The Asylum Review

The Asylum - Zahid Zaman

The Asylum Review

I read 'The Asylum' the way books of its kind should always be read. Night time, dark room, reading light, feet up, duvet over.

Zaman's novel is a short one that presents an effectively creepy story without ever being boring. There's no stunting the pace of the rapidly unfolding story, in which an asylum's newest employee begins to investigate his workplace's weird tendencies. Why is the ward shaped like a crucifix? Who is it that's 'almost here' and everyone keeps talking about? Why is 6 o clock always particularly violent?

The greatest strength of the book is the way Zaman uses his own experiences to force the reader to question what's real or not, autobiographical or fiction, delusion or fact. In this, Zaman creates fear in a way most author's cannot; by deliberately confusing the novel's intrigue with his own real story I was drawn in and felt more than a simple worry for make-believe characters. I was so compelled by the story he had to tell, as would be anyone, as would be you!

Chilling even after the final page, and gripping all the way through. If a scary book is what you're after, this one is worth a read.