Edward St Aubyn
Never Mind, the first installment in Edward St. Aubyn's wonderful, wry, and profound Patrick Melrose Cycle, follows five-year-old Patrick through a single day, as the Melrose family awaits the arrival of guests. Bright and imaginative, young Patrick struggles daily to contend with the searing cruelty of his father and the resignation of his embattled mother. But on this day he must endure an unprecedented horror—one that splits his world in two. In Never Mind, St. Aubyn renders this vivid tragedy with profound grace and precision, and introduces us to the unforgettable, complex figure of Patrick Melrose
Twenty-two years old and in the grip of a massive addiction, Patrick Melrose is forced to fly to New York to collect his father’s ashes. Over the course of a weekend, Patrick’s remorseless search for drugs on the avenues of Manhattan, haunted by old acquaintances and insistent inner voices, sends him into a nightmarish spiral. Alone in his room at the Pierre Hotel, he pushes body and mind to the very edge – desperate always to stay one step ahead of his rapidly encroaching past.
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. Ultimately, Some Hope offers what the title suggests – a powerfully satisfying conclusion and the reconciliation between the quest for forgiveness and redemption, marking St Aubyn as a truly important literary discovery, one of the most original, intelligent and acerbically witty voices of our time.
As friends, relatives and foes trickle in to pay their final respects to his mother Eleanor, Patrick Melrose finds himself questioning whether a life without parents will be the liberation he has so long imagined. Yet as the memorial service ends and the family gathers one last time, amidst the social niceties and the social horrors, the calms and the rapids, Patrick begins to sense a new current: the chance of some form of safety at last.
Writing with the scathing wit and bright perceptiveness for which he has become known, celebrated English author Edward St. Aubyn creates a complex family portrait that examines the shifting allegiances between mothers, sons, and husbands. The novel’s perspective ricochets among all members of the Melrose family -- the family featured in St. Aubyn’s widely praised trilogy, Some Hope -- starting with Robert, who provides an exceptionally droll and convincing account of being born; to Patrick, a hilariously churlish husband who has been sexually abandoned by his wife in favor of his sons; to Mary, who’s consumed by her children and overwhelming desire not to repeat the mistakes of her own mother. All the while, St. Aubyn examines the web of false promises that entangle this once illustrious family -- whose last vestige of wealth, an old house in the south of France -- is about to be donated by Patrick’s mother to a New Age foundation. An up-to-the-minute dissection of the mores of child-rearing, marriage, adultery, and assisted suicide, Mother’s Milk showcases St. Aubyn’s luminous and acidic prose -- and his masterful ability to combine the most excruciating emotional pain with the driest comedy.