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The Patrick Melrose Novels : Never Mind/ Bad News/ Some Hope/ Mother's Milk
by Edward St. Aubyn


Overview -

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
An" Atlantic Magazine" Best Book of the Year
A "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.  Read more...


 
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More About The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
 
 
 
Overview

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
An" Atlantic Magazine" Best Book of the Year
A "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."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780312429966
  • ISBN-10: 0312429967
  • Publisher: Picador USA
  • Publish Date: January 2012
  • Page Count: 680
  • Dimensions: 1.25 x 5.75 x 8.25 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Humorous

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-11-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

Coinciding with the publication of At Last, this omnibus edition shows that St. Aubyn’s five Patrick Melrose novels may well constitute one of the most ambitious novel cycles since Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time. Where Powell wrote about a wide swath of 20th-century English social history, St. Aubyn’s milieu is more focused and constrained, detailing the life of the scion of the eccentric, wealthy, and cruel David and Eleanor Melrose. Never Mind introduces the Melrose family over the course of a day and a half at their home in Provence, France: Dr. David Melrose, wife Eleanor, the five-year-old Patrick, and a vast assortment of hangers-on attracted to aristocracy and wealth. The novel also introduces the author’s chief narrative technique of confining foreground action to a short time span, which affords him ample opportunity for musing and introspection, rendered with elegant, pithy prose. In Bad News, Patrick is 22 and headed to New York in the 1980s “to collect my father’s corpse,” as he explains at customs. He’s also addicted to heroin and cocaine, and devotes as much time searching for drugs as he does coming to terms with his hated father and his death. Eight years later, in Some Hope, Patrick is studying law (by renting courtroom dramas) and recovering, from both addiction and an excruciating personal history: “his past lay before him like a corpse waiting to be embalmed.” And in Mother’s Milk, the most hopeful of the books in this volume, Patrick is married, somewhat unhappily, and a father (the amazing opening pages are written from the newborn Robert’s perspective; only hours old, he notes that “he couldn’t live with so much doubt and so much intensity”). Still haunted by his own father, Patrick must deal with his mother’s crackpot philanthropy, sure to destroy the family fortune. This cycle is no ordinary family saga, or even that of an extraordinary family (which the Melrose clan certainly is); plot summaries don’t touch on St. Aubyn’s gift. Though the author has clearly mined his own experience, he has refined it into something exquisite, an exploration of consciousness and the journey from the helplessness of childhood to “the pure inevitability of things being as they were,” as elegant a definition of acceptance as anyone is likely to write. And his serious purpose is buoyed by an abundant wit, laugh-out-loud funniness, and piercing observations into the world of privilege and entitlement. Agent: Aitken Alexander Associates. (Jan.)

 
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