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On the Edge: A Novel
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On the Edge: A Novel

3.04 of 5 stars 3.04  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Sabine is the most mercurial woman Peter Thorpe has ever known. Such is his desire for her that he overturns his whole life - his disillusioned merchant-banker's life - and leaves everything behind, not caring that his lover is of no fixed address, nor that his search for her will take him to the beating heart of New Ageism in northern California.

Each of his fellow seekers
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ebook, 272 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Picador (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,024)
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Lisa
The worst of St. Aubyn. It is one thing to give your characters out-of-body experiences, but quite another to neglect to give your characters bodies. About as scintillating as being trapped in a room with an undergrad on acid. Don't bother to soldier on to the tantric climax. Do bother to read St. Aubyn's outstanding Patrick Melrose series.
Sarah
Thanks to the publisher and goodreads for my free copy.

On the Edge essentially skewers certain aspects of New Age culture. And there are parts of this that are amazing -- whales with AIDS, the etiquette of telling someone you've burst into flames, for example.

But this just didn't do it for me. And I think it's mainly to do with the characters.

There's not a whole lot in the way of introductions to characterization at the beginning, nor is the point of view close enough to the characters to really
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Charles
This is an odd - and to my mind largely unsuccessful - book. It describes the adventures of a group of people who would probably term themselves spiritual seekers as they drift from one feelgood farm to another, from Findhorn to Esalen, from tantric sex to psychedelic release. The book is full of detail; praised by one reviewer for the depth and breadth of its research, it seems to me though to be over-researched. Page after page is devoted to the kind of irony-free information about basically c ...more
Alan Newman
This is StAubyn's first novel though only published in the US recently. This is a snarky funny book about a disparate group of Brits and Americans seeking something life changing in New Age movements. It is scathing satire of New Agism, obscene wealth, human nature, men, relationships, gurus, mountebanks, new speak; but at the same time points out that focusing on ones place in the cosmos, openness to others, and intimate communication can have surprising positive effects-- even to skeptics and ...more
Monica
The book has its moments - the deconstructionist Jean-Paul's psychedelic melt down in the Utah desert, the final Tantric sex scene between Peter and Crystal to name two. It is a thoroughgoing and frequently hilarious send-up of the New Age industry from Esalen to imaginary native shaman wannabes. The seekers range from the gay couple Adam and Yves to the sort of sweet retired couple from Santa Fe - him with his impotence and her with her fixation on the uniqueness of everything. And there are th ...more
Hilary
Copy received through Goodreads’ First Reads program.

Edward St. Aubyn is best known for his very well-regarded Patrick Melrose novels, one of which (Mother’s Milk) earned him a spot on the 2006 Booker shortlist. This book, originally published in 1998 in the UK, was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, which is no small accomplishment, and when you add in the frequent Waugh comparisons St. Aubyn earns, it’s safe to say I was very excited for this book.

There are some initial bright spots
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Phyllis
This is the first book I have read by this author. I had a little trouble getting into the groove of his writing in the first chapter, but after that I was hooked. St. Aubyn masterfully captures the good/bad, helpful/helpless, hilarious/mournful wisdom and silliness of all the iterations of new age-i-ness guru quasi-cult fads in modern America. Seriously, I can't think of a single one that escaped his notice.

Your grandma might be shocked by this book -- that is unless your grandma was rocking it
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Paula Schumm
Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Picador for a free download of On the Edge by Edward St. Aubyn.
On the Edge is a satire of New Age spiritualism. Mr. St. Aubyn creates several over-the-top quirky characters who are trying to find themselves. Some of these folks are mostly sane, and some are most definitely crazy but silly. Tantric sex, schizophrenia, dzogchen, zen, meditation are all satirized here. Mildly entertaining and mindless. This one is okay.
Connie
I received a complimentary copy via the Goodreads “first reads” program in exchange for an honest review.

I struggle with what to say about this book because I really didn’t seem to “get it” and I really wanted to. I’m familiar with some New Age philosophy but not all, so perhaps some of the subtle humor was simply above my head. What I do know is that the first half of the book zoomed along, and I really thought “this is going to be good!” And then I just lost interest. There were so many char
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Michael Berman
Heavy-handed and somewhat obvious skewering of new age hooey (at least from what I can tell from the 2 chapters I've read). I'll re-read the Patrick Melrose Novels rather than read another page of this one.
A.j. Garner
Started this and liked first two chapters. The third rambled on and I felt like I rambled on with it. Then I realized I hadn't really read a thing.
Martin
I loved this when I first read it about five years ago but, this time round, it wasn't quite as enjoyable though still good. I do also think that this is probably my favourite of St Aubyn's books.
Michael
St. Aubyn’s extremely diverting early comic novel about New-Age pretensions is an engaging satire about people trying to achieve higher cosmic consciousness while being distracted by mundane affairs.
Edward Newman
Terrible freshman effort from a writer who achieved transcendence with the Patrick Melrose novels. This first novel is dull, smothered in new age blather it purports to parody. Skip.
Peter
An amusing send-up of California, new-age mysticism, but not particularly profound or life-changing. Clever turns-of-phrase. Not one to read again.
Susan Gerstein
From the man who wrote the Patrick Melrose novels, extremely disappointing.
Vicky
It is my third book in a row and I cannot stop reading anything I can find by St Aubyn. His books are addictive, very intelligent and funny. The last one is a great insight into the New Age industry. The new religion of our time is a big topic for millions of people and St Aubyn goes straight into the heart of it. There are funny people, crazy ideas and some unusual revelations. Does it work, or all of it is a huge fake - the author leaves the answer with the reader.
Siobhan Burns
I have to say, much of the satire apparently went right over my head, and I instead enjoyed this as a sharp but romantic comedy of manners.
Greg
4.5 Brilliant. Mother Meera actually exists (with tache)
Rebecca
First of the author's works I have read. Took me a bit to get in to it and enjoy it. But loved the quirky characters and look forward to reading more of Edward St. Auburn. This was a wonderful goodreads giveaway win.
Caroline Donaldson
I utterly adored this book! Fab exploration of the neuroticisms of New Age and hippy spiritual culture. Possibly in my top 10 all time books. Great for recovering hippies and survivors of the 1960 counter culture!
Rachel Miller
I am reading this for book club but can't seem to find any discussion questions. Can any-one who has finished it recommend any or point me in the right direction?
Denise
A satire of what I like to refer to as people spouting ridiculous oh-so-deep nonsense. Liked the writing a lot.
Febe
Febe marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2014
Felicity
Felicity marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2014
Matthew
Matthew marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2014
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Edward St Aubyn was born in London in 1960. He was educated at Westminster school and Keble college, Oxford University. He is the author of six novels, the most recent of which, ‘Mother’s Milk’, was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize, won the 2007 Prix Femina Etranger and won the 2007 South Bank Show award on literature.

His first novel, ‘Never Mind’ (1992) won the Betty Trask award. This no
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More about Edward St. Aubyn...
The Patrick Melrose Novels Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #1) Mother's Milk At Last Bad News (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #2)

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