The lives of three recent Princeton graduates--Jake Burnett, a reporter for a small Manhattan weekly; Andrew Wallace, a troubled genius convinced of worldwide conspiracies and cover-ups; and Lara Knowles, ex-girlfriend to both--weave together in a search to uncover the identity of the reclusive master of the modern novel, Horace Jacob Little.
A violent act lands Andrew in the Overlook Psychiatric Institute, also known as the Muse Asylum, a haven for the artistically gifted with mental illness. He spends his days working on his autobiography, the story of the Horace Jacob Little conspiracy, and his own efforts to protect his true love, Lara, from the dangerous author.
But when Jake--trying to make a name for himself by unmasking Horace Jacob Little--goes to visit Andrew, he finds himself caught in a game of cat and mouse, where victim becomes stalker and hunter becomes prey. After Jake inadvertently sets him onto the trail of the author, Andrew spirals deeper into madness. And only then does Jake fathom the author's secret, and the lengths to which Horace Jacob Little will go to protect it.
Part love story and part journey into the psychology of genius, The Muse Asylum is a tale of stunning reversals and reflections in a world where things are never quite what they seem.
I have no memory of the days I first learned about music, language or the sea. But I remember discovering Horace Jacob Little.
A stray paperback, overstocked or misordered, fell into the possession of my high school English teacher. Recognizing nothing of what would come of it, she gave me this copy of The Unreal City, Horace Jacob Littles early masterpiece of love and betrayal. It did not look promising to me. Of the books six hundred pages, the first twenty provided a detailed history and geography of its fictional setting. At the time I was a fan of books in which vampires have killed several people by page twenty. Worst of all, the cover was blank except for the title and the authors name. It looked unfinished--something long and tedious that the publisher simply gave up on and sent out without bothering to commission artwork.
I let the book sit around before boredom drove me to pick it up on an idle weekend. I read it straight through, over ...
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A magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dante's continued grip on our imagination, and a captivating thriller that will surprise readers from beginning to end.
In 1837 the great poet John Clare finds himself in High Beach - a mental institution on the outskirts of London. Soon another famed writer, the young Alfred Tennyson, moves nearby and grows entwined in the cloistered world of High Beach and its residents. (Paperback Original)
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