Some Hope Hardcover – 13 Jun 1994
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‘Humor, pathos, razor-sharp judgement, pain, joy and everything in between. The Melrose novels are a masterwork for the twenty-first century, by one of our greatest prose stylists’ Alice Sebold
‘A memorable tour de force’ New York Times Book Review
‘I’ve loved Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels. Read them all, now’ David Nicholls
‘St Aubyn’s Melrose series slices and dices morality with prose so chiselled and a narrative so intense that the hairs on the back of your neck stand up’ Geordie Greig, Evening Standard
‘A masterpiece. Edward St Aubyn is a writer of immense gifts’ Patrick McGrath
'The wit of Wilde, the lightness of Wodehouse, the waspishness of Waugh. A joy' Zadie Smith
‘Perhaps the most brilliant English novelist of his generation’ Alan Hollinghurst
‘Humor, pathos, razor-sharp judgement, pain, joy and everything in between. The Melrose novels are a masterwork for the 21st century, by one of our greatest prose stylists’ Alice Sebold
‘From the very first lines I was completely hooked . . . By turns witty, moving and an intense social comedy, I wept at the end but wouldn’t dream of giving away the totally unexpected reason’ Antonia Fraser, Sunday Telegraph
‘Blackly comic, superbly written fiction . . . His style is crisp and light; his similes exhilarating in their accuracy . . . St Aubyn writes with luminous tenderness of Patrick’s love for his sons’ Caroline Moore, Sunday Telegraph
‘Wonderful caustic wit . . . Perhaps the very sprightliness of the prose – its lapidary concision and moral certitude – represents the cure for which the characters yearn. So much good writing is in itself a form of health’ Edmund White, Guardian
‘St Aubyn puts an entire family under a microscope, laying bare all its painful, unavoidable complexities. At once epic and intimate, appalling and comic, the novels are masterpieces, each and every one’ Maggie O’Farrell
‘Beautifully written, excruciatingly funny and also very tragic’ Mariella Frostrup, Sky Magazine
‘His prose has an easy charm that masks a ferocious, searching intellect. As a sketcher of character, his wit ― whether turned against pointless members of the aristocracy or hopeless crack dealers ― is ticklingly wicked. As an analyser of broken minds and tired hearts he is as energetic, careful and creative as the perfect shrink. And when it comes to spinning a good yarn, whether over the grand scale or within a single page of anecdote, he has a natural talent for keeping you on the edge of your seat’ Melissa Katsoulis, The Times
‘The Patrick Melrose novels can be read as the navigational charts of a mariner desperate not to end up in the wretched harbor from which he embarked on a voyage that has led in and out of heroin addiction, alcoholism, marital infidelity and a range of behaviors for which the term ‘self-destructive’ is the mildest of euphemisms. Some of the most perceptive, elegantly written and hilarious novels of our era. . . Remarkable’ Francine Prose, New York Times
‘Irony courses through these pages like adrenaline . . . Patrick’s intelligence processes his predicaments into elegant, lucid, dispassionate, near-aphoristic formulations . . . Brimming with witty flair, sardonic perceptiveness and literary finesse’ Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
‘A humane meditation on lives blighted by the sins of the previous generation. St Aubyn remains among the cream of British novelists’ Sunday Times
‘The main joy of a St Aubyn novel is the exquisite clarity of his prose, the almost uncanny sense he gives that, in language as in mathematical formulae, precision and beauty invariably point to truth . . . Characters in St Aubyn novels are hyper-articulate, and the witty dialogue is here, as ever, one of the chief joys’ Suzi Feay, Financial Times
‘The darkest possible comedy about the cruelty of the old to the young, vicious and excruciatingly honest. It opened my eyes to a whole realm of experience I have never seen written about. That’s the mark of a masterpiece’ The Times
'One of the most amazing reading experiences I've had in a decade.' Michael Chabon, LA Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
'The wit of Wilde, the lightness of Wodehouse, the waspishness of Waugh. A joy.' (Zadie Smith)
'Humour, pathos, razor-sharp judgement, pain, joy and everything in between. The Melrose novels are a masterwork for the 21st century, by one of our greatest prose stylists.' (Alice Sebold)
'The Melrose novels are remarkable – ferociously funny, painfully acute and exhilaratingly written. A brilliantly controlled story of a life sent out of control.' (The Sunday Times)
'Our purest living prose stylist.' (The Guardian)
'St Aubyn’s prose has an easy charm that masks a ferocious, searching intellect. One of the finest writers of his generation.' (The Times) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this third book, "Some Hope", Patrick is now thirty. Having spent years suffering from drug addiction, he is now clean, but has no career (despite a sudden and disturbing need to obtain an income) and has split from the girl he was supposed to marry. The three books together are excellent and you will rarely find better writing anywhere or from anyone. This, third volume, takes place before and during a party and contains many characters that have appeared in the previous two books (they should be read in order preferably, in order to make sense).
The cast of snobbish and unbearable characters all converging on a country house, in which Princess Margaret is the guest of honour, coincides with Patrick's attempt to make sense of his life so far and to make peace with the memory of his father. The prose is exquisite and, although most of the characters are thoroughly unpleasant and often downright nasty, you find that you care what happens to Patrick Melrose and what will become of him. The sense of elitism from a less likeable group of people is hard to imagine and the thought of having to suffer such unbearable company would make anyone grateful they had no links to the aristocracy! For those interested, there are two further volumes, Mother's Milk and At Last.
The author has lots of fun with the characters coming together for a dinner and party at a country house. One character says: "I firmly believe that one should have the widest possible range of acquaintances, from monarchs right down to the humblest baronet in the land." The party's very special guest is Princess Margaret - and here St. Aubyn lets rip with a hilariously vicious portrait.
Patrick continues to be somewhat aloof and uninvolved with the social grouping around him but nonetheless feels ready to tell a friend about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. By the end of the book he is far from problem-free but seems ready to shake off his past and move into a positive future.
A funny, sad and humane book.
But I am with Holden Caulfield: "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though...You take that book Of Human Bondage, by Somerset Maugham... I read it last summer. It's a pretty good book and all, but I wouldn't want to call Somerset Maugham up. I don't know, he just isn't the kind of guy I'd want to call up, that's all."
And I feel the same about Edward St Aubyn.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is little better than a pot boiler, I'm afraid. Perhaps those who have read the others in the series will relate to the characters - for the new reader, the author does... Read morePublished 10 months ago by dappa
I have finally decided that Edward St Aubyn is not really for me.Although beautifully written,the characters and insubstantial plot never grabbed my sustained attention.Published 18 months ago by Em.
A magnificent piece of social commentary (the episode with Princess Margaret is priceless). It also has that underlying sense of sadness and emotional need that makes St Aubyn's... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jamesfalcon
Enjoyed it, but didn't think it brilliant. The ending justifies the title and left me looking forward to finishing the Melrose quintet. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Ms. Robyn A. Karney
I disliked all the books and was very disappointed though they were extremely well written with interesting vocabulary and figures of speech but it did not make up for my lack of... Read morePublished on 12 Aug. 2014 by elizabeth Ann Stancliffe
Another great read by St Aubyn. I can't wait to read more his writing just keeps you turning the pages and wanting more.Published on 7 Aug. 2014 by david sone
Very literate but after a while becomes self consciously wordy and 'clever' and rather tedious because of that.Published on 20 July 2014 by Mr. Robert Griggs