TITLE: The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels
AUTHOR: Edward St. Aubyn
Quote: “The claim that every man kills the thing he loves seemed to him a wild guess compared with the near certainty of a man turning into the thing he hates.”
Overview: Never Mind. Bad News. Some Hope. Mother’s Milk. At Last. These are the five books that make up The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels written by Edward St. Aubyn. Oh, Patrick. A troubled boy with a troubled childhood which he made up for with drugs and booze and women and lies and general self-destructive tendencies. The books take place during his childhood, his twenties, his sober period, his fatherhood days and an amalgam of it all, while he tries to survive in London, New York, the English countryside and France. They follow Patrick and his friends and family in the deep, dark underbelly of the miserable lives of inherited wealth.
Analysis: Edward St. Aubyn is writing about the thing he knows best. These five novels are about nothing and everything. Decadence, hatred, drugs, depression, envy, despair, salvation, redemption, acceptance...all under the guise of a dinner party, a beach weekend and a few drug-fueled nights in New York City. The beautiful writing invites the reader into the minds of the selfish, deranged and broken men and women who flaunt their facades of stability as their nervous systems writhe in fear and desperation. The feelings emitted by the characters felt true and real and allow the reader to relate to each one, no matter how disagreeable and unlikeable they all are - and they certainly are. All in all, I definitely recommend all five novels, especially if you have any interest in watching the mini series with Benedict Cumberbatch.
Conclusion: Definitely pick this up, grab a drink, and enjoy the sadistic and sad lives of those affected by unearned money.