Edward St. Aubyn has penned one of the most acclaimed series of the decade with the Patrick Melrose Novels. Now you can listen to all five novels in one volume: Never Mind, Bad News, Mother's Milk, Some Hope, and At Last.
By turns harrowing and hilarious, this ambitious novel cycle dissects the English upper class. Edward St. Aubyn offers his listener the often darkly funny and self-loathing world of privilege as we follow Patrick Melrose's story of abuse, addiction, and recovery from the age of five into early middle age. The Patrick Melrose novels comprise a modern masterpiece by one of "the most brilliant English novelists of his generation" (Alan Hollinghurst).
The Patrick Melrose Novels as read by Alex Jennings were nominated for a 2015 Audie Award in Literary Fiction.
©2015 Edward St. Aubyn (P)2013 Pan Macmillan, LTD
I may have to write a much more lengthy and insightful review to capture the ways I love, admire and appreciate this book. But since there's no time for that right now, I would say this book is for anyone who loves language and wit, the thrill, empathy and occasional horror of interior monologues from diverse and well-drawn characters, the slow unfolding of a story from many perspectives, and a frequent urge to write down what feels like profound truths imparted along the way. The performance was perfect as well - Mr Jennings used distinct voices to bring each character to life. Highly recommended!
"There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
I wasn't intrigued enough until I saw this series of novels had been collected in one volume. I'm glad I read this semi-autobiographical pentalogy, published between 1992 and 2011, which delighted me in its subtle shaming of modern-day British aristocracy (in a way only a defiant member can) as much as it troubled in its expert examination of the enduring destruction of child abuse (both physical and mental).
Just to provide a short synopsis of each of the 5 novels herein (in order of publication):
NEVER MIND: Set in a mountain village in southeast France at the summer home of the protagonist Patrick when he was 5 years old. His dreadfully cruel father and meek alcoholic mother host several guests at a dinner party. Includes an incident of the lewd abuse of Patrick.
BAD NEWS: Patrick is now a 25-year-old heroin abuser in New York City to retrieve the ashes of his father over a 24-hour period. Includes probably the most accurate depiction of the mindset of a active drug addict I've ever read.
SOME HOPE: Set back in England a few years later, prior to and at a society party, also takes place over a single day. Patrick is trying to stay clean and shares his secret with his best friend. A mordant observation of the haughty, shallow and cruel nature of the British upper crust. Queen Elizabeth's sister, Prince Margaret, plays a large and largely unflattering role.
MOTHER'S MILK: This novel, unlike the first 3 and the last, all of which are set on a single day, occurs over several years. It's almost as long as the first 3 combined. Patrick's 2 sons are born. For most of it, he's a self-centered cad, drunk and on pain pills. His mother has given away most of Patrick's legacy to a spiritual guide (like Tolle').
AT LAST: Patrick's mom's funeral. St. Aubyn really takes a sardonic whip to aristocracy concentrated in the form of a snot named Nicholas Pratt and his mother's sister. Example: Patrick's uncle comments on the charitable and warm nature of Patrick's mother, "Eleanor was always concerned about other people." "That can be a good thing," Nicholas admitted, "depending on who those other people are."
I'm not sure that I'd give any of the 5 novels 5 stars, but as a collection they are definitely worth the price.
The melrose novels are simply everything,you can ask for. The story reminds one of Proust . They are humorous, deep,intelligent,amazingly interesting. Thanks to St. Aubyn.
A bookworm who discovered the life hack that is audiobooks in January 2016. Personal development, history, and literary fiction are my faves
This audiobook is such a great deal because there are five books here instead of just the first of the series. The narrator is amazing and I've found his readings of some other books already. Each character has their own voice and talking style. These books play out like a series of dinner party conversations and observations that show the life of Patrick Melrose who grew up in a stuffy, phony upper class setting from his childhood and through the passing away of both his parents. He grows from drug addict delinquent to being a father himself and having to play through the roles of his culture and class. Edward St. Aubyn has a beautiful writing style which is in contrast tot he gritty, honest subjects. All of the character's inner and outer dialogue is clever, if not shallow and biting. It takes a great deal of empathy to get through this series and I think that's part of the deal. He is tackling a difficult subject, but follows absolutely no pre-set cliches in doing so. This is one of the best novels I have heard in my life and I would have never expected to appreciate it so much. Look past the basic premise and try to see what you can get out of reading a novel like this.
Another book about privileged white people who hate their jobs so they escape to heroine and stupidity.
great if advocate drug use
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.