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Memoirs From the Asylum

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4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  22 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
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
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...more
Philip Nork
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...more
Tiffany Losco
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
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.
Steve Lindahl
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
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...more
Vonnie Faroqui
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...more
Dianne Ascroft
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...more
Julie Weinstein
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...more
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
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...more
Karen
MEMOIRS FROM THE ASYLUM KENNETH WEENE
REVIEWED BY KAREN VAUGHAN
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...more
Mary

EMOTIONAL AND TERRIFYING

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,...more
Christoph Fischer
"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...more
Dellani Oakes
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...more
Irene Brodsky
Apr 15, 2010 Irene Brodsky rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Vic Fortezza
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.
Kenneth Weene
Aug 14, 2010 Kenneth Weene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (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.
Philip
Absolutely insane-pun intended. You will not put it down.
Robert
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...more
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