Saturday, December 1, 2012

Review: "At Last" by Edward St. Aubyn

They can’t all be winners, and they shouldn’t be. While it is nice when it happens, even if it is rare and elusive, all books, movies, seasons of TV should all be somewhat different, and in doing that, some audience members are not going to be on board the whole time, which is the case with me for Edward St. Aubyn culminating chapter in The Patrick Melrose Cycle, At Last. The reason this is not as good as Some Hope or Mother’s Milk, at least for me is the same reason I do not really like Back to the Future three as I do the first two movies. It is cool that they set out to try something new, but the digression is so random and bizarre, I was left kind of baffled trying to find any tenuous connection to the source material. Having said that, this book, much like Back to the Future 3, is pretty far from a bad experience. We start off with Patrick’s mother, mercifully dying after a long and painful battle to get there, and we see Patrick himself making funeral arrangements and dealing with a bevy of characters from the other novels (a minor complaint would be the lack of a family tree or list at least before any one of these novel; would help immensely). As with all the novels in this series, the action is pretty uneventful, but is told in prose so good it will fill you with joy and envy for Aubyn’s talent. The novel has a few unnecessary flashback sequences that go way back to the beginning of the 20th Century that are the most tedious Aubyn can get, but we also see Patrick’s stay in a mental hospital as well, which may be my favorite aspect of any of these amazing novels. A somewhat satisfying conclusion to a collection of novels I hope gains a wider readership as the years go on.
Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. The depth of understanding, the intelligence about the human condition St. Aubyn shows in this book puts it in the same league as "Let the Great World Spin" by Colum McCann and more recently, "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes. The British Invasion!

    Marlene Detierro (Cash Advance For Business)