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The Gown

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A young woman is driven to madness by the recurring appearance of a hospital gown that first traumatized her as a child.

By the author of the bestselling gothic novel  The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls , “The Gown” is a chilling example of how a seemingly innocuous event can tragically erode the psyche of a sensitive child.
This disturbing short story follows a namel
Kindle Edition, 34 pages
Published February 19th 2018 by The Asylum Emporium
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  253 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Emm C²
The tile of the ward is colder than death’s heart, and yet it always tries to coax us back into its arms with a lie about its nature.

A young woman is admitted to a hospital several times over her life, at first for an innocuous general visit as a teen then for her deteriorating mental and physical health as an adult. Each time one same old gown turns up, stained with the blood of a past embarrassment that seems to haunt her, an omen which only seems to serve to add insult to her injuries.

“The go
I finished this story in no time at all. It was so creepy that I had to keep going to get to the inside of the story. I just wish there was more of it. I got chills and goosebumps.
S. Slettetveit
Feb 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: just-no, 2018
Thoroughly boring and non-engaging. The main character is yet another avatar for the author. I guess a full-length novel starring not one, but two, wasn't enough. And of course, the "plot" is a little too thinly veiled reference to the author's own psych ward stretch and unexplained hatred of doctors. Who didn't see that coming. Verdict: Unless you're a member of the author's little fan club, you can safely skip this one. ...more
Helena Bradford
Feb 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
"Best-selling author" let's get something straight here. Her book (TAFWVG) only looked like a best-seller because her music fans (plague rats) were buying it, to feed her ego. If you're expecting some good writing/literature, I warn you, this is average. If not below it.

I have nothing against Miss Autumn. I don't know her. On the other hand, I do. I guess, through this "book" and her last and the music. You know what? One album about mental illness, fine. We all need catharsis but 12 years only
Jun 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
I don't know what I was expecting. It's super short, it's another story starring her again, it's super short, it's undeveloped, it reads as unfinished due to leaving you hanging in a "I don't know how to wrap this up" sort of way instead of a clever, thought-provoking way, and it's super short. I don't think The Yellow Wallpaper comparisons are really fair though.

idk I have sort of grown into a semi-fan of EA due to her general ... ambience, or what have you, as an artist. At the same time, she
Summer Seeds
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
I only give one star to books I truly hate, but this was still pretty bad. The writing was iffy, which is a shame because I like Emilie's music and enjoyed her other book.

Honestly, it just didn't make much sense in my mind. Those gowns get bled on, vomited on, and worse. Okay, it's embarrassing at first, but this seems like an overkill reaction to a blood spot? I have serious anxiety problems, but this chick made me feel normal. In addition, if you move, a doctor will help you find someone new
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it

["Cold water for blood"]...

Tell you what! I can relate this short story to the another, it was the short story named “The Yellow Wall-Paper“ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Though of course this one is completely different from the other. But yes I can vote this one OK though not favorite…

Anyway while I was reading, the story did disturbed me in some point. I felt like me too was thinking as same as like that young woman who was driven crazy whenever she saw that hospital gown. Kind of depresse
Jessica (Read book. Repeat)
This is a short story about a girl who keeps seeing the same hospital gown that she dreads, throughout her life.

I did enjoy it, but as soon as I started to get into it, it ended. I'd love for it to be added to and given a bit more explanation to certain things.
I’m sad to report I was really disappointed with this. I really enjoyed The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls (hardback 2nd edition) but this just wasn’t for me. Just as the story began to get going... it stopped! The last section in particular felt really rushed. The whole thing could have benefitted from a few more pages; perhaps even been a full-length novella? Things don’t necessarily need to have been explained more thoroughly — I actually really liked the ambiguity — but I wish the story ...more
Julia O'Connell
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The Gown" is a study in ambiguity and open-endedness. Perhaps the most pressing question at the end of the story is whether we should trust the narrator's version of events. In this way, "The Gown" participates in the longstanding Gothic trope of the unreliable narrator. It seems factually impossible that the exact same gown should end up in different medical facilities around the country and repeatedly be given to the same patient over a period of many years. The narrator's obsessive behaviors ...more
Sana Burton
Good story, shame the author charges so much.

The good: Emilie Autumn's writing style has definitely improved since The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, and the idea of a story focused on repressed shame over something seemingly trivial spiraling out of control worked well.

The bad: It felt a little rushed, like too much time passed between sections without being elaborated on. As I think I said in my review of TAFWVG, Emilie Autumn needs to learn to show rather than tell.

The ugly: Truth be tol
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Gown

A thought provoking and haunting story. I think it does a very good job, at least the way I see it, of expressing how vulnerable patients are when they visit the doctor. It’s already an uneven power situation, and then one is forced to disrobe and don a gown that is completely open in the back, and that’s all that protects you from the world; it also shifts the power dynamic even more as the doctor is fully clothed. If you are a patient with a mental illness, it can become even more of a
Carly O'Connell
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This short story reads like a Poe story, with its theme of obsession and tone of creeping horror. The narrator follows an unnamed female protagonist as a certain hospital gown seems to follow her through a series of doctor visits over the course of many years. No matter how far she goes or how old she is, it's always that same blue diamond-patterned gown with a blood drop just above the knee, that she herself had dropped there.
Following the story is a set of study guide questions that help driv
Anamelia Regan
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was very confused by this. It was a short story so of course there wasn't too much going on but it wasn't gripping or engaging it was just odd.
I understand the themes of madness, obsession, mental and physical health deterioration here, but it didn't flow. Where did any of this come from? Why did the character get so upset by a spot of blood? What were her motives? Why did any of this happen?
If this had expanded on itself a lot more, or been a bit more fleshed out then it would have been inter
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Anxiety inducing.

This story made me feel so anxious. I hate wearing hospital gowns my self, and will offer any and all possible excuses to never be undressed, even while in hospital. The description of them lacking modesty, yet being a sign of a proper patient cut into me. I won't lie, the next time I'm forced to wear one, which I sincerely hope will be NEVER, I might just look for that spot.

I think the combination of anxiety inducing prose and social commentary on the medical industry is amazin
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a short story, about half an hour of reading, where disparate medical moments across a woman's life are tied together by a questionable connective tissue. The narrator isn't necessarily reliable, but that's central to the story (as the rather pointed discussion questions also included try to focus on). It feels intensely personal; the details and moments feel pulled directly from life, even if there are aspects that don't seem like they could be. It paints a picture of a mind that proces ...more
Kirsty Niven
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved it. Like much of her work (both musical and written!), this story is Gothic, harrowingly truthful and tinged with terror. The creeping sense of anxiety of the story’s unnamed heroine is quickly pushed onto the reader. In many ways it is almost a modern, perhaps more accessible, take on The Yellow Wallpaper, the gown taking the role of that tale’s eponymous wallpaper. Emilie Autumn is brilliant at relating the lows of mental illness and she does it here again, highlighting how ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my stars! Praises to this story.

I ordered the paperback, but just finished reading the ebook in one sitting and I must say I just can’t. I loved it. The pace, the mania, the mood. It was cathartic to me. It depicted the stages of my own anxiety disorder. I’ve never felt like anyone else could, even without meaning to, depict how I feel. And Emilie Autumn does it so well here. I feel identified. This reads like it’s about all of us. Thank you, EA!!

W11Y ❤️🕸🐀
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting premise, albeit not very gripping. I can forgive it on the basis of this story being a short one. Autumn has an excellent ability to write, evident by The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls - The Gown doesn't demonstrate this as well, however. The protagonist isn't particularly likeable, she is almost irritating. I suspect this was the intended effect, but did not lend itself towards an incentive to care about the story. ...more
Christy Anderson
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Way too quick, even for a short story

Oh how I can relate to EA's stories! The Gown left me feeling a little empty and reminding me of my own broken history. I would, and do, recommend it to anyone, especially to those who struggle to comprehend the mentally ill, whether caregivers or medical staff!
Bill Martin
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Personal conflict

The story makes me think of personal conflict and worrying about what others think. Getting another’s point of view on this and how they are treated brings up four considerations how we treat mental disorders and the health system. It also is interesting to read about how such a small thing affects us over such a long time.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
In a very bizarre way this short story made perfect sense, at least for me. Mentall illnesses are bizarre and weird and so very personal. The way this was written was a bit confusing at times because of the narrating but oh well. Confusion fits. I would’ve liked it better if it were a bit longer but still a good read. Weird but good.
Chlöe-Louise Faulkner
I found it confusing, but at the same time I couldn't stop reading...

I loved the piece of writing. The only reason I gave 3 stars is more because of my own inability to understand the story properly. Maybe speaking with the author herself would help to clear my mind and help me make sense of what she wanted her readers to feel?

I loved "The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls".
Lesleyanne Bathory
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must for any Plague Rat

A wonderful short story that I found very similar in style to the classic The Yellow Wallpaper. Emilie is a wonderful writer (and all around artist). This is a story that will stay with me and that I will no doubt read again.
Sage  Vermont
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting story

This story kept me very intrigued. There is so much going on in such a short story that I had to read it twice to understand what was going on. I am very glad that it came with a "study guide". Anyways, I really enjoyed this story.
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Review soon to follow, but yikes. This was... interesting. 2 stars for the prose not making me want to scream at least and no awful grammar. I do not recommend whatsoever. It has such an absurd plot and one dimensional character.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it liked it
Short but sweet

The first I've read of Emilie Autumn and I'm looking forward to reading The Asylum, by her.

It's a very short short story but still enjoyable. Raises more questions than it answers but was a good little read to start the year off with.
David Griffith
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Quick, psychological, and mysterious. It’s a very short story that’s well written, sets you up and gives you a spin around. It’s like a snack from the banquet that is her novel “The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls”. I’d recommend the read to any fan of the author.
Alaina Carey
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Great, quick read and absolutely haunting and unnerving in its prose. Emilie is a true talent and artist, both musically and with the written word.
Lara Lenc
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The story truly resonates. The images are clear and the emotion is palpable. A must read for all of the plague rats!
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Emilie Autumn grew up by the sea in California where she mastered the classical violin before going on to travel the world as a singing theatrical performer and author. Globally known for her genre-bending album Fight Like A Girl, Emilie has also appeared as an actress, starring in Darren Lynn Bousman's musical fantasy films The Devil's Carnival and Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival.

Emilie’s academic

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