Politics of The Asylum

PoTA is Adam’s first novel, it deals with the state of decline within the NHS as it is slowly destroyed by the Government and death of affect takes hold.



Nathan Finewax is a cleaner in a hospital steadily falling apart. He’s working on a ward where staff cheat, lie and steal to get ahead, where targets, death tolls and finance overrule patient care, and every day the same mistakes are repeated in a seemingly unstoppable wave of failures. Nathan is sucked deeper into the hospital routine as he dreams of escape, trying to avoid one day becoming a patient himself in this house of horrors. Based on the author’s experience working in the NHS, Politics of the Asylum is a nightmare vision of the modern healthcare system. Adam Steiner’s challenging debut is a novel for our times, and an emotive and highly original story of people trying to do more than simply exist.

Published by Urbane Publications – Find out more

READ CHAPTER ONE – Creatio Ex Nihilo


The asylum is the hospital through which all life flows, and the patient is a broken, traumatised and fractured Britain. Steiner’s poetic narrative is dense with imagery and reference, driving this intense state of the nation novel forward with passion and intensity.
Thom Cuell, Minor Literature[s]

A lacerating vision of decay – both of the human body and the British National Health System – the book is a non-stop barrage of wonderful, jolting word combinations and imagery.
Marc Nash, author of Three Dreams in the Key of G [Dead Ink Books]

Often resembles Iain Sinclair at his very foggiest – an intriguing book with a unique voice.
Nick Garrard, Storgy Magazine

The prose itself is key to the novel’s success. Its flow of imagery and definite rhythm, short chapters with dense paragraphs, broken sentences, words that tumble down the page.
Leo Cookman, Hong Kong Review of Books

As someone who has worked in the NHS for 20 years, the book resonates, like an impressionist painting of a well known place, and the increasingly fractured inner world of Nathan Finewax is terrifyingly honest – I found this surprisingly difficult to put down, the rhythm is compelling.
May Pheasant

Steiner should be praised for his ability to find inspiration in the most unlikely and mundane places; he captures well the dullness, the numbing and futile nature of a dead end job. Totally unique – and an important work for our times!
Professor Wu & Tom Andrews, Nothing In The Rule Book

A narrative brought to life by attention-grabbing intricate prose. Perhaps Politics of The Asylum is the cri de coeur the NHS needs.
Halima Hassan, Brixton Review of Books

There are many derelicts, their friends and families who will be glad of Steiner’s care and attention to detail, indeed to his writing this book in the first place. He has the rare ability to remain objective, with care and attention, to terrible truths which many would rather ignore.
Dan Duggan, Luxury of the Dispossessed [Influx Press]

Steiner brilliantly describes an NHS blitzed by bureaucracy, ‘sanitised’ to the point of insanity, pulverised by political manipulations. This state-of-the-nation novel shows how a Government’s privatisation dream has become England’s nightmare.
Guy Mankowski, An Honest Deceit [Urbane Publications]

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