At Last

At Last

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
5
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Friends, relatives, and foes trickle in to pay final respects to Patrick's mother, Eleanor. An American heiress, Eleanor married into the British aristocracy, giving up the grandeur of her upbringing for "good works" freely bestowed on everyone but her own son, who finds himself questioning whether his transition to a life without parents will indeed be the liberation he had so long imagined.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
ISBN: 9780374298890
0374298890
Characteristics: 266 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: At last : a novel

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m
maipenrai
Dec 21, 2016

(The fifth book in the Patrick Melrose series)

l
lukasevansherman
Feb 25, 2015

"Forget heroin. Just try giving up irony, that deep-down need to mean two things at once, to be in two places at once, not to be there for the catastrophe of a fixed meaning."
Edward St. Aubyn returns to his most famous character, Patrick Melrose, in "As Last," which may be the final book in this celebrated series that includes "Never Mind," "Bad News," "Some Hope," and "Mother's Milk," all of which are collected in "The Patrick Melrose Novels." Loosely autobiographical, these books are all about survival and recovery. Drugs and family (especially family) are the two things that the aristocratic Melrose struggles to overcome and in this book, he comes to terms with the death and legacy of his mother, a well-meaning, but weak woman who overlooked her husband's abusiveness. While there's still the sardonic wit and high-brow charm (poetry, religion and French all are discussed) of the earlier books, this one has a more reflective tone and introspective mood. If you haven't read any of these books, start with the others first. "The most brilliant English novelist of his generation."-Alan Hollinghurst

ChristchurchLib Feb 19, 2013

As with the first four books in the Patrick Melrose series, this 5th and final entry takes place over a single day, as Patrick attends the funeral of his heiress mother and examines his own life. Though he's struggled with abuse and drug addiction in the past, he has come to find a certain amount of peace in his life. The funeral, of course, stirs up memories of his violent father and prompts him to consider whether it's too late to heal his relationships with his own sons, with whom he has always been remote. This broadly autobiographical book - and the series it is a part of - deals in tragic themes (how wealth spoils, sadistic parents) with an undercurrent of dark humour.

Fiction A to Z newsletter February 2013.

a
amgillette
Nov 27, 2012

Amazing - a terrific final book to the Patrick Melrose series. Highly recommended!

debwalker Mar 10, 2012

"Readers who do not know the other novels in what is now the Melrose Quintet will still enjoy At Last’s humour, thoughtfulness, amusing characterizations and intelligence. They will be able to follow the story – such as it is – easily. But they will miss the nuances that make this a fitting ending (if it is the ending) to a very impressive sequence of novels."
Andre Alexis
Globe and Mail

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