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Moves from pain to farce with acidic wit
on 18 February 2018
A 5-novel sequence which rewrites the nineteenth century bildungsroman for the twenty-first century. Moving between the harrowing and grotesque, to farce and something more hopeful, Patrick Melrose's journey to a form of adulthood is exceptionally long, convoluted, and difficult.
Offsetting the disturbing events, especially in the first two books, is St. Aubyn's prose which is stylish and stylised, cutting and caustic, a way of holding emotions at bay and yet capturing them between the lines on the page. Dark, for sure, but also rich, sophisticated and, in places, deadly cuttingly funny.