Cover image for The muse asylum
The muse asylum
Czuchlewski, David.
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Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2001]

Physical Description:
225 pages ; 23 cm
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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.Visit The Muse Asylum feature site:

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Genius and madness blur in a daring, self-consciously literary debut that runs circles around the postmodern chestnut, the "death of the author," to speculate on the murderous theft of an author's identity. Czuchlewski, a 24-year-old medical student who started work on the book as a senior thesis project at Princeton, may lack the visionary gifts of the fictional author at his novel's center, but he has crafted a stylish, assured and gripping work of fiction. Jake Burnett, fresh out of Princeton, takes a reporting job with the Manhattan Ledger, a rundown weekly rag. He and his editor hatch a circulation-boosting plan to track down Horace Jacob Little, a Pynchonesque cult author who has never been photographed or interviewed. Meanwhile, Jake's former classmate Andrew Wallace, is documenting his own encounters with Little furiously penning his "Confessions" from his room in the Muse Asylum, a residential psychiatric facility for artists. For Andrew, tracking the author is more than just a hobby; his obsession with Little's identity permeates his troubled "Confessions." Jake and Andrew are linked not only by their interest in Little but by their romantic infatuation with Lara Knowles, a fellow Princetonian who dated both men and had planned to wed Andrew before his psychiatric break. When Lara lends Jake her copy of Andrew's "Confessions," Jake discovers that Andrew's schizophrenic rant may point to a surprising truth about Little that puts both Andrew and Jake in danger. While some of Czuchlewski's prose has the amateurish enthusiasm of an undergraduate taking his first class in literary criticism (the plot summaries of Little's stories make the fabled author seem like an ersatz Borges), the novel is well plotted, with nuanced characters and real intellectual heft. Czuchlewski is a writer to watch. Agent, Elly Sidel. Foreign rights sold in France. (May 21) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved