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Some Hope: A Trilogy

(Patrick Melrose #1-3)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,933 ratings  ·  294 reviews
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St. Aubyn's first novel carries a biting subtextual social criticism reminiscent of The Corrections, but this British writer takes no prisoners. His brilliantly wrought fictional trilogy features a character-driven narrative with flashes of conflict and emotion relieved by a stringent humor. Some Hope is the tumultuous journey of Pa
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 30th 2003 by Open City Books (first published 1994)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,933 ratings  ·  294 reviews

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Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2018, own-a-copy

Polish edition of Patrick Melrose novels was published in two parts. The first one contains three installments. Definitely each part deserves to be reviewed individually but for now I’ll settle for one collective write-up. I doubt there is anyone who hadn’t read or at least heard about the cycle so only some words of introduction. Do you remember this Larkin’s poem? Yes, that one that starts with these words:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you w
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mommie-dearest, uk
A fabulous novel. If you come from a family that is in any way dysfunctional, this book takes you to a bar, gets you drunk, and gives you The Talk on how to deal with it (sometimes by showing you how not to). It is very, very well written, in an intelligent and sometimes allusive way, but please do not think the frills detract from the content - they somehow make the content more manageable for people who had similar experiences. Also, I'm not qualified to judge the accuracy of the book's descri ...more
Violet wells
Four stars for the onslaught of brilliant and searingly funny sentences. Three stars for the architecture with the dizzying overlapping of characters, a good few of whom seemed gratuitous.

Some Hope is an autobiographical novel, the last part of a trilogy, made up largely of vignettes of biting social satire – territorially, in chronological terms, half way between Eveyln Waugh and Martin Amis. It’s often extremely funny, sometimes jubilantly cynical. I enjoyed Mother’s Milk more but St Aubyn ha
Justin Evans
Jun 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
For the first 19 pages, I was disgusted: would this turn out to be the usual, over-descriptive, self-pitying mush? For God's sake, why do you need to say 'black and white magpie'? What the heck other colour magpies are there? Rage ensued.
The next day, I read through the rest of 'Never Mind,' the first novel, straight. It whupped me. Great stuff- fantastic characters, intelligent themes, beautiful writing, funny and emotionally stunning.
So I got to work on 'Bad News,' which was slightly above-p
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a romantic. I liked this, the third of the quartet, The Patrick Melrose Novels. I don't know if this works well as a stand alone, but it really was what I needed.
Patrick, a recovering drug addict is actually recovering. He examines his past and finally admits that he was a victim . The people he knew as a child are now 35 years older. Many are exactly the same. The setting is the day of a birthday party for Sonny, one of the gentry. The party goers are a motley group of well healed, ill int
Beth Bonini
"I feel on the verge of a great transformation, which may be as simple as becoming interested in other things."

"What could he do but accept that the disturbing extent to which memory was fictional and hope that the fiction lay at the service of a truth less richly represented by the original facts."

In this third novel to the Patrick Melrose quintet, the protagonist is on the verge of turning 30 - and finally getting to the point where he can move beyond - or at least detach himself to some exten
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some Hope the third of St. Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels is a crackling piece of nasty business. Paul Melrose has lived surprisingly into his 30's and now is reluctantly but successfully not abusing drugs. This does not keep him from missing them just using them. A cavalcade of British snobs, and assorted other wealthy types are congregating for an epic party in honor of Princess Margaret. St Aubyn brings these many characters within the range of his satire and they are for the most part a vile ...more
Jim Coughenour
Jul 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: darkandfunny
"After all, what redeemed life from complete horror was the almost unlimited number of things to be nasty about."

There are few things I enjoy more than a mordant sense of humor, and few people do it better than the English. Some Hope is a modern masterpiece, a trilogy of short novels about the hapless Patrick Melrose. Hard to believe you could be snorting with laughter about a kid who grows up with a mother who makes Cruella de Ville look like St Teresa, and a father whose idea of quality time w
Mar 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breathtaking, audacious, stunning. I implore anyone who has tripped over this review to switch off their computer, go out to the nearest bookshop and BUY THIS BOOK. It is about so much more than addiction (or child abuse, come to that). It's characters, particularly the central one, and the thousands of walk-on parts, are so vividly written, and the things they with such precision relayed, that you cannot help being uncomfortably close to what goes on. I loved this novel. ...more
Elizabeth Spiers
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've bought this book over 20 times because I keep loaning it to people and I never get it back. This may be a function of widespread latent kleptomania in my social circles, but I suspect it's because the book is an excellent read and no one wants to give it up.

St. Aubyn's writing is caustic and brutal, but also blisteringly funny--thus the frequent and not-entirely-surprising comparison to Evelyn Waugh. (To be fair, it's more A HANDFUL OF DUST Waugh than, say, BRIDESHEAD Waugh.)
Ann Olszewski
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'd heard about St. Aubyn's Patrick Melrose books several years ago, and had been planning to read them for some time. I regret my delay - this trilogy (the first three of five books)is, as a whole, one of the best things I've read in several years.

To begin, St. Aubyn's writing is strikingly beautiful. His use of metaphor is never hackneyed or contrived, but perfectly fitting. There were some passages that I re-read several times simply so I could admire them again. But these short novels are no
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really compelling read and I am really rather glad to have picked it up before watching the adaptation. Although I have just started the Sky version and it is very good, the book reaches hidden depths and has strengths in different ways. For example, where the adaptation uses flash backs to reveal Patrick's past of the first volume, I like the way the book spits that out before you see its impacts evolve over Patrick's following decades.

I love Patrick's dry cynicism, his wit, his self
Piotr Szymański
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would've finished it much earlier, but the book just gets really boring around 80% of the text. I just got stuck there. The dialogues are lovely, the book itself is an endless source of irony and sarcasm, lots of laughter is to be had over the despair of what is happening in the story. It probably had a much more stunning effect when published originally, than now, when no one believes that there was any value to the aristocracy, but even in these most postmodern of times, you will find yourself ...more
Daniel Sevitt
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
I'm pleased I read these three novellas in quick succession. I think they improved as they went along. The first book may be beautifully observed but it is also appalling and necessarily distant. Book two is an extended drug tale driven by dark humour and self-loathing. Only in the third book does sobriety allow the wit to rise above the darkness. The dinner party scene where Princess Margaret humiliates the French ambassador is deliciously awful.

Patrick's efforts to stay clean and to come clea
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-favs
Such a vivid, witty and brilliant dialog and characters that the book became an instant favorite of mine. It's a tragic story, especially as it's semi-autobiography, but it's a story with hope. I've never read anything that describes the mindscape of a heroin drug addict in such perceptive way. ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The first 99 pages introduce us to people who, for the most part, are either loathsome or pathetic. The next 100 takes us intimately and graphically along a two day drug binge. One might think this would be dull, but, given the number and variety of drugs Patrick takes and the combinations he concocts plus the details of different modes of delivery in and out of his system, it horrifies, but never palls. How did I manage to get through 199 pages of such unpleasantness? St. Aubyn's marvelous writ ...more
Lori Weiman
May 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Compared to books #1 and #2 of Edward St. Aubyn's five-part series, I was left thinking this was just a bit boring. It was not as off-putting as Book #2, but not as intriguing as book #1. I could only assume that is the bridge story as Peter comes to grips with the humanity of this parents, now that he is sober and mature enough to look at them as mutually flawed individuals whose failings were most likely caused by indiscretions perpetrated against them their own past demons and evil doers. As ...more
Laura Harker
Glad I watched the TV show first tbh.
Why do the books seem to have no beginnings or ends? It's just constant middles.
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novels in Edward St. Aubyn's five part Patrick Melrose series are heavily based on St. Aubyn's life, growing up in a highly dysfunctional British upper middle class family with a cruel abusive father and an unprotective substance abusing mother. As he said in a recent article in The Guardian, "The whole Melrose series is an attempt to tell the truth, and is based on the idea that there is some salutary or liberating power in telling the truth. So it would have been quite tiresome to lie abou ...more
Apr 03, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Yes, there's gonna be a mini series starring the wonderful Bumblebee Cabbagepatch - and the trailer looks great! ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
reminded of these wonderful books by St Aubyn while watching the new TV series (which is pretty spot on, Cumberbatch at his best). They are dark and terrible, and yet shiny and brilliant.
It's Me - Yvette
I can’t do it. Had to send this one back to Audible. After barely finishing Never Mind, I just can’t continue with this series — not for me!
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was reading this book in parallel with watching the Sky/SunnyMarch TV adaptation and I must say they stayed as close to the books as possible, which is certainly a good point when you enjoyed the books.

Though both books and TV show are absolutely not my cup of tea, it helped me discover something I would not have read/watched otherwise.
Kevin Norton
Three very different novels - at times, particularly in the first two, I was reminded of American Psycho - the brutality, the focus on money and brand - but without the real shocking depths of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel. 3rd volume, although still containing some of the caustic black humour from the first two novels, lacked the crescendo or the climactic event around which to hang the narrative - Patrick’s revelation to Johnny and the feckless French ambassador spilling gravy on Princess Margaret ...more
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is the same guy who went on to write Mother's Milk, which was recently shortlisted for the Booker. He writes with real class and style. I normally can't stand books about drugs or addiction, but the writing here is so brilliant - and so funny - that I didn't at all resent the 100 odd pages devoted to a 2-day drug binge. Treating addiction comically, rather than earnestly or dramtically (as in Candy) actually provides a much better insight into the experience. St. Aubyn's prose is as lean, s ...more
As with my previous experience with St Aubyn - there were things I liked and things I didn't. I didn't particularly like any of the characters (although impossible to feel some level of care for Patrick having spent so much time with him) but then I don't think we are necessarily meant to. But the way St Aubyn writes it's impossible to stop reading. Never over wordy, but never lacking in depth - great insights into the human character on almost every page. ...more
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
The first part in the trilogy was an amazing read - so unexpected. I think I realized that I love characters that you love to hate because they're hateful. It's the story of a boy who is so damaged from his childhood and how he struggles through drug addiction (the depiction of which was pretty good). As the title suggests - there is some hope for this troubled protagonist - that feels real and true. The writing is strong - the characters are extremely well crafted. ...more
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Masterful, cynical phrases. He is so articulate on misery.

"my experience of love is that you get excited thinking that someone can mend your broken heart, and then you get angry when you realize that they can’t. A certain economy creeps into the process and the jewelled daggers that used to pierce one’s heart are replaced by ever-blunter penknives.’
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The weakest in the series yet as it's a little too desultory with its cast of mostly forgettable supporting characters, but any moment with Patrick is a standout. Leaves a much better taste than it starts with as St. Aubyn can write the hell out of a final scene. ...more
Catherine Corman
"It teaches one to look for distinction elsewhere and not to rely on accident of birth," said Johnny casually.

"That's where people go wrong," said the Princess, compressing her lips, "there is no accident in birth."

-Edward St. Aubyn, Some Hope
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Goodreads Librari...: Tidying up a trilogy and a single book with the same name 4 25 Apr 19, 2013 09:41AM  
Some Hope!! 2 12 Jan 09, 2013 10:58AM  

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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)
  • Some Hope
  • Mother's Milk
  • At Last

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