The Muse Asylum by David CzuchlewskiThe Muse Asylum by David Czuchlewski

The Muse Asylum

byDavid Czuchlewski

Paperback | March 26, 2002

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“An ingeniously plotted postmodernist mystery. . . . David Czuchlewski writes with imagination, vision, and style.”—Joyce Carol Oates
Who is Horace Jacob Little, and what is he trying to hide?
Legend has is that not even his agent had met him, that they communicated via post office box. Horace Jacob Little had insisted on blank covers for all his books. . . . No one knew what he looked like or where he lived. . . . I used to imagine him: a death-row inmate, a mild-mannered accountant, a disfigured cripple. . . .
He was none of these, as it turned out, nothing my imagination could conjure.
Andrew Wallace, recent Princeton graduate and troubled genius, spends his days in the Overlook Psychiatric Institute—the Muse Asylum—writing about a dark conspiracy against him engineered by the elusive author Horace Jacob Little. When fellow classmate Jake Burnett, a novice reporter, arrives on the hospital grounds to visit Andrew, he learns that Andrew’s problems run much deeper than simple paranoia and obsession.
Along with Lara Knowles, the girl they both love, they try to break through the shadows of the enigmatic Horace Jacob Little. Instead, they find themselves caught in a twisted game of reflections and reversals, where each seems to be pursuing the other—for love, for success, or for a far more sinister purpose.
“[A] cleverly devised, sharply composed, entertaining and moving novel.”—The Wall Street Journal
David Czuchlewski graduated from Princeton University in 1998. He is currently a resident in the Department of Pathology at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Title:The Muse AsylumFormat:PaperbackPublished:March 26, 2002Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142000604

ISBN - 13:9780142000601

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Extremely Unique Book!! This one is a tough one to explain. I will probably have to re-write my explanation of this book a couple times before I come up with something that actually makes sense! There are three characters - Andrew, Lara, and Jake, who all attended Princeton in the same year. Then there is an author, Horace Jacob Little, who is an enigma. No one knows what Little looks like, where he lives, or anything about him. Jake introduced Lara to the works of Little, who then introduced Little's novels to Andrew. Andrew becomes obsessive about Little and begins to think that Little is out to get him. Eventually, Andrew is admitted to the Muse Asylum - a psychiatric hospital for the artistically gifted. It is here that Andrew writes his biography and the details of the Horace Jacob Little conspiracy. Andrew believes that Horace Jacob Little was murdered and replaced with another equally gifted author who continued to write in his name. Now that Andrew knows this secret, he believes that Little seeks to kill him or at the very least drive him crazy. When Jake meets up with Lara years after graduation, he learns about Andrew's admittance to the Muse Asylum. Jake is now a journalist and believes that this would make a good story. He visits Andrew and tries to understand Andrew's obsession. Jake also takes on the project of finding out who Horace Jacob Little actually is, and what, if anything, he has to hide. Of course, with such a plot, it's obvious that there are going to be twists at the end. I would have been disappointed if there were not! Although I have to admit, this is the type of book that allows your imagination to run wild and I was coming up with some pretty crazy theories of how I thought the book was going to end. The characters were very interesting. The book alternated between Jake's narrative and Andrew's confessions from his biography. Usually in novels about patients in psychiatric hospitals you only get an outsiders view. I really enjoyed getting the perspective from the character who is in the hospital. I found it ironic that one of the first pages in the book was the author's biography while the book discusses how not knowing an author should make the experience with the novel truer. Overall, an interesting and very unique novel. If you like novels that are a little off the wall and different from main stream stories, you would enjoy this.
Date published: 2008-02-18