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Memoirs From the Asylum

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  43 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Memoir's From the Asylum in now available. This novel takes you not only inside the world of the state hospital but also inside the minds of patients and doctors. A tragi-comedic novel of madness, love, sexuality, violence, death, celebration, circuses, and surprising twists.
190 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by All Things That Matter Press (first published 2010)
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Jen Knox
Jun 01, 2010 Jen Knox rated it it was amazing
Many books take on the subject of mental illness, many more are set in psychiatric wards, but usually these are narratives that recount a single story or perspective. What distinguishes Memoirs from the Asylum is the fact that the reader is introduced not only to individuals in a mental institution but the larger community of the institutionalized lifestyle. Ken Weene introduces his reader to numerous, dynamically-drawn characters that absolutely come alive on the page, not only through their pr ...more
Arthur Graham
Jun 26, 2012 Arthur Graham rated it really liked it
Several streams of narrative flow together in this panoptic examination of life, death, and all the madness in between.

I must admit that I didn’t have very high expectations going into this. Like most books by unfamiliar authors, I could only hope for the best while preparing for the worst. Luckily for this cynic, however, Memoirs from the Asylum turned out to be well worth the time spent reading it.

The title seems purposefully ironic. Merriam-Webster defines “asylum” as “an inviolable place of
Steve Lindahl
Jan 19, 2013 Steve Lindahl rated it it was amazing
Memoirs from the Asylum takes its readers to a unique world as it helps them understand the thoughts and feelings of the people who reside there. Its setting isn't a strange country or a fictional land, but a building that could be a short distance from any of our homes. The behavior of the characters is shocking, but the shock makes sense in the strange logic of their world, a logic that stems from fear, resentment, and a need to find some control over lives that have wandered far from the path ...more
Martha Cheves
Oct 18, 2010 Martha Cheves rated it really liked it
Memoirs From the Asylum – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘I was scared of trying things that I couldn’t do. I’m one of those people who rehearses for getting up in the morning. I go through the sequence: what I’m going to wear, which tasks I’m going to complete, even what I’m going to think about. If something seems too difficult, screw it. If there’s a bunch of too difficult things on the roster, well, screw the whole day; I stay in my bed – my safe, unchallenging bed
Philip Nork
Jun 29, 2010 Philip Nork rated it really liked it
In “Memoirs from the Asylum” Kenneth Weene allows the reader to enter a world most of us pray we never have to…the world of mental illness and the effects it has on both the victims and those that are paid to help them.

There’s Marilyn, the catatonic schizophrenic, who spends all of her time seeing an altogether different world through a crack in her bedroom wall. It’s the world she once related to and is populated by those of her past who meant something to her. How will she respond when the cra
Sep 03, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing


I have read Kenneth Weene's intriguing book, Memoirs from the Asylum, some time ago. Not only was this a fascinating read, the writing was incredibly good. Mr. Weene's points of view were of both patients and staff in a mental hospital. They display such insight you feel like you are completely in their minds, which at times is a terrifying place to be. What an uncomfortable feeling to hear the thoughts of the patients through the conversations playing out in their heads,
Christoph Fischer
Jun 27, 2013 Christoph Fischer rated it really liked it
"Memoirs From he Asylum" by Kenneth Weene is an important and well composed piece of work about mental asylums. Snippets with perspectives on nurses and inmates alike highlight many rather important points and messages that people should really know more about.
Society's view on madness, on the term asylum or sanctuary, the helplessness of the patients, the overwhelming challenge of the nurses and doctors to name but a few.
Weene does a great job at portraying some false perceptions and errors in
Tiffany Losco
Feb 09, 2014 Tiffany Losco rated it it was ok
Shelves: memiors
When I started reading this book, I didn't really know what to expect. I would say this book is very interesting and detailed, but I hated it. I stopped reading halfway thought it, so I didn't finish it. I really wanted to finish it, but all the sexual abuse and molestation that was in the book really got to me. I am a sex abuse victim, and some of the parts in the book were so graphic that they really were upsetting me. I also found it weird that the author was in pastoral care, so he is some k ...more
Gloria Pearson-Vasey
Aug 31, 2012 Gloria Pearson-Vasey rated it really liked it
Kenneth Weene relates aspects of life in a state hospital through the eyes of a patient stranded there partially through his own apathy. We also meet a resident who, in attempting to make a difference in the lives of his patients, becomes drawn into the drabness of routine existence. Staff and patients are memorably and disturbingly portrayed in this fiction drawn from reality.
Kenneth Weene
Aug 14, 2010 Kenneth Weene rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
As I'm the author, I guess I should tell people that this is a powerful read but they have to learn that for themselves.
Vonnie Faroqui
Nov 30, 2010 Vonnie Faroqui rated it it was amazing
Book Title: Memoirs from the Asylum
Author: Kenneth Weene
ISBN: 978-0-9844219-5-4
Publisher: All Things that Matter Press, 2010
Reviewer Byline: Vonnie Faroqui for WITS

Memoirs from the Asylum author Kenneth Weene has, with many twists and phobic turns, succeeded in writing a moving and fascinating exploration of the inner workings of the insane mind. Memoirs is set within the confines of a mental health institution and weaves its way through the lives and memories of the asylum’s patients, narrated
Dianne Ascroft
Sep 01, 2010 Dianne Ascroft rated it really liked it
Memoirs From The Asylum by Kenneth Weene is a disturbing novel, set in an American state psychiatric institution. The story is told by three characters: a nameless narrator who is there voluntarily, Dr Ambrose, a new psychiatrist who is struggling with his own problems while trying to treat his patients and Marilyn, a catatonic schizophrenic who shields herself from reality by living in her own world. Their lives interweave throughout the story.

In a traditional novel action drives the plot. Read
Julie Weinstein
Sep 05, 2010 Julie Weinstein rated it it was amazing
Kenneth Weene’s Jaw Clamping, Nerve Spinning Novel-like Memoir Depicts Life Behind The Scenes in A Mental Asylum

This incredible novel is more than just a book about the insane. The characters in all their crazed out existences question what it means to be human and what happens when our greatest fears trap us from living. Set during the 1970s/1980s the book is reminiscent of the movies, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Girl Interrupted only with a more uplifting, thought provoking edge. Like
Kal Wagenheim
Jul 20, 2010 Kal Wagenheim marked it as to-read
Louis Auchincloss (1917-2010) was a gifted, prolific novelist who drew much of the material for his work from his experience as a lawyer. And we learn on the back cover of Kenneth Weene’s “Memoirs From the Asylum” that he is “a psychologist and pastoral counselor” who “has used that professional experience in this, his second novel.” More specifically, in his Author’s Note, Weene explains that many of the people “who helped shape the pages” of this brilliant novel “were at one time or another m ...more
Becky Allen
Mar 22, 2011 Becky Allen rated it really liked it
Like Chia Pets sprouting helplessly fake looking greenery, these images that flood out of my unconscious are covered with meanings."
This quote from the middle of this novel stuck with me as being the best assessment of the novel on a whole. Set within a mental hospital, the novel follows closely to three people within, an unnamed narrator, Marilyn the woman in a catatonic stupor and Dr. Buford Abrose a first year resident psychiatrist. The novel deals with madness that is self-created to fit in
Jan 03, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
This book will make you chuckle, cry and scratch your head. It will make you question why the neglect and abuse in a state mental institution is prevalent and ignored. Memoirs will make you wonder why people get into the field of mental health and psychiatry only to become burned out shells happy to bring on the valium so they don’t have to deal with the emotional detritus that was once some one’s mind.
The author has painted a vibran
Dellani Oakes
Apr 22, 2012 Dellani Oakes rated it it was amazing
Through this unique book, we follow the memories of one man's time in an insane asylum. He has voluntarily put himself in, and could leave at any time. He finds the asylum life predictable and safe – until some of his friends die, others marry and one of the doctors is killed. Finally deciding he's ready to venture into the real world once more, he leaves the confines of the asylum.

Memoirs from the Asylum is an unusual book that gives the reader an inside look at something we'd rather ignore – t
Irene Brodsky
Apr 15, 2010 Irene Brodsky rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This book will be availble in May 2010 and i am anticipating it will be a 5 star book based on Mr. Weene's previous books.

Mr. Weene is an excellent writer who weaves realistic tales that remind you of the girl next door, the every day woman, family issues, religion,
relationships, and anything else that could occur in anyone's life.

His characters are so real, you think they must be real. But they come from the creative mind of Kenneth Weene. In his lifetime, he has surely "been there and seen it
Glen Babington
Jun 26, 2015 Glen Babington rated it it was ok
Nothing uplifting in this book, just sad, tragic and hopeless. Maybe it just reflects the despair of the author's experience. The suggestion on the back cover that it is reminiscent of J.D. Salinger's style is outrageous or extremely generous at best.
Vic Fortezza
Jun 15, 2010 Vic Fortezza rated it really liked it
This is an authentic look at the tragedy of mental illnes. It is uncompromising and relentless in the protrayal of its characters. It is at once disturbing and fascinating, and refreshingly honest.
Oct 17, 2010 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely insane-pun intended. You will not put it down.
Oct 21, 2010 Robert rated it it was amazing
On the Other Side of the Mirror, October 21, 2010
By R. Rubenstein "RJR" (looking for a place) - See all my reviews

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This review is from: Memoirs From The Asylum (Paperback)
Home is where truth is found, held up to the light, no matter the darkness of the place it inhabits. Kenneth Weene's Memoirs from the Asylum is an unlikely place but that is where we don't mind staying because of the passion of the people that live there.
This is the book Ken Kesey did n
Nicole marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2016
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