Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 28: Edward St. Aubyn, Some Hope (the Patrick Melrose novels)

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Edward St. Aubyn’s fifth and final Patrick Melrose novel, At Last, was published last year and has been receiving a lot of accolades, so we decided it was high time to check out the series, starting with the first couple books, Never Mind and Bad News. The books were issued separately in the UK, but are now available as part of a trilogy (there’s a total of five books, which we’re pretty sure is known in industry speak as a “fivology”). St. Aubyn has been pretty open about the books being based on real events in his life, including his aristocratic upbringing and his rather horrific abuse at the hands of his father. Despite the potentially maudlin subject matter, the books are witheringly funny; St. Aubyn doesn’t pull any punches in portraying his parents and their obnoxious social set.

Talking points include: autobiographical novels versus memoirs, mean-spiritedness versus generosity, inspirational dog movies, unlikeable characters, and Tom’s dream of eating infinite donuts. We’ve also got another round of MATR (Mike and Tom Recommend) and some haggling over what exactly constitutes a “recommendation.”


If you want to follow up on Tom’s recommendation, by the way, here’s more information on Bring the Noise, the Barrelhouse essay anthology. And here’s the intro Tom wrote for the book. 


Stream the episode:

Download Episode 28: Edward St. Aubyn, Some Hope (right-click, save-as)

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Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

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