thread for discussion of edward st aubyn;s patrick melrose novels, never mind bad news some hope mother's milk at last

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I thought I had tried to explain my theory that actually these were about ==the problem of other minds== on this thread but apparently i never did

There was a thing in the Atlantic (I think?) about him that kinda echoed that thomp. Also made me want to read them.

franny glass, Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:41 (five years ago) link

itt ppl talk abour profiles of edward st aubyn i have not read

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:54 (five years ago) link

this one btw?

"But does St. Aubyn have another story worth telling? While working on the Melrose series, he also wrote two other novels, which were not as successful. One of them, On the Edge (1998), presumably a by-product of his thinking about that fraudulent shaman, is a good-natured comedy about New Ageism in general. The other, A Clue to the Exit (2000), is a novel about how hard it is to write a novel, and is obsessed with one of St. Aubyn’s favorite themes, the problem of consciousness: What is the self, and how can we think about it without our thoughts getting in the way? There are moments in the book when St. Aubyn, an immensely gifted writer of realistic fiction, seems to be suffering from the postmodernist’s ailment: a crippling awareness of the made-upness of novels."

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Thursday, 29 May 2014 13:07 (five years ago) link

Yes, that one. Although maybe it didn't echo your theory at all.

franny glass, Thursday, 29 May 2014 17:06 (five years ago) link

nah, my theory was way cleverer

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Thursday, 29 May 2014 22:45 (five years ago) link

I had not realised the extent to which the new one was a roman a clef viz his own experience of not winning the booker. oh dear

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 8 June 2014 20:36 (five years ago) link

three years pass...

Um, there's a 5-part miniseries starring Benedict Cumberbitch, on Showtime (in the US) and Sky Atlantic (in the UK). I won't see it for a while (no cable), but it has a score by Hauschka.

Bad wig continuity (Sanpaku), Monday, 4 June 2018 20:46 (one year ago) link

It's okay. The books are better, obviously. I enjoyed the Booker book and the NYer profile, though.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 4 June 2018 21:24 (one year ago) link

Okay = no real reason to exist especially as the books are so short, but not terrible. I haven't seen the Princess Anne scene yet, which is the only part I'm really curious about.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 4 June 2018 21:25 (one year ago) link

i still have two books to read. I don't have any desire to see an adaptation since the books are searingly vivid to me.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Monday, 4 June 2018 21:53 (one year ago) link

like he sketches the characters so elliptically but they are so fully formed that seeing an actor playing one of them could never be anything other than a disappointment.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Monday, 4 June 2018 21:55 (one year ago) link

a (possibly stupid) thought of mine was that Bad News would have been better titled Bad Blood.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Monday, 4 June 2018 21:58 (one year ago) link

(given the obsession with bodily fluids in that book).

Heavy Messages (jed_), Monday, 4 June 2018 21:58 (one year ago) link

Loved the books, but have absolutely no desire to watch child rape on TV.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Tuesday, 5 June 2018 04:15 (one year ago) link

I've only read A Clue to the Exit, which I thought was clunky and bad, and I only finished it because it was very short and I was on holiday in Turkey with a limited number of books. So I haven't bothered with him since but I've now seen so much praise for the Melrose books that maybe I was wrong, or maybe A Clue To The Exit was just a one-off misfire

Zelda Zonk, Tuesday, 5 June 2018 05:50 (one year ago) link

The last two Melrose novels are far inferior to the original trilogy, imho.

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 5 June 2018 06:09 (one year ago) link

The general consensus seems to be that all his non-Melrose books are pretty bad: one of those writers who fall apart if they move beyond autobiography.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Wednesday, 6 June 2018 03:05 (one year ago) link

The last two Melrose novels are far inferior to the original trilogy, imho.

― Ward Fowler, Monday, June 4, 2018 11:09 PM (one week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

bullshit, mother's milk is the best one

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Friday, 15 June 2018 19:41 (one year ago) link

i was skeptical of the miniseries bc... how necessary are these books without aubyn's sense of patrick's or mary's or robert's interiority? but it's really well done; weirdly my least favorite books of the series work the best, some hope in particular. at last made me cry a lot

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Friday, 15 June 2018 19:43 (one year ago) link

only seen the first one, cumberbatch is good!

the bhagwanadook (symsymsym), Saturday, 16 June 2018 02:31 (one year ago) link

Yeah, series was great. Now need to read the books.

Stevolende, Saturday, 16 June 2018 09:10 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

I finished At Last, at last. It's very good but does a lot of exposition that would have just been evident from the situations, dialogues or fleeting disconnected or overlapping thoughts in the initial trilogy. Still it is very good and it was helpful for me. A friend said it had done her more good than the therapy she'd been going through.

Mother's Milk is the weakest by some distance and Ward F is correct that both of the final books are a significant drop in quality.

The most amazing thing about finishing the cycle is feeling like there are characters in there (particularly Patrick, of course) that seem as vivid to me as my actual friends. I was in London as I was reading it and fully expected to bump into Partick/ Edward St A.

Britain's Sexiest Cow (jed_), Monday, 13 August 2018 21:18 (one year ago) link

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