18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Style and substance,
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This review is from: Mother's Milk (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully written and sharply comic short novel. The main pleasure of reading this novel is St Aubyn's precision with words; there's rarely a wasted sentence, and long winded and pointless descriptions of the environment or the characters that inhabit it are refreshingly absent. He is a prose stylist like John Banville, but the scales tip more to the comic than the tragic with St Aubyn's writing, and as a result the plot and characters seem a bit insubstantial at times. In many ways, overlooking the sex and language, Mother's Milk is a very Edwardian novel in the way it treats these fairly unlikeable upper class English characters--at times dismissive but sympathetic to their plights. The narratives of Robert, Patrick and Mary are crisp, wry and often very funny. Robert's entry to the world in the first section of the book is a sharp and startling introduction to the novel. Whilst it is not a book that will linger long in the mind of the reader, it is nonetheless a rewarding read.