Asylum is a series of short horror stories written by Matt Dymerski which if you follow my blog you know I have mentioned before.
It seems that Dymerski is the only author other than Lovecraft that I’ve been following quite a bit. From the “Psychosis” and “An empty prison” to “A shattered life” his stories have always been some of my favorites.
Asylum tells the story of a worker in a mental institution who begins an investigation to uncover a dark truth surrounding some of his patients. The story is told in 6 chapters:
The first story talks about a young girl with an eating disorder who keeps finding disgusting things in her food becoming paranoid that one of her friends is pulling some sort of sick prank on her. The only way that they could feed her now is intravenously.
In the second one, a man talks about a man who he bumps into that spills blood on him. That same night he wakes up to find a razor deep inside his body and finds something living crawling out of his shin bone. This is where some of the things make our protagonist suspicious.
Part three is about a young girl in desperate need of finances to finish her education. One night she gets an email about a scholarship which seemingly would solve all her problems. She becomes obsessed with earning it and it takes over her entire life leading her to insanity. Here, the protagonist concerned that there is more to this tries to tell the chief of medicine about all of it but he just tells him off.
The fourth part is probably my favorite one. It starts with the protagonist listening to the story of a man who was horribly disfigured talk about a woman that he loved and how he got to the state that he is now. The darkest and the goriest one so far but that is not the part that was interesting. During his questioning he discovers something that will change how he thinks about the asylum completely and things become much more complicated.
From here on out I can’t talk more without spoiling the direction of the story. All I can say is that it becomes much deeper and philosophical.
At the start the writing style might throw you off but remember they are the ramblings of mental patients.
I remember the first time I read this series. I was returning to my hometown on a bus and was immediately drawn into the story. It was fantastic and I was really blown away. There was also a really interesting connection with one of his other stories which I love – Psychosis. Reading it for the second time though it did not leave the same impression on me as the first one. It’s an amazing concept and I did really enjoy it, don’t get me wrong but it did feel a bit too “edgy” at the end with all the social commentary about society. But It is still definitely worth a read.
Final verdict: 7/10