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85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First in the Patrick Melrose Trilogy
"Never Mind" is the first book in the Patrick Melrose Trilogy. When we first meet Patrick, he is only five years old and is living in the South of France with his father, David, and his mother Eleanor. David Melrose is a vicious, cruel man, a bully and an utter snob. Having married Eleanor for her money, he reduces her to a drunken wreck. Into this unhappy house a...
Published on 12 April 2011 by S Riaz

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak but well written beginnings
A truly horrible cast of characters make their appearance in this first of five novels that trace the life journey of Patrick Melrose.

Here we are introduced to Patrick as a scared and lonely five year old trying desperately to stay out of the way of his sadistic father David, while at the same time desperately seeking attention from his mother, who is herself...
Published on 17 Sep 2012 by RavingReviewer


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85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First in the Patrick Melrose Trilogy, 12 April 2011
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Never Mind (Paperback)
"Never Mind" is the first book in the Patrick Melrose Trilogy. When we first meet Patrick, he is only five years old and is living in the South of France with his father, David, and his mother Eleanor. David Melrose is a vicious, cruel man, a bully and an utter snob. Having married Eleanor for her money, he reduces her to a drunken wreck. Into this unhappy house a group of people are converging for a dinner party and some of these characters appear in other books. Although this is a fairly short novel, it is apparent that Patrick really stands very little chance of emerging unscathed from the brutal neglect he encounters, either emotionally or physically, from the adults around him. As a portrait of the minor aristocracy, it does not paint a pretty picture, and their self belief that they are so superior clashes with their truly awful behaviour. Edward St Aubyn is a masterful author and I doubt that anybody could read this book and not wish to know what happens next. "Bad News" is the second book, taking Patrick into his early twenties. One of the amazing things about these novels is how badly everyone behaves and yet, somehow, the author makes us care about these dreadful people. It is a little like passing a car crash and not being able to look away. You hope, somehow, that disaster will be averted. Perhaps it is because Patrick had no choice in the matter of his birth and somehow, we hope he will survive his parents. The Patrick Melrose books can be read as stand alone novels, but in my opinion, they are best read in order and, to understand Patrick, this portrait of his father is a must read. Enjoy if you have never read it before, it's a wonderful and compelling book. The three books in the trilogy are also published together in, The Patrick Melrose Trilogy. These three books are also followed by Mother's Milk and the final book will be At Last.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly brilliant, 29 April 2012
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This review is from: Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels) (Paperback)
Alerted to this first Melrose novel by the series' recent conclusion I started here.

Dark doesn't cover it - brilliant characters economically drawn and startling dialogue. A real find.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Bleak and Really Well-Written., 6 May 2012
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Glasgow Reader (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This is the first Edward St Aubyn book I've read, and I could barely put it down; I read it through in two sittings (although it has to be said that its comparatively short.) Its superbly well-written, and throughly enjoyable (and wittily funny at bits) yet there is barely a likeable character in the book. I can hardly wait to read the next book in the "Patrick Melrose" series - which promises to be as entertaining as "Dance to the Music of Time". This first book is all about the characters; not a lot happens yet he still manages to keep you on the edge of your seat. Both of Patrick's parents are so awful (in very different ways) that I can't wait to see how he developes.Vile though most of them are, the characters are highly articulate and the language of the book is a joy. Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and entertaining......, 15 Nov 2012
By 
Wynne Kelly "Kellydoll" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels) (Paperback)
Never Mind is the first of the Patrick Melrose novels, originally planned as a trilogy but eventually stretching to six books. Five-year-old Patrick could have been living and idyllic life in Provence. There is an old rambling house, a huge garden and long sunny days. But Patrick is far from happy. His father is bullying and abusive and his mother cowed and alcoholic. They receive a stream of guests, most of whom ignore Patrick. Patrick tries to "do the right thing" as he constantly hopes to deflect the wrath of his father but fate seems to conspire against him. Already at five he is displaying some very unattractive traits.

This is far from being a "misery memoir". Edward St. Aubyn's writing is packed with biting comments and observations. He refers to a local farmer as having "the sullen air of a man who looks forward to strangling poultry." A visiting American, Anne, says: "....why do people spend an evening with people they have spent the day insulting." Patrick's mother supports the Save The Children Fund - very ironic in the light of Patrick's neglect.

The book is filled (mostly) with appalling people who all seem to actively dislike one another. Perhaps we readers find pleasure in the abysmal behaviour and manners of the upper classes? It reminded me in turn of Evelyn Waugh and Anthony Powell.

Never Mind is an intriguing and entertaining book (despite the darkness of some of the activities). I look forward to the further adventures of Patrick Melrose.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Mind, 24 July 2012
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Moonlit (scotland) - See all my reviews
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Is David Melrose the most obnoxious character in fiction? If not, then he must be in the top ten. Melrose is the father of Patrick, the subject of five of St Aubin's novels, novels which are semi autobiographical. Arrogant, amoral, controlling he has an unaccountable hold over his wife and friends. Nor is Melrose alone in his obnoxiousness. The novel is set over the course of a day in which two other couples will attend a dinner party with Melrose and his rich, alcoholic wife and none of them are particularly pleasing.

When I started this book I wondered whether I would be able to finish it as I found the characters (apart from Patrick) so horrible. If they weren't snobbish and arrogant they were foolish, vain and empty headed. Their milieu is not one with which I am familiar as (like most people) I don't spend my time mixing with minor aristocracy and their pursuits seemed vacuous to me. But I persevered and I'm glad I did. This is a compelling novel, which is beautifully written and in spite of my initial reservations I found that I really wanted to find out what happens next.

Once again, Kindle and Amazon's daily deal have come up trumps and I have discovered an amazing writer who was previously unknown to me. A masterpiece of writing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Restrained, hypnotic storytelling, 10 May 2012
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels) (Paperback)
Something in the nature of this first Patrick Melrose story reminded me of Anthony Powell's "A Dance To The Music of Time." The first in a sequence of novels telling of the ups and downs in Melrose's life, here he is a shy 5 year old boy, already damaged by a weird upbringing at the hands of a bullying, sadistic father, and an alcoholic mother.

If that reads like a recipe for a depressing read, it isn't. Edward St Aubyn brings a cool, detached but pithy style of prose to his story, and he draws out well the bored, desperate lives that his characters lead. Oddly, it's hard to place this opening novel in any particular time period - unless I missed it - so it does give it a slightly vague, timeless location.

The characters are well-drawn if not particularly likeable, but for a series of novels about the life of a particular individual, it's fair to say that Patrick Melrose doesn't feature too prominently in this opener. One senses the atmosphere and sense of foreboding will play out in the later books.

Slim, elegant and very readable, it's certainly an impressive start to a series of books that has become well-regarded. Not an easy read in places - but certainly well-crafted, thoughtful stuff.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A study in sadism, 6 May 2012
By 
Eleanor (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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"Never Mind" takes place over the course of a day in the south-of-France house of the Melrose family. David, the father, is a monstrous sadist whose only pleasures are spending his wife's money and brutalizing and belittling those around him, especially his wife Eleanor, now reduced to a dazed humiliated drunk. Their five-year old son Patrick is glimpsed occasionally, trying to elicit some love from his mother and to avoid his cruel and frightening father.

For the most part the other characters who visit the house are just as monstrous and as St Aubyn dissects their upper-class life with all its unspoken rules and snobbery, I found myself grasping at any small moment of kindness and sympathy. "Never Mind" is a deeply uncomfortable yet compelling read and I still feel dazed by its power. This is the first of five books about Patrick Melrose, and I can't wait to read the others and find out what kind of a man he becomes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Heaven!, 6 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels) (Paperback)
This summer Daunt book shop had a window full of "Never Mind". I looked it up on Amazon and downloaded the complete series of 5 books to my kindle and read all five whilst on holiday - what an absolute treat!
Well written, beautifully crafted characters, pathos, humour and tragedy - a book that genuinely reflects the times it is set in.
I couldn't put them down and I am about to embark on them again, firstly because I read one of them out of order but more importantly because they are like a really good film - all the better for the second viewing.
FYI the correct orders: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mather's Mild, At Last.
Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak but well written beginnings, 17 Sep 2012
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A truly horrible cast of characters make their appearance in this first of five novels that trace the life journey of Patrick Melrose.

Here we are introduced to Patrick as a scared and lonely five year old trying desperately to stay out of the way of his sadistic father David, while at the same time desperately seeking attention from his mother, who is herself too busy seeking refuge from the horrors of her husband by using a cocktail of alcohol and prescription medication.

The action in this slim, first novel centres on a single weekend in the family's Provence home, and the arrival of guests equally odious and disfunctional as the Melrose's themselves. The snivelling social climbing of the majority of these guests and the vicious and malicious conversational repartee to outdo others and impress David Melrose is beyond me. David who had to marry for money, who is the product of a dysfunctional upbringing himself and a failed doctor, seems to command respect from these acolytes, but I expect its more respect from fear of not towing his line than anything else!

I AM interested to learn if Patrick manages to overcome this awful introduction to life and so will probably read the other novels in the series, especially if I can get them at a reduced price as I did with this one.. it being a Kindle Daily Deal purchase for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something Different, 14 Jan 2013
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I was introduced to St Aubyn by my 86 year old father, who recommended him highly. He certainly can't be accused of being derivative, as I don't recall ever reading anything quite like this.
The sustained awfulness will either grab you or leave you with no desire to continue the series - if it grabs you you will be able to understand why some of the shenanigans in the later ones occur.
Well worth the money.
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Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels)
Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels) by Edward St Aubyn (Paperback - 12 April 2012)
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