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Summary

Two young women, living centuries apart, both accused of madness, communicate across time to fight a common enemy...their doctors.

"It was the dog who found me."

Such is the stark confession launching the harrowing scene that begins The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls as Emilie Autumn, a young musician on the verge of a bright career, attempts suicide by overdosing on the antipsychotics prescribed to treat her bipolar disorder. Upon being discovered, Emilie is revived and immediately incarcerated in a maximum-security psych ward, despite her protestations that she is not crazy, and can provide valid reasons for her actions if someone would only listen.

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital's psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman, imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open.

As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats speak the Queen's English.

But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society's treatment of women and the mental health care industry's treatment of its patients.

Welcome to the Asylum. Are you committed?

©2007 The Asylum Emporium (P)2016 The Asylum Emporium

What listeners say about The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A Mixed Bag

I'm a huge fan of Emilie's work and the novel itself, but the audiobook is definitely amateur in nature; Emilie is not a skilled narrator, and her alternations between her natural voice and attempts at an English accent are jarring and a little jumpy, however not without their charms, and it's clear how much of a passion project this is for Autumn; a lot of love has gone into the creation of this experience. There are some lovely creative elements with the voice acting; for example, Emilie performs one of her songs in the latter half of the novel with piano accompaniment. I can see however why the voice acting makes this audiobook unlistenable for some.

In terms of the novel itself, This experimental book has great moments as well as many flaws, blending the realities of the singer’s real life with a fictionalised version of her time in an institution as well as a less than historically accurate imagining of victorian life with magical elements. The blending of fantasy with reality is very effective in leaving readers to contemplate what is ‘real’ within the tale and what is imagined. The novel is a scathing criticism of the mental health system and gives an eye opening insight into some of its failings, though readers must be aware that it is at times very insensitive to the plight of other people with mental illness, and could definitely be triggering to those who have suffered with eating disorders, suicidal thoughts or self harm. Heavy feminist themes will speak to many readers, though readers should be aware that this story is very, very dark, with the female inmates of the Victorian asylum suffering every injustice imaginable at the hands of their tormentors. The sisterly bonds developed by these characters are the real heart of the piece. Most of the characters feel a little flat, or like we leave the tale with their stories not quite finished (particularly for the novel’s collection of villains). I enjoyed this unique novel and would recommend it as a fantasy to those who are interested in Victoriana; providing they can stomach the miseries within.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible narrator.

Couldn't get through more than a few minutes, the narration is terrible. Not good at all.

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Fantastical window into madness

Leans much heavier on fantasy than reality. Charming characters. Eloquently performed. A dizzying journey between the madness of two kindred souls.

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Perfect depression

Spectacular well written. A perfect description of depression. True horror without requiring anything more than the description of the mind at war with itself. I recognise so much of myself in this, despite it being utterly different from my experience. Well worth the listen

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Strange narration but got used to it!!

struggled to get on with the narrator at first. very individual style but enjoyed the book despite its abrupt ending.

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Read the book before so already loved it. Enjoyed listening to it this time.

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AMAZING!

loved it so much. I've wanted to hear this for so long. physical copy next 💃

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Awful Narration

The narration was awful! truly awful , actually made me give up listening after a few chapters!

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love it.

amazing, in a word. as a fan of Emilies music I have known about the book since it was announced. but never was able to get a copy (written or otherwise) and the audiobook has had so much love and care put into it. would recommend to anyone even if they didnt know about her music career.

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Splendid!

After hearing the book from start to finish in the course of 2.5 days, I imediately started it all over again! Just overall a superb book!

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  • Lis.beth
  • 06-02-19

Painful narration

Painful to the point of distraction. Potentially if I read it myself, but this is my entertainment for commuting. I can’t even finish this. I cannot even focus on the story.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kat
  • 06-04-19

Exquisite

The performance of this book is outstanding and leaves you on edge. It’s books like this that I use audible for. When she describes a scene where they’re singing she is actually singing and it’s musical and you get lost in the scene as though you were watching a play... Bravo Emilie Bravo

3 people found this helpful

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  • kimberly eisner
  • 21-01-19

eh, not worth it.

ok story, absolutely awful narrator. I had anxiety listening to the author, but not in a good suspenseful anxiety type of way. I stuck through the story, and almost wish I hadn't.
listen to the sample before you use your credit.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-20

Absolutely amazing.

This book was a masterpiece made only more thrilling and tangible through the voice of Emilie Autumn. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, provided they’re in a place where they can handle a difficult story. Anyone who has ever dealt with trauma, sexism, grief, or hospitalization will find this book either a little too close to home or absolutely validating and cathartic. Personally, I loved this story. It is groundbreaking.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 08-10-18

A journey through the mind.

Emilie Autumn has done amazing things with this book! I love her music, and this book had drawn me in instantly! The characters, the music, the dialogue. How she hints to songs she has wrote. If you enjoy her music and have not read her book. I highly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Justin
  • 12-09-18

So much talent!

So much talent singer song writer and author of this amazing novel!I will be listening to this one over and over.My heart is filled with emotion.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-03-18

amazing insanity

Truly an Audible experience! Impossible to release for a moment; the narrator's intensity is only paralleled by the author's magnificent tale of courage, woe, and ultimate heartbreak.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paige
  • 11-04-21

Absolutely Love Autumn

Although I have never been institutionalized, I have been dealing with mental illness all my life. This book was amazingly detailed and although I was genuinely concerned for Emilie and her experience not just with being institutionalized but with her experience with her mental illnesses as well, I really loved that she managed to tell two separate stories full of vivid imagery. No spoilers here! You must read! Some parts were actually hard to listen to because I am a MDD and GAD which in this book she makes some statements that hit very close to home. I love this woman and the feeling of unity she creates through her characters as well as the shear terror and agony is able to dictate with the same vigor. I applaud you Emilie Autumn and all you are! Love, Just another one of your many Plague Rats <3

1 person found this helpful

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  • Derek
  • 24-01-19

I love the asylum

I loved every single second though I was disappointed that Miss Lucy who I have personified on a game and feel extremely close to
was not in the book.
also I could not believe there was not more to read I wish there had been a few more chapters to this book and it has never ended I wish there had been more detail about the asylum but other than that it's good intoxicatingly addicting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jensim
  • 20-11-21

What in the WORLD?

I absolutely could not finish listening to this book. I was so looking forward to it. The story was not the problem. I could only make it to chapter 24 before I had to return this title because of the narration. I really hoped it would have improved after a bit but it only got worse. When reading her own book it seemed so robotic and forced. Almost as if she struggled with reading in general. I don't do a lot of reviews but I think that this one deserved one if it saves even one person from wasting a credit or money.