Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Patrick at 22

In Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn, we revist Patrick Melorse, who we first met in St. Aubyn's earlier novel, Never Mind.  Patrick has aged 17 years, and has traveled to New York to collect his father's ashes.  Patrick has mixed feelings about his father's death, meaning that although he is not at all sad about his father dying, he's not sure if the occasion calls for cocaine, heroine or quaaludes.  In the end, he decides not to decide, and goes with all three. 

Bad News is the story of Patrick's drug binge, and his limited attempts to hide his state from his father's friends.  The only character besides Patrick who appears in both Bad News and Never Mind is Anne, who has now married Victor.  The most conspicuous absence is Patrick's mom, Eleanor, who had divorced his dad years earlier. 

The third book in what was originally the Patrick Melrose trilogy (it is now a 5 book series), came out 2 years after Bad News.  That would have been a long time to wait.  Bad News leaves the reader wanting to know what will happen next, and how much longer Patrick can possibly live.

Did I love Bad News?  No, but I don't think it was intended to be loveable.  I am looking forward to the next  in the series, "Some Hope", which I am hoping will lead Patrick to a less self-destructive course.

Next up:  My Education  by Susan Choi.

Still Listening to:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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