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Some Hope: Book Three of the Patrick Melrose Novels
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Some Hope: Book Three of the Patrick Melrose Novels (Patrick Melrose #3)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  1,098 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Some Hope, the third installment in Edward St. Aubyn's wonderful, wry, and profound Patrick Melrose Cycle, is centered on a dinner party, attended by the illustrious and profane elite of British society. Patrick, who is now thirty and trying to recover from his addictions, considers becoming a lawyer, having spent most of his inheritance and in need of a job. Some Hope see ...more
ebook, 464 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Picador (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30)
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Helle
Dec 26, 2015 Helle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, books-i-own
’There’s a blast of palpable stupidity that comes from our host, like opening the door of a sauna. The best way to contradict him is to let him speak.’

Some Hope is the third installment in what was a trilogy and only later became a pentalogy. It has the air of temporary finality about it but leaves us with the door open. By some unfathomable miracle Patrick Melrose, the protagonist but by no means hero of the series, has risen from his drug and incest induced hell hole and is, possibly, on the r
...more
Paul Bryant
Jun 08, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
In Friends there's a character called Fun Bobby, everybody loves Fun Bobby, and although Friends was just a sit com, it made a telling point when Fun Bobby realised he was an alcoholic and quit drinking. And he wasn't fun anymore, and Chandler and Ross and Monica didn't want to hang around with him. It was a jarring and truthful note. So Some Hope is where Patrick Melrose is Fun Bobby. He's off the drugs, and like Chandler, Ross and Monica, I thought he just wasn't that much fun any more. Doesn' ...more
Antonomasia
Some Hope undoubtedly feels like the third of the trilogy the Patrick Melrose series was intended to be on its publication back in 1994. It mirrors the events of Never Mind as the clans gather again twenty-six years later, this time for a huge house-party in Gloucestershire.
(This is set in February 1991, Bad News took place in 1982 with a 22-year-old Patrick, but Never Mind used references of the late 60's and early 70's although he was 5 in the book, which would have been 1965.)

Certain events
...more
Katherine
Some Hope finds it's way back to a similar form as the first novel in the series, Never Mind. While I struggled to get through the second novel, Bad News, fast enough - I was happy to read more of Patrick's thought process, which this installment nearly lacked.

Edward St. Aubyn is an insightful writer. His portrayals of the shallow rich English are hilarious, if a bit copious. Though I was happy to gain some perspective from other characters, the point seemed to exclusively direct towards how aw
...more
Ben Loory
seemed more like a breather in the series than an actual volume. the first book is so twisted and funny, and the second such an incredibly brutal ride... this one felt kinda staid by comparison and even dipped into cliche at times. (yeah, them rich folks is superficial, i get it!) but patrick melrose himself is (somehow) a charming character and his part in the book (though small) really carries it. i'm hoping this turns out to be a turning point and that he'll spring into action in the next boo ...more
Alex Sarll
Goodreads appears - not all that surprisingly - to have conflated its records for the third Patrick Melrose novel, and the omnibus of the first three which goes under the same name. So, for clarity's sake - I'm referring to the third novel here. Which, again, picks up on Patrick some years on from the previous volume, this time reluctantly clean and even more reluctantly attending a ghastly party. There are many truths to be found in St Aubyn's elegant, brittle prose, but the abiding one here is ...more
Claudia
Nov 27, 2014 Claudia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Redemption! Brilliant, quotable dialogue returns, boring drug stuff begone. (It's almost like dealing with the Star Wars movies; we'll just appreciate the ones we love, and kindly gloss over the awful ones.) Again, batches of lines I want to remember.

I'm actually somewhat astonished that no one has filmed this yet (yoo-hoo, Julian Fellowes...). It'd be so simple, since most of the dialogue is already written. There's a steady build-up, re-connecting with characters, and then the final set piece
...more
Phrynne
Aug 28, 2014 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book in this series and somehow Patrick Melrose has survived his drug addict days and is now reformed. Many of the characters from the first book return to attend a huge, high society birthday bash which includes, as a guest, Princess Margaret. Again the book is written with style and wit and is very enjoyable. And now I have to read book four to find out what happens next!
Katerina
Роман третий, в котором избавившийся от наркозависимости Патрик посещает званый обед и прощает своего отца.
Belinda Missen
Some Hope, the third in the Patrick Melrose series, fell a little flat for me. This episode centred around a dinner part, a sober Patrick coming to terms with his childhood. It was important in the development of the character, but I found the other characters - many of whom have returned from books one and two, an annoying distraction.
Anna
Feb 28, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, class-system
Somewhat incredibly, Patrick Melrose has not only survived the previous novel (Bad News), but is free of drug addiction. He has not escaped from his parents social circle, however, and finds himself at a tedious, intensely snobby party where guests continually tell him his father was a great man. Patrick is a much quieter, more in control person without drugs and is therefore able to deliver some brilliant one-liners. His position is ambivalent, though. He seems to disdain the gossipy, vapid, am ...more
James Lark
Nov 30, 2015 James Lark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After my experience of the first two brilliantly crafted and enormously depressing books in this series, I picked this up with more of a sense of duty than enjoyment. So I was surprised to realise about a third of the way in, I was really enjoying it.

The acerbic commentary remains, still more spiteful than witty. The weighty themes of child abuse and substance abuse still bubble below the surface. However, with the latter less explicitly casting its shadow over every page, and the former support
...more
Katie
Jun 05, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Melrose turns his novel-length searing criticism from drug addiction to mega-high end social fetes, which is much more my speed. Princess Margaret is there, and all the characters from the previous two novels, especially the horrid lunch party in "never mind." (bridget the stoner, now the hostess; anne the outsider and only sane one; Nicholas, the simpering fan of David Melrose, etc.) Because nobody was being raped and nobody was vomiting horrifically, I could pay attention to how many perfect s ...more
Emma
Oct 20, 2013 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't my favourite of the Patrick Melrose novels though it's still incredibly enjoyable and clever in its representation of a large upper class country party. The voices are startling and clear, distinctive and funny, and in this book there is a lightening of the (beautiful but painful) grimness which pervades the first two.
Andrew Keller
Felt like a modern Oscar Wilde play, though there were a few too many characters to really become too invested in any of them other than Patrick, but I guess that's the point. None of them are worth investing in.
Elizabeth
This series just gets better and better. Loving St Aubyn's waspish wit and utterly brilliant one liners all intermingled with some truly dreadful shocking episodes.
Andrew
Nov 14, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I am on the third in the series I will carry on to the end however I am still not certain what I think about the books. Book one was brilliant with a shocking portrayal of paternal brutality and cruelty. Book 2 was equally unnerving as Patrick picked up his fathers ashes and presaged a snapshot of a man being destroyed by drugs. This book saw Patrick Melrose abstinent from drugs and contemplating revealing his abuse to his best friend Johnny Hall and thus I assume managing his demons.
As with
...more
Gumble's Yard
Jan 15, 2017 Gumble's Yard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Series of 5 (or 3) books based around the life of Patrick Melrose (the first three novellas are typically published together).

Extremely good writing - beautiful use of language and real philosophical insight into a complex set of unappealing characters. In some ways reminiscent of Andreï Makine in writing style and (consciously) of Proust Marcel in its reflections on the past and portrait of a rich but declining generation. Semi-autobiographical the book's main theme is the effect of one's chil
...more
Seth Holler
Dec 01, 2016 Seth Holler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A society novel like the first in the series, with a larger, neatly arranged cast. Although occasionally too clever, the dialogue is usually hilarious (and wicked). The major theme, which is not at all funny, evolves naturally to a satisfying conclusion. Overall this volume is not nearly as painful as the first two; a subplot featuring Bridget, her daughter, and her mother rehearses Patrick's drama, but with a happier resolution.

I see the logic of a trilogy, and am curious to learn how the autho
...more
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Mitchell
When we last met Patrick Melrose, in Bad News, he was 22 years old and in the grip of a heroin addiction, on his way back to England after an intense couple of days in New York City. Some Hope reintroduces us to him in his early 30s, when he’s kicked the drugs and is training to become a lawyer, but must still navigate the monstrous world of the British upper crust. Most of the novel (or novella, really) takes place over the course of a house party one evening in Gloucestershire.

St Aubyn maintai
...more
Diana
Jul 08, 2013 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When we last saw Patrick Melrose in Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn, he was just boarding a plane, with his father's ashes in hand and his next drug binge scheduled. Miraculously, 8 years later, Patrick is still alive for the third book of the series, Some Hope.

In Some Hope, we revisit almost every single character from Bad News and the first book in the series, Never Mind. Bridget, who was dating one of Patrick's father's friends in Never Mind is now married to someone else, and hosting a party f
...more
Mark Joyce
Works neither as a standalone novel nor as an installment in the wider series. Most of the back story is taken as read but for those who have completed the first two novels the story is not developed in any but the most predictable of directions.

There is no real narrative, which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem in itself if St Aubyn did something interesting with characterisation, form or mood. Unfortunately he doesn’t. A lavish party at a country pile is used as the setting for a series of fa
...more
Joan
Sep 15, 2016 Joan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wildly uneven novel is the least-compelling installment of the Patrick Melrose saga thus far, largely because Patrick himself really has no personality. The scorched-earth first book, "Never Mind," was driven by the sociopathic David Melrose, who is a fascinating character in the way that most sociopaths are--Patrick was very much a secondary character. In the sequel, "Bad News," Patrick is nominally the central character, but the actual driving agency of the book is Patrick's drug addictio ...more
Caroline
"Marcel is fascinated by snobs, people who know what people should want, who have no doubt what the good things are. And so what is often most affecting about the novel is the case it makes, wittingly and unwittingly for naivety. Proust's much vaunted faith in involuntary memory is really a faith in naivety, in never knowing beforehand what is going to matter to you, or why. When In Search of Lost Time is not a book about and inspired by disillusionment, it is a great book about the wonders of c ...more
Rasmus Skovdal
Not as good as the previous two, but still good, and worth reading. As a trilogy, still very good. I know there are two other books in the series, published later - I'll probably get to those at some point.

This works really well thematically, and going back to a party situation (this book, like the previous two, takes place over a short amount of time) featuring all the old ghosts and ghouls works really well, but it's just less "fun" to read - where fun isn't exactly the word to use for either
...more
Peter Allard
Apr 26, 2015 Peter Allard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third of the Patrick Melrose novels - said by some critics to be the greatest English fiction of the last twenty years. They are in fact semi-autobiographical, though written in the third person plural. They revolve around an incident in the first novel, 'Never Mind', in which Patrick is tragically abused by his father. Witty and well written, I still found the first two books depressing. This one, I didn't.
Patrick comes from the upper classes, and 'Some Hope' is set at a party in a mansion
...more
Julie
Jun 22, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edward St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose books are almost as addictive as the central character's drug of choice. This, the third in the series, sees Patrick recovered from the heroin addiction so unforgettably described in Bad News, but still wrestling with his demons. For the first time he tells a friend about the childhood abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, and that brings a sort of release, but Some Hope is set at a truly horrible party full of snobs, wasters, and class-conscious oafs an ...more
Alan
Aug 09, 2014 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still padding my totals with these short novels. but I thought this volume was terrific. The whole novel is about a fancy party with Princess Margarett in attendance- who is invited, who is going with who, who talks to margarett, who is screwing who. Its a withering view of English aristos written by an obvious insider. I have not read them, but I doubt Osacar Wilde or evelyn Waugh could do it better. Patrick is now 8 years older than the last book. He is still unbelievably arch, but he is getti ...more
Alistair
Firstly I should admit to not having read the first two books in the Patrick Melrose trilogy, and as such, the character of Patrick may've been less opaque if I had. By now Patrick has given up drugs and the ennui that seems to have characterised the first two titles. A confession to his best friend half way through this volume provides the catalyst for Patrick to change his outlook on life. This occurs just prior to a grand party to which Princess Margaret ('PM') has been invited. This is a ver ...more
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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
...more
More about Edward St. Aubyn...

Other Books in the Series

Patrick Melrose (5 books)
  • Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #1)
  • Bad News (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #2)
  • Mother's Milk (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #4)
  • At Last (Patrick Melrose #5)

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“Mind you, I don’t know why people get so fixated on happiness, which always eludes them, when there are so many other invigorating experiences available, like rage, jealousy, disgust, and so forth.” - Some Hope” 6 likes
“She was ghastly and quite mad, but when I grew up I figured her worst punishment was to be herself and I didn't have to do anything more.” 4 likes
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