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Some Hope

(Patrick Melrose #3)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  3,620 ratings  ·  296 reviews

Patrick Melrose, cleaned-up and world-weary, is a reluctant guest at a glittering party deep in the English countryside. Amid a crowd of flitting social dragonflies, he finds his search for redemption and capacity for forgiveness challenged by his observation of the cruelties around him. Armed with his biting wit and a newly fashioned openne
Paperback, 209 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Picador (first published 1994)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Roman Clodia
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
After hurtling through Never Mind and Bad News this is a somewhat disappointing end to the original trilogy. Patrick is now clean of his out-of-control drug habit, but is drifting, a bit lost, a bit bored. Most of the book is taken up by a snobbish house party filled with shallow, stupid and vacuous people, some of whom we met in the first book. The satire here is caustic and pointed but, for me, goes on too long - that said, the scenes with Princess Margaret are hilarious.

I wanted more of Patri
Paul Bryant
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Scathing (and very funny) analysis of the shallow nature of upper class society, told through many points of view. Every character is caught up in their own bubble of existence and Patrick is beginning to gain some awareness of what constitutes his own. In these later passages, we are afforded a glimpse into his nascent compassion, and his growing ambivalence to his own irony. Brilliant book.
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
Tanja Berg
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
“But then neither revenge nor forgiveness change what happened. They’re sideshows, of which forgiveness is the less attractive because it represents a collaboration with one’s persecutors. I don’t suppose that forgiveness was uppermost in the minds of people who were being nailed to a cross until Jesus, if not the first man with a Christ complex still the most successful, wafted onto the scene. Presumably those who enjoyed inflicting cruelty could hardly believe their luck and set about populari ...more
Regina Lemoine
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Wow. There is so much in this short novel. St Aubyn seems again to pay homage to Evelyn Waugh with what I can only describe as sparkling bitchiness. In the end, though, he seems more to draw on Woolf and Joyce for inspiration.

The party in this novel reminds me of both The Dead and Mrs Dalloway, complete with Patrick in an attic room, gazing out of the window and longing for an epiphany a la Clarissa Dalloway or Gabriel Conroy. He even has Sonny, the character whose birthday party it i
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, 2018
There is incisive wit, there are moments that make the hair stand on one's neck with pure existential horror at the depravity of humankind, and then there are moments of grace. This novel continues the exploration of its protagonist's darkness but offers the eponymous hope in the end. I am usually fond of 1st person and 3rd person limited POV novels for the voice they can achieve. Somehow, St Aubyn manages to achieve such a voice within a novel with omniscent narration. It goes beyond style; it ...more
On a prose level, I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the first two, which were extremely clever and a bit raw. Here, with Patrick sober (for several years, it's implied), he once again is one among many points of view, just as he was in the first book as a five year old, when his parents' dinner guests held most of the narrative focus. Here the party is for some duke or other on his birthday, and the Princess Margaret is coming.

But he is still the center of the narrative, which sort o
Jason Koivu
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Patrick Melrose gets clean and goes to a fatuous party thrown for snobs. Some Hope is indeed the most hopeful of the first three Melrose books. However, it's still chockablock full of horrible people that the world would be better off without. Of course that's the point of it and Edward St. Aubyn does an admirable job of painting such hideous portraits for the us. He's an artist, who is a joy to read, even if you don't like his subjects.
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
Wildly uneven, Some Hope promises what's said on the tin for the series' protagonist, Patrick Melrose. However, we're provided sheer boredom and a cast of characters without compulsion to follow them.

Tis, the problem with book series. They start great. But once you reach the middle, they meddle. Patrick possesses potential. Yet, as his series continues, I find myself not giving one iota, despite pressing on to the next book. Maybe in my literal masochistic nature, I'll push through the pain to
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
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a little unconvinced by the first two Patrick Melrose novels - Never Mind and Bad News - and was even unsure whether to continue with the series. I'm now very glad I persevered.

Some Hope is the third Melrose novel and it's a brilliant satire of the English upper classes in all their glory and their ghastliness. The writing is superb and there's wit aplenty on every page.

It's now eight years since Patrick Melrose's father died and Patrick, and his best pal Johnny, are now both recovering
Jamie Collins
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one is not as dark than the first two books, and some would say it suffers for being a more ordinary, accessible story, but the prose is still gripping. I’m becoming steadily more impressed as I read, and I think when taken altogether these books will make up an amazing work.

This third vignette from the life of Patrick Melrose takes place when he’s age 30, completely sober, and trying to find a way to deal with the trauma associated with his abusive father. As usual the story takes place ov
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
Jessica Woodbury
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
In many ways, the 3rd Patrick Melrose book is a return to the form of the first. Once again, we follow the intolerable rich gentry of England through their preparations for a gathering and into the party itself. Some characters return (Bridget, hooray; Nicholas, ugh) but we do get to actually explore Patrick now that he is sober and trying to figure out what to do with himself when drugs don't fill his days.

This is still a darkly hilarious book, if not quite as packed with witticisms as the firs
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
Stephen Goldenberg
It’s taken me a long time to get round to reading the Patrick Melrose novels mainly because I wasn’t sure I wanted to read about the rich and aristocratic leading lives of idleness and debauchery. However, they have been so critically acclaimed that I thought I’d give them a try.
Of these first three volumes, I really liked the first, very much disliked the second and was moderately entertained by the third. Edward St. Aubyn is undoubtedly a gifted writer and he captures the mind of 5 year old Pa
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Aug 28, 2014 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!
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third in the Patrick Melrose series lacks the pathos of the first two books. St Aubyn instead just focuses on a fusillade of bitingly funny salvos against the English upper class.

The depiction of princess Margaret is worth the price of admission alone. The visceral contempt is all so funny because it is all so true.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
[ 3.75 stars ]
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 15, 2016 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
Rosemary Atwell
As 'Some Hope' moves through the fair of English society, it almost manages to discard a little of the darkness of the first two novels. The highlight of the book is the cameo of Princess Margaret - wickedly funny and spot-on in its acerbic observation of the class system in action.
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We continue the amazing journey with Patrick through his struggle to come to terms with the cruel reality of his life in an unaltered state of mind. The unbearable abuse he suffered in his childhood eventually led to the many troubles in his adult life. Luckily for Patrick, he seem to survive it rather well considering.. Psychoanalysis is not the easiest form of therapy (certainly not the cheapest in terms of both time and money) that requires a great well of some intelligence and education to m ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite being the shortest and story-wise the lightest of the Melrose novels so far, this might be my favorite. The structure of the novel is different from the first two as it jumps around between 8-10 different characters throughout the day and night of an elaborate, moneyed party in the English countryside as they get ready, travel, and work through complicated relationships and affairs that will come into play at the party. It can be disorienting because the characters are given almost no in ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
St. Aubyn's follow-up to Book 2 in the Patrick Melrose series very much returns him to (fine) form. And just in time; Book 2 was an unrelenting portrait of a hedonistic drug hell. That is, of course, its point and purpose - but it's still a tough (and not particularly satisfying) read.

Book 3 moves us close to a decade later - Patrick is clean and sober but entrenched in a transition period of forgiveness: Dad may be long gone but he left a trail of bitterness in Patrick's path. Book 3 brings a
Joseph Longo
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is the third book I read in the Patrick Melrose series. This novel is not as tortured and painful to read as the first two books in the series. It is more positive and wittier. And as the title suggests, there is some hope. The first two books, even though St. Aubyn takes you into versions of hell, also had their witty moments. In this novel, Patrick is off drugs and trying to come to grips with his hatred for his dead father, who raped him repeatedly starting when he was 5 years old. This
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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

Other books in the series

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

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You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
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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” 22 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.” 10 likes
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