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Patrick Melrose Novels Paperback – April 1, 2012
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This volume introduces American readers to the first four Melrose novels—Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother’s Milk—published in Great Britian from 1992 to 2006. (The fifth book, At Last, is available as a separate volume.) In Never Mind, Patrick is five years old, living in Provence with his incredibly rich American mother, Eleanor, and his sadistic, abusive English father, David. In Bad News, Patrick, now 22, goes to New York to collect David’s ashes, and there he feeds his addiction to various drugs in a spectacular fashion, spending over $10,000 in the course of a single day. If Bad News calls to mind Bright Lights, Big City, Some Hope is more like Wodehouse, with Patrick, now sober, attending a country-house party at which Princess Margaret is also a guest. Mother’s Milk returns to Provence, where Patrick is vacationing with his wife and sons in the house that Eleanor has turned into a New Age wellness center. Mother’s Milk was a Man Booker finalist, making this volume especially welcome for readers who savor literary British fiction. --Mary Ellen Quinn --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
A brew of romans a clef set amid a sparklingly decadent upper-crust English background, the novels are a mordant portrait of a class that St. Aubyn loathes but is undeniably his own. In each novel we read a kind of status report on Patrick's progress, one in which his growing desire to come to grips with his legacy and the shadow of maturity does battle with a pathological case of self-loathing, an appetite for sex and self-medication. Bleak as the material may sound, the Melrose novels are modern masterworks of social comedy. —Eric Banks --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.