The Patrick Melrose Novels

The Patrick Melrose Novels

Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother's Milk

eBook - 2012
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Follows the life of Patrick Melrose, a member of an upper class English family, through his traumatic childhood with an abusive father, drug addiction, fatherhood, and the possible loss of his family home.
Publisher: New York : Picador, 2012
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781466840294
1466840293
Branch Call Number: EBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource (680 pages)

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r
rusty_13
Mar 19, 2016

This is not the carefree, yuppie romance depicted on the cover. But, then again, if the cover matched the contents, it might scare you off. What the Patrick Melrose novels offer is a witty, elegantly written, often depressing, acerbic account of a man born into privilege but also abuse. It's both captivating and unforgettable.

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 29, 2014

"Although you know my hatred for my father, and my love for drugs, are the most important relationships in my life, I want you to know that you come in third."
Four novels (the fifth, "At Last," is not included) spanning the first four decades of the title character, born wealthy but cursed with an abusive, overbearing father and a distant, ineffective mother. And, a really serious drug problem. Think of it as a kind of British Rabbit series, except a lot funnier. There are echoes of Waugh and Amis (both pere and fils) in St. Aubyn's razor wit and dissection of the badly behaved upper class, but there's also a real disgust that is bracing and authentic. "Never Mind" begins when Melrose is a child and introduces his parents, focusing on his domineering father who abuses him. "Bad News" catches up with him years later as he goes to NYC to collect his father's ashes and processes his grief and hatred of his father by going on a drug spree of epic proportions. The third and fourth novels find him kicking drugs and reluctantly growing up, getting married, having children, but not settling down entirely, as he has an affair with a teenage girl and replaces drugs with alcohol. If there's a fault it's that many of the characters are monsters and Melrose's keen self-awareness and black humor barely keep him from being truly awful. You'll burn through these quickly. He deserves much of the acclaim that the odious Martin Amis receives.

c
Cary_Grant
Aug 29, 2014

A brilliants stylist spears the rich and fatuous (and worse) of the scepter'd isle -- may of the jests here are worthy of Oscar Wilde, but almost everyone here (with a few signal exceptions) are truly appalling.

St. Aubyn has heart to go with that acid pen -- he has genuine compassion for the exceptions (without glossing over how dreadful they can be) and (this is what makes these books great) not a few of the horrible people.

c
csut2
May 17, 2014

Sam Sacs WSJ

l
lstaehling
May 17, 2013

Beautiful writing. Harrowing stories full of pain one minute and then so funny you laugh out loud. Assume this is semi autobiographical.

o
okbookgirl
Jul 21, 2012

Dark and sometimes very funny. Aubyn can certainly write (I would say he can *really* write; I read these books compulsively), but some parts of these stories about the life of Patrick Melrose are bleak. You don't know if you should cry, or laugh, or try and remember they are stories and do neither. Strange but wonderful.

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