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The Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad…

The Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and… (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Edward St. Aubyn

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Title:The Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother's Milk
Authors:Edward St. Aubyn
Info:Picador (2012), Edition: 1, Paperback, 688 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother's Milk by Edward St. Aubyn (2012)

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Beautiful prose, often humorous, but equally annoying with despicable characters. Better in the beginning, it started to feel like a real chore by the end. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Oct 8, 2016 |
I'm not one of those people who can't enjoy books where the characters are un-likeable, luckily, because so far nearly everybody in the first book of this omnibus is horrible. But they're all interesting and entertaining so I'm really enjoying it.

Mother's Milk started out a bit too twee but is getting more interesting as it goes along. right now I'm feeling like the theme is how everybody is trying to recover from their parents.
  piemouth | Dec 6, 2015 |
Lovely prose, enjoyable to read, found the dialog unrealistic, but then I'm not particularly witty. ( )
  cptvegetable | Jan 7, 2015 |
These stories are masterpieces of wit and insight. The dialogue sizzles and the characters are shockingly real.
I believe this series of novels is partly autobiographical. The author must have felt tortured through the writing but hopefully was at some sort of peace at the end. This volume includes 4 works which were written over several years so the healing would have been a long-drawn out effort.
It is a long time since I read something so hilarious and tragic. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Apr 25, 2014 |
I had an intense love-hate relationship with these novels all the way through, and having just finished Mother's Milk, I'm not altogether sure where I have ended up. Perhaps I won't figure it out until I read the final one. I'm certainly glad I kept reading past the first two, which I disliked in a kind of visceral way--not because they were badly written but because I found it hard to bear their attitude of combined cynicism and despair rendered in impeccably elegant and often very witty language. I started to suspect that there was, in fact, an ethos somewhere (in the books, at least--I'm not sure about in the characters) that counteracted the nastiness. I'll have to let it sit for a bit and think some more about it before I write up a more detailed response on my blog.
  rmaitzen | Feb 7, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312429967, Paperback)


An Atlantic Magazine Best Book of the Year
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

“The Melrose Novels are a masterwork for the twenty-first century, written by one of the great prose stylists in England.” —Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones

For more than twenty years, acclaimed author Edward St. Aubyn has chronicled the life of Patrick Melrose, painting an extraordinary portrait of the beleaguered and self-loathing world of privilege. This single volume collects the first four novels—Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother’s Milk, a Man Booker finalist—to coincide with the publication of At Last, the final installment of this unique novel cycle.

By turns harrowing and hilarious, these beautifully written novels dissect the English upper class as we follow Patrick Melrose’s story from child abuse to heroin addiction and recovery. Never Mind, the first novel, unfolds over a day and an evening at the family’s chateaux in the south of France, where the sadistic and terrifying figure of David Melrose dominates the lives of his five-year-old son, Patrick, and his rich and unhappy American mother, Eleanor. From abuse to addiction, the second novel, Bad News opens as the twenty-two-year-old Patrick sets off to collect his father’s ashes from New York, where he will spend a drug-crazed twenty-four hours. And back in England, the third novel, Some Hope, offers a sober and clean Patrick the possibility of recovery. The fourth novel, the Booker-shortlisted Mother’s Milk, returns to the family chateau, where Patrick, now married and a father himself, struggles with child rearing, adultery, his mother’s desire for assisted suicide, and the loss of the family home to a New Age foundation.

Edward St. Aubyn offers a window into a world of utter decadence, amorality, greed, snobbery, and cruelty—welcome to the declining British aristocracy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:26 -0400)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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