him work, she said, and I thought of Max, cerebral Max, as tall as Edgar but stooped, and pale, and forever polishing his spectacles; Max may have conceived the idea of restoring the conservatory, but it was another man’s labor that carried it through. And already his efforts were apparent. Much of the old glass had gone, and the structure was beginning to assume a skeletal appearance. It was strangely beautiful, she said, and when she returned to the house this was the image she carried with her, of that big confident man up a ladder with his shirt off, carefully picking broken glass from the frame of the Victorian conservatory.

The next day she again went down to the conservatory to see what he was doing. She freely chose to do so, nothing can excuse or obscure this fact. She found him up a ladder, removing broken glass from the frame of the structure, carefully working it free of the crumbling putty. He was dropping it into a dustbin beside the ladder, and every few moments the drowsy stillness of the afternoon was shattered by breaking glass. When he saw her approaching he came down the ladder and pulled off his heavy gloves.

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Asylum by Patrick McGrath


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