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on 7 September 2014
St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose series is captivating. Semi-autobiographical, he takes us from Patrick's odd, privileged, lonely and frighteningly abused childhood through much of his life. The character development of Patrick and his intimates is powerful, brilliant. The continuing interest in the developing young rich-ish kid who travels from of drug and alcohol dependency followed by cold turkey to the very fragile career success as a barrister is compelling. The man remains damaged, on the brink of disaster all the time. The characters who inhabit Patrick's world are weird and wonderful: nasty, evil, pretentious, compassionate, wise cynics, foolish sycophants, loving friends, dangerous enemies. His father's influence dogs him throughout as is true of St Aubyn's life. it's brilliant. Each book is a bite-size chunk of dark, comic exposure of human motivation. The prose crackles. All human life is there.
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on 20 August 2015
I couldn't put these books down. In fact when I finished volume 1, I immediately started from the beginning again to savour it more slowly. His writing is wonderful, lyrical and totally engrossing. I finished them all too soon; basically reading a volume a day while on holiday. I was fascinated by the insight into the workings of the upper class mind and their way of thinking; breathtaking arrogance but compulsive all the same. Patrick's experience as a drug addict in New York is both sad but laugh out loud funny. Is it any wonder with his mother and father he turned out the way he did. Knowing that these books are autobiographical makes them all the more shocking and poignant. A must read both for the subject matter but also for St Aubyn's beautifully crafted writing.
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Edward St Aubyn writes such lacerating prose that the reader doesn't know what to do first: laugh, cry or reach for a plaster. I honestly feel it was a privilege to read this collection. Michael Chabon, another supreme master of his craft, has recently been talking quite a bit in the press about the Melrose books and in the most glowing terms. By all means ignore the recommendation of this humble reader, but it would be madness to ignore a serious thumbs up from Chabon.
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on 5 January 2013
Edward St Aubtn might be read for many reasons ...Because he is clever, deep, entertaining and most of all because he touches something essential universal about humans which echoates deep down inside you long after you have finished reading him. A must read!!!!
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on 14 January 2015
When I read the first book, I thought it was disturbing but very humerous also. As I read through the rest, I progressively found them disturbing. Not profound just rather depressing. It doesn't take 5 books to demonstrate how a man is damaged throughout his life by a horrific childhood, bereft of love and care and subjected ton physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
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on 4 February 2015
Love these utterly. Scathing, scabrous, utterly horrible lives and dreadful people, all described devastatingly brilliantly and so wittily. The second novel, Bad News, is the most hilarious, honest, brutal, cringe-making portrait of junkie-dom I've read - and I've read (and known) a few. Talk about vicarious delights ...
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on 18 September 2014
Very well written but very much a book without mass appeal. As it is 5 short books it can be read at a leisurely pace.Based on the life on the author it has a visceral impact
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on 17 July 2014
Fantastic writing , very harrowing at times. St Aubyn's true story written as "Patrick" tells his life from boy to man and the abusive father who almost destroyed him ..... A great read .... Have a box of tissues at hand !!
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on 4 June 2014
Brilliant writing, readable again and again, a clssic set will be talked about for years to come,couldn't stop reading them
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on 10 August 2015
fantasic set of novels. a must read of personl survival, validation, love, longing,mercy, personal redemption
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