A review by katmackie
Never Mind by Edward St Aubyn


Never Mind was a quick read, but a resonating one. It left me with the sense that I had delved into something quite epic, though brief. Luckily, it's the first installment in the Patrick Melrose Novels series, but I'm hesitant to leap into the next one just yet.

I forget who recommended this series to me, but they obviously understand my book tastes very well. Never Mind is caustically hilarious, utterly heartbreaking, and surprisingly philosophical. And it's the perfect mix of these things (though the heartbreak is deeply unsettling). The story follows young Patrick Melrose's parents, and their dinner guests, as they prepare for the nearing dreaded evening. With each person comes a unique and satirical character study, which St. Aubyn has mastered.

Though the voice of young Patrick doesn't quite read as a five year old, I found this to actually work well. From my brief research I discovered that this series is based on St. Aubyn's experiences. In Patrick's voice it's easy to see this, and though the observations are sophisticated for a child, they work exceptionally. Seeing his world overlap with the surrounding characters was equally fascinating. The flow from each perspective was effortless, and never overextended. it's an odd experience to be laughing at the wit of a novel one second, then outraged, yet in awe of the writing, the next. Never Mind is filled with moments like this.

I wholeheartedly agree with the praise this series has received, and I look forward to continuing, but not before letting it rest a bit.