Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn

Published as five short novels St. Aubyn chronicles the life of Patrick Melrose from a harrowing childhood to a fragile resolution of identity in middle age when his Mother dies. Taken together these novels are a long read but they are worth reading as one.

Each of them dwells on Patrick’s life in an intense, often disturbing way and on the lives of the rich and cruel people that shape his life. I found the introspection a little tedious in places and some of the attitudes, rather comically portrayed but I am sure true none the less, totally outwith my experience. I kept wondering if there really were or are people like St. Aubyn’s characters in this world!!! I fear that there were and still are.  The dialogue in all the novels is engaging, there are some very comic/tragic moments and the development of the story kept me there until the end of the last novel called appropriately At Last.

Now I need to read something lighter, something shorter –a book diet of variety is important for me and St Aubyn’s novels were definitely a rich and heavy main course.  

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