Tuesday, 26 August 2014

SOME HOPE by Edward St Aubyn

SOME HOPE is the last book in the Patrick Melrose trilogy, and the weakest. Patrick is in his thirties, over his drug addiction, and attending a party. Many of the characters from previous books resurface, to various degrees of resolution.

Patrick is less fun now than when he was a drug addict. There’s an awful lot of moaning, and blaming everyone’s parents. Sample: “as his struggle against drugs grew more successful, he saw how it had masked a struggle not to become like his father.” Barf.

Three books in the social milieu is also getting a little wearing. There’s only so much of self-congratulatory snobbery one can handle. Poor old Patrick tells us he still believes that ‘rich people are more interesting than poor ones, or titled people more interesting than untitled ones.’ The mind boggles. There are also an awful lot of social climbers. Here’s one gold digging wife, on her new husband:
He may be worth two hundred and forty million dollars, but is he going to spend it? . . . . You think it’s all going to be private planes, and the next thing you know he’s asking for a doggy bag in a restaurant, or implying that you ought to be doing the cooking. It’s a complete nightmare.
I can’t believe anyone is actually like this; certainly I’ve never met them – but perhaps they do exist, and I should be glad I don’t have the kind of money that would mean I would meet them.

St Aubyn is a fine writer, and if I didn’t enjoy all the books quite the same, I’m certainly glad I read this trilogy.

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