Sorry I’ve been so inactive! I’ve been super busy and stressed lately and haven’t been able to find a lot of time to read or blog. I’m hoping I will get back to posting more regularly soon 🙂
One of many Patrick Melrose novels, this book explores the imaginative and self sufficient life of 5 year old Patrick. He encounters the volatile and toxic lives of the adults around him, including his cruel and abusive father, and his mother who has retreated into drinking. This specific book shows the Melrose family on an evening with others, exposing their toxic behaviour and history.
This book is a mixed bag for me. It is clear from the first few pages that St. Aubyns writing is elegant and told with shocking clarity. It drips with sarcasm and a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) venom. It never feels to be too dense or wordy, but still is beautifully expressive and flows over you like the sea over sand.
That being said, I still have issues with the novel as a whole. It takes place in one day, exploring the sickening secrets of the Melrose family – cruel and manipulative David, the father, and detached and alcoholic Eleanor, the mother. 5 year old Patrick must endure his mother’s careless neglect and selfish state of mind, as well as his father’s determination to brutally punishing his son for whatever his sadistic mind wishes. St. Aubyn fails to portray the child’s point of view accurately, and even with the diabolical and notoriously autobiographical scene of David raping his own son, it somehow seems less horrifying than it really is. David is such a multifaceted monster, and while I know his iniquity it is a major feature of the story, and of distinct importance to it, I just couldn’t move past my hatred for the man.
The story itself just felt so aimless. Although it is part of a series I expected some sort of progress within the characters to occur by the end, but there is no development at all. It was just a tale of a vulgar and toxic household that meet with obnoxious people to spread rumours and insult each other. A lot of it I felt was boring, and at times I found it challenging to keep track of the characters, but that could just be me.
In conclusion, I feel as if the story itself was the disappointing part of this, rather than the actual writing. His way of words is a true work of art, but I found the entire plotline unpleasant and tedious.
So yes, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be reading any more Patrick Melrose novels in the near future. I think I would enjoy making a closer analysis of the text, and really picking out hidden meanings and shadows of ideas, but all in all I hope I won’t need to pick this book up again for a long time.
Anywayz, peace out Homiez