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This book challenged the convention of believability in using POV The book opens with a chapter narrated by a five year old boy, Robert Melrose thinking and having insights of that of an intelligent adult At first, it threw me off Unbelievable Who did St Aubyn think he was Augusten Burroughs It took me a while before I reopened the book I said to myself, there must be something in here This was shortlisted in 2005 Booker Prize and a recent addition to the 1001 Books You Must Read Before This book challenged the convention of believability in using POV The book opens with a chapter narrated by a five year old boy, Robert Melrose thinking and having insights of that of an intelligent adult At first, it threw me off Unbelievable Who did St Aubyn think he was Augusten Burroughs It took me a while before I reopened the book I said to myself, there must be something in here This was shortlisted in 2005 Booker Prize and a recent addition to the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die So, there must be something here.I am glad I persevered This is a strangely beautiful book.It s about the effect of mothers to their children All mothers are human being and they are different from each other There are two types of mothers here the one who gives everything away and the one who keeps everything to herself In the center of these mothers is the Melrose family The father, Patrick is the son of the mother who gives everything away This mother is even thinking of giving their house to a shaman whose spirituality has affected the her in her dying days Patrick hates his mother so he channels that hate to his wife, Mary by having a mistress Mary in turn, retreats and distances herself from Patrick by focusing her full attention to his sons, the 5 y o Robert and the newly born, Thomas The other mother is Mary s, this is the mother that keeps everything to herself and Mary also hates her so she makes sure to be the opposite a very loving mother to her sons despite being a distant wife.The plot is not really new In fact, I prefer the emotion and the style of a similar book, the one I read and enjoyed last year, Siri Hustvedt s What I Loved However, there is no death here so there is no earth shattering event that turns the world of the characters upside down Everything seems to be hinged in subtlety and the selling proposition is really on how clever small children can be compared to their parents Those narration of the 5 y o Robert is something that should be the reason why this book is a must read In real life, according to Wiki, the author of this book, Edward St Aubyn, was raped by a male relative when he was a child Prior to this novel, he wrote an autobiographical trilogy, Some Hope where he wrote the details on this rape experience That book is said to be written with strong paternal viewpoint This book, Mother s Milk balances the view as it has strong maternal viewpoint.I think the reason why St Aubyn gave strong intellectual adult viewpoint to the 5 y o Robert was to show that a small boy can have the awareness of an adult and that any child maltreatment or molestation has a strong effect to the life and personality of a person Those sad experiences will stay with the wrong child as long as he or she lives If are a writer, and you d like to see a strange because it challenges conventions use of POV, give this book a try After what looked like an emotional breakthrough at the end of Some Hope, here we find Patrick embroiled in another or the same bleak emotional landscape It s now 2000, he s acquired a wife, now pregnant, and a 5 year old son in the break between books and the status of fatherhood leads him, perhaps inevitably, back to his own disturbed childhood I m not in any serious doubt that everything I m going through at the moment corresponds with the texture of my infancy in some way Widening After what looked like an emotional breakthrough at the end of Some Hope, here we find Patrick embroiled in another or the same bleak emotional landscape It s now 2000, he s acquired a wife, now pregnant, and a 5 year old son in the break between books and the status of fatherhood leads him, perhaps inevitably, back to his own disturbed childhood I m not in any serious doubt that everything I m going through at the moment corresponds with the texture of my infancy in some way Widening out the perspective beyond Patrick himself, we are also in the heads of the self consciously precocious children let go of expectations of realism here and go with it , and Patrick s wife, Mary If he s struggling with how to be a father, her experience of motherhood is a fitting parallel view spoiler this time her erotic life was subsumed with Thomas Her relationship with Patrick was dead hide spoiler , and the corrosive spotlight of St.Aubyn s intellect is firmly set on the bourgeois family, especially its inheritances, both material and psychological, and its aptly named bloodlines.Offsetting the bleakness is the distinctive style and sharpness of the writing With Patrick drinking again and emotionally adrift once , I wonder where the last book will take him 4 is as hard to rate as the rest, being like them wildly uneven At least to my taste In Mother s Milk the characters around Patrick Melrose are no good at all, vague, phoned in, not quite there boring But from Patrick s point of view St Aubyn s prose rockets into Cioran ish heights of nihilist lyricism The sardonic harmonies of the stupid generations are everobvious to our extending lifespans and bored, self devouring domestic over analysis Vistas of futility, illuminated further 4 is as hard to rate as the rest, being like them wildly uneven At least to my taste In Mother s Milk the characters around Patrick Melrose are no good at all, vague, phoned in, not quite there boring But from Patrick s point of view St Aubyn s prose rockets into Cioran ish heights of nihilist lyricism The sardonic harmonies of the stupid generations are everobvious to our extending lifespans and bored, self devouring domestic over analysis Vistas of futility, illuminated further and further behind Aren t you reading rather too much into those two words What else is there to do but read too much into things said Patrick breezily What a poor, thin, dull world we d live in if we didn t Besides, is it possible There s alwaysmeaning than we can lay our hands on 5, At Last, isn t a high priority, but I do need to see where Patrick ends up Another five star read from Edward St AubynIt is as a cumulative experience that these Patrick Melrose novels work best There s little point just reading one as the experience only really makes sense if you treat the five short Patrick Melrose novels as one long book Mother s Milk we jump ahead to Another five star read from Edward St AubynIt is as a cumulative experience that these Patrick Melrose novels work best There s little point just reading one as the experience only really makes sense if you treat the five short Patrick Melrose novels as one long book Mother s Milk along with the rest of the Patrick Melrose novels shares a clear lineage to both Anthony Powell and Evelyn Waugh which, as you don t need me to tell you, is a very positive thing.In Mother s Milk we jump ahead to 2000 01 Patrick is now married with two young children Having skewered the English aristocracy, drug taking, and luxury s disappointment, here Edward St Aubyn trains his unerring, coruscating laser on bourgeois family life and in particular the psychological and material legacies passed down through the generations There s vicious, acerbic wit, dark satire, and psychodrama aplenty I am pressing straight on with At Last, the fifth and final book I cannot wait to find out how the tale concludes and also to reflect on the experience 5 5 The five Patrick Melrose novels have been published in two separate volumes Patrick Melrose Volume 1 Never Mind, Bad News and Some Hope 1 3 Patrick Melrose Volume 2 Mother s Milk and At Last 45 Whewif you start the St Aubyn what is the word for 1 after a trilogy series at the first book and read through, the character s journey from abuse to drugs to misanthropy to redemption is unlike anything I ve ever read It s on a par with Waugh for meanness and wit and flow and that s high praise but unlike Waugh he has a genuine conscience and wants to understand his and his character s processes The degradation and deep amusement at the worst aspects of everyone in the first four bo Whewif you start the St Aubyn what is the word for 1 after a trilogy series at the first book and read through, the character s journey from abuse to drugs to misanthropy to redemption is unlike anything I ve ever read It s on a par with Waugh for meanness and wit and flow and that s high praise but unlike Waugh he has a genuine conscience and wants to understand his and his character s processes The degradation and deep amusement at the worst aspects of everyone in the first four books make the coming to peace of this one credible It s very moving and true and not at all sentimental At times, this volume gets a little expository.there are moments in all the books, including this one, where you have to put your finger between the pages and hold your head down because you re laughing to hard to read a thingin time, when I ve recovered, I ll go back and read all four withcare Can t recommend these enough I read Never Mind and had to keep stopping to copy down sentences because I couldn t bear to let them go St Aubyn lacerates you with the taut wire strength of his prose and intellect the book is profoundly beautiful and profoundly shocking Part of the shock with all of them is one s own complicity Bad News is a tour de force of writing and experience that is the emptiest of reviews, so I would just say, go and read it You feel drowned in someone else s perception Some Hope made me feel I read Never Mind and had to keep stopping to copy down sentences because I couldn t bear to let them go St Aubyn lacerates you with the taut wire strength of his prose and intellect the book is profoundly beautiful and profoundly shocking Part of the shock with all of them is one s own complicity Bad News is a tour de force of writing and experience that is the emptiest of reviews, so I would just say, go and read it You feel drowned in someone else s perception Some Hope made me feel like killing myself Think Evelyn Waugh without anyone having the thinnest shred of redemptive goodness Mother s Milk If you think of giving up before this one, don t Someone said to me that you think you read the others for themselves until you come to this one, and see that all the others are for this one I think that s true This one is the pinnacle This isn t a series, it s an ascent Edward St Aubyn |DOWNLOAD E-PUB ☩ Mother's Milk ♭ A New York Times Notable Book, Mother s Milk is a brilliantly stylish and witty novel by a master of modern British fiction Widely acclaimed in the United States and the UK, Mother s Milk follows the Melroses, the same family featured in St Aubyn s trilogy, Some Hope First we meet Robert, who provides an exceptionally droll and convincing account of being born then Patrick, a hilariously churlish husband who has been sexually abandoned by his wife in favor of motherhood then Mary, who s consumed by her children and an overwhelming desire not to repeat the mistakes of her own mother All the while, St Aubyn examines the web of false promises that entangles this once illustrious family, whose last vestige of wealth an estate in the South of France is about to be permanently donated by Patrick s mother to a new age foundation The result is captivating and unexpected Number four in the series and Patrick is married with children The start of this book is amazing when we meet Patrick s first child, Robert Really it is all nonsense as no child could possibly be like this but the writing is so beautiful and the ideas so lovely Robert quickly became my favourite character I was hoping that Patrick would finally find himself in this book but he has not Understandable really as there is still onebook to go Can t wait Did you know, said Patrick, addressing Seamus again, that among the caribou herdsmen of Lapland, the top shaman gets to drink the urine of the reindeer that has eaten the magic mushrooms, and his assistant drinks the urine of the top shaman, and so on, all the way down to the lowest of the low who scramble in the snow, pleading for a splash of twelfth generation caribou piss I didn t know that, said Seamus flatly I thought it was your special field, said Patrick, surprised Anyhow, the Did you know, said Patrick, addressing Seamus again, that among the caribou herdsmen of Lapland, the top shaman gets to drink the urine of the reindeer that has eaten the magic mushrooms, and his assistant drinks the urine of the top shaman, and so on, all the way down to the lowest of the low who scramble in the snow, pleading for a splash of twelfth generation caribou piss I didn t know that, said Seamus flatly I thought it was your special field, said Patrick, surprised Anyhow, the irony is that the premier cru, the first hit, is much the most toxic Poor old top shaman is reeling and sweating, trying to get all the poison out, whereas a few damaged livers later, the urine is harmless without having lost its hallucinogenic power Such is the human attachment to status, that people will sacrifice for their peace of mind and their precious time in order to pickaxe their way towards what turns out to be a thoroughly poisonous experience This book had just as much biting, incisive writing as the first three books, but it felt muchaimless, at least in the middle The beginning of the book actually starts out from the perspective of a newborn baby, and frankly, I thought that part was genius The POV is from Patrick s son, and we see him grow up from inside his head It s really hard to describe, and it was super weird, but it also worked really well.The part that really got me, though, which was the same thing that got me during this episode of the TV mini series, is that Patrick and his crisis largely doesn t interest me Patrick and his wife Mary are struggling to overcome the weights of their past, and Patrick is not succeeding very well His children are extremely intelligent, and his wife retreats into motherhood as an antidote to Patrick s misery, which threatens to bring everyone around them down He can t let anything go And meanwhile, his mother with whom he has a conflicted relationship anyway , is dying and in nursing care, and her descent into a second infancy, but one full of misery and pain, only exacerbates his issues.The quote I ve excerpted above is one that Patrick throws out at Seamus, the charlatan who has taken his mother s wealth in the guise of charity, and it s a powerful commentary on how both Patrick and St Aubyn feel about humanity s fucked up priorities But that moment is just one stuck in the middle of the book, which is largely made up of Patrick s family life falling apart, as he teeters on the verge of fucking up his sons, not the way he was fucked up by his father, but in a different way altogether, because he can t get over his past.I m very ready for the promised catharsis of the last book 3.5 stars Really enjoyed this It s clever, funny but it loses a star because the author faithfully touches all the familiar moans of British anti Americanism Americans are fat and can t fit into aeroplane seats American food is revolting, and the pizzas not as good as European ones American TV is mindless Baseball is boring Everyone who works in the American service industry pretends to be cheerful The American approach to health and safety is infantilising American millionaires are vulgar and Really enjoyed this It s clever, funny but it loses a star because the author faithfully touches all the familiar moans of British anti Americanism Americans are fat and can t fit into aeroplane seats American food is revolting, and the pizzas not as good as European ones American TV is mindless Baseball is boring Everyone who works in the American service industry pretends to be cheerful The American approach to health and safety is infantilising American millionaires are vulgar and have vulgar gardens Americans support a nuclear Israel Americans are always suing each other over the littlest inconveniences American hotels have machines that ejaculate ice cubes I m not sure why this last one is bad They ll love it in The New Statesman our water tank burst and flooded the apartment downstairs Our neighbours are suing us, so we re suing the plumbers who only put the tank in last year The plumbers are suing the tank company for defective design And the residents are suing the building, even though they re all on vacation, because the water was cut off for two days instead of two hours, which caused them a lot of mental stress in Tuscany and Nantucket Gosh, said Mary What s wrong with mopping up and getting a new water tank That is so English, said Sally, delighted by Mary s quaint stoicism The first part would be funny if I didn t think a Guardian reader was delighting friends with this as a true story The second part is only forgivable if St Aubyn isn t English I was just telling your parents they ought to take you to see the real Father Christmas, said, Jilly, dishing out the food Concorde from Gatwick in the morning, up to Lapland, Hadn t Jilly heard of the Paris crash Concorde was grounded for the rest of 2000 Raggie with a label, he sobbed She handed him a Harrington square with the label still on it A raggie without a label was not just unconsoling, but doubly upsetting because of its tantalizing resemblance to the ones which still had labels I really don t know what a Harrington square is Did I miss something Illness had blown her apart like a dandelion clock He had wondered if he would end up like that, a few seeds stuck to a broken stem Whereas the London parks he knew seemed to insist on nature, Central Park insisted on recreation