Asylum is almost old fashioned. It has a Gothic ring to it and although it is set in 1959, the setting feels a bit older. The plot starts out as a strange love story. The wife of the superintendent of a mental asylum falls for a charismatic schizophrenic artist who is clearly dangerous for all involved. Yet the tale is narrated by the artist's psychiatrist and while he starts out as a neutral narrator in a style that slightly mimics a clinical case study, we slowly discover that this may also be his tale as much as theirs. The novel is exquisitely paced, wandering slowly through each turn and twist. The artist and his lover may not be the most emphatic characters I've encounter but they remain realistic and understandable. It is also one of the best fictional portrayal of schizophrenia and delusional disorder that I've read in a long time. Highly recommended for those who like psychological suspense.