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Some Hope: Book Three of the Patrick Melrose…

Some Hope: Book Three of the Patrick Melrose Novels (original 1994; edition 2018)

by Edward St. Aubyn (Author)

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1716103,673 (3.54)2
Title:Some Hope: Book Three of the Patrick Melrose Novels
Authors:Edward St. Aubyn (Author)
Info:Picador (2018), 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Novels

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Some Hope by Edward St. Aubyn (1994)



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This is the third novel in Edward St. Aubyn's Patrick Melrose series. Patrick is now 30 years old and he has recently stopped using drugs, replacing them with frequent meaningless sexual encounters and alcohol, while he wallows in self pity and ennui. He is financially independent and abhors the thought of work. He receives an invitation from Nicholas Pratt to attend a lavish party in honor of Princess Margaret in the English countryside, which is meant to ensure his connection with the right people. Characters from both previous novels appear in this one, and the dinner is highlighted by a delightfully amusing encounter between Princess Margaret and the French ambassador. I found this to be the least interesting of the three novels, although it was very well written and the series as a whole was a very worthwhile read. ( )
  kidzdoc | May 11, 2013 |
The third in the series of four: I liked this least. He's at a party and there's a lot of talking and in all it was quite boring. Looking forward to finishing the series so I can read At Last at last. ( )
  bobbieharv | Jul 9, 2012 |
A difficult book to summarise. The writing is of the highest calibre - or rather intelligence. Every sentence is a work of art. And every sentence of dialogue is a bon mot. For all that, it comes across as not quite believable. Everyone is just too, too, too OTT. There are maybe one or two minor characters that are remotely 'normal'.
This is really three books, originally published as such. "Never Mind", a glimpse into one period in Patrick's childhood is possibly the best. It's chilling in its portrayal of the selfishness of the 'set' into which he's born and is, if anything, an exploration of his parents, especially his father, and the other adults in his life and how their behaviour impacts Patrick. Most specifically, his father's abusive behaviour towards him (and you'll have to read the book to see how far that extends) and where that behaviour comes from, foreshadow what Patrick will become as an adult. Personally, I found the abuse a step too far; it wasn't necessary for it to be as bad as it was and kind of weakened the plot. I know it was largely autobiographical but it didn't have to be so close to the author's own experience, at least for this reader.
"Bad News" is set when Patrick, as a drug-addicted twentysomething, hears of his father's death and flies out to New York to collect his body. It is in essence a harrowing portrayal of Patrick's addiction.
"Some Hope", the final novella, is set some years later when Patrick, now in recovery, travels to a country-house party. It is very funny, but farcically so. There are scenes of almost embarrassing slapstick featuring Princess Margaret and the French ambassador... It's not clear how or when Patrick managed to recover from his addiction, but it does explore how he tries to move on from hating from his father so he can let go of that and live his life ( )
  justininlondon | Sep 19, 2011 |
Not nearly as good as his later book 'Mother's Milk' (which I actually read before this one) but the amazing prose carries the story through some of the lapses in narrative. St Aubyn's vivid descriptions on drug taking both repel and seduce, though it is his biting descriptions of British 'society' that really bring this book to life. ( )
  ForrestFamily | Feb 14, 2009 |
re Patrick Melrose (abused child, alci mother, sadist father, junkie, scathing and upper class). story of his life as he seeks redemption/understanding. originally published as a trilogy. loved it. great style and story telling.
  paperperson | Sep 25, 2006 |
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Patrick woke up knowing he had dreamed but unable to remember the contents of his dream.
'Aren't people awful?' said Aurora Donne in that condescending voice for which she was famous. Her large liquid eyes and creamy complexion gave her the soft beauty of a Charolais cow, but her sniggering laughter, reserved for her own remarks, was more reminiscent of a hyena.
David Windfall, florid and hot from his bath, squeezed into dinner jacket trousers that seemed to strain like sausage skins from the pressure of his thighs. Beads of sweat broke out continually on his upper lip and forehead. He wiped them away, glancing at himself in the mirror; although he looked like a hippopotamus with hypertension he was well satisfied.

He was going to have dinner with Cindy Smith. She was world-famously sexy and glamorous, but David was not intimidated because he was charming and sophisticated and, well, English. The Windfalls had been making their influence felt in Cumbria for centuries before Miss Smith popped onto the scene, he reassured himself as he buttoned up the overtight shirt on his already sweating neck.
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From Provence to New York to Gloucestershire, through the savageries of a childhood with a tyrannical father and an alcoholic mother, to a young adulthood fraught with drug addiction, we follow Patrick Melrose's search for redemption amidst a crowd of glittering social dragonflies whose vapidity is the subject of his most stinging and memorable barbs. A story of abuse, addiction and recovery, the trilogy is a haunting yet hilarious depiction of a journey to and from the furthest limits of the human experience.… (more)

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