Never Mind - Book Group discussion thread - Nov 2019

9 watchers
Nov 2019
5:02pm, 24 Nov 2019
18762 posts
  •  
  • 0
Columba
Agree with Dio, - very good review, Peregrinator. In particular I echo your comment about now knowing far more than I need to (and indeed want to) about injecting drugs.
Nov 2019
3:41pm, 25 Nov 2019
42269 posts
  •  
  • 0
McGoohan
Having started this and stalling a month back, now with a little time more on my hands, I picked it up again and... raced through. How odd, especially considering how much this book ought to grate.

It was more a series of related vignettes - at first anyway - giving pinpoint accurate character studies of some thoroughly unpleasant people. Is it possible to enjoy a book where there is barely a sympathetic character present? Even our introduction to Patrick is of a spiteful, cruel little boy, though we soon find out where he gets it from.

I knew a little bit about the author's life but even then was floored by chapter 7 and the rape of a child by his father. We can not only see the roots of the adult Patrick's later problems but also the arrogant self-justifications of the abuser.

In retrospect, the way the story-telling switches or rotates through the various characters reminded me, strangely enough of Graham Greene, e.g. England Made Me. Each is given equal focus, just in time to see their motivations, desires etc only to move on to someone else's withering view.

As for the writing, St Aubyn's language is gorgeous: he has a fantastic way with simile and I found parts of the novel surprisingly funny, though blackly so.

In the end, I did enjoy it, very much and I've scored it an 8. I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
Nov 2019
9:42pm, 25 Nov 2019
18772 posts
  •  
  • 0
Columba
Did you read all three, McG? Or are you just about to go on to no. 2?
Nov 2019
10:33pm, 25 Nov 2019
42272 posts
  •  
  • 0
McGoohan
Just bought Number Two tonight and wondering whether to read that next or the December choice...
Nov 2019
7:06am, 26 Nov 2019
31192 posts
  •  
  • 0
LindsD
Just finished number 2. Really enjoyed it. Turns out I'm quite interested in descriptions of drug-taking....
Nov 2019
7:13am, 26 Nov 2019
42276 posts
  •  
  • 0
McGoohan
"Then I got my dad's ashes and snorted them..."

(I haven't read that yet, but I'm extrapolating from the back cover.)
Nov 2019
9:06am, 26 Nov 2019
31197 posts
  •  
  • 0
LindsD
Not far off....
Dec 2019
7:26am, 4 Dec 2019
42372 posts
  •  
  • 0
McGoohan
Blimey Charlie O'Reilly. I think I know *everything* there is to know about taking drugs now. I could sit an exam on it.
Dec 2019
8:00am, 4 Dec 2019
31435 posts
  •  
  • 0
LindsD
:)

Finished book three. Brilliant.
Dec 2019
11:02am, 12 Dec 2019
43346 posts
  •  
  • 0
Diogenes
I finished Never Mind last night. If I didn’t know that it was part of a series, or hadn’t seen the excellent TV adaptation, I would have been a bit bemused at the ending. It is very much the conclusion of part of a longer work. Without the context of what comes after it doesn’t have the same impact, despite being a work of sublime quality.

The writing is superb. There are some incredibly funny lines, brilliantly drawn characters, and beautifully evoked sense of place. It tells a complex story efficiently and subtly. A lesser writer would have turned this into a 400 page novel. And yet, perhaps because the central incident of the plot is so grim and the characters are almost all without a single redeeming feature, and also because it is so slight, it doesn’t stand so tall alone as the masterpiece that is the entire Patrick Melrose series.

I’ve voted 7 on the poll (it would be 7.5 if I could do halves). The series would get a 9

About This Thread

Maintained by McGoohan
Are you feeling stupid? Are you feeling contagious?

Then you need the first novel in the Patrick Melrose series by Edward St Aubyn. Discuss it below. Go on. Discuss.

I found it hard, it's hard to find, oh well, whatever, never mind.

Heart Rate Analysis

See your heart rate training data from the last 12 months broken down in technicolour.

Fetcheveryone Cycling Jerseys

Place your order before the end of May if you'd like one of this limited edition batch of short sleeve full zip jerseys.

Flat as a pancake?

We've collected thousands of your reviews from events, and worked out which races give you the best chance of a fast time!

UTMOST

Beat your league rivals to gain weekly promotion. Compete at every distance from a mile to a marathon.


Back To Top
X

Free training & racing tools for runners, cyclists, swimmers & walkers.

Fetcheveryone lets you analyse your training, find races, plot routes, chat in our forum, get advice, play games - and more! Nothing is behind a paywall, and it'll stay that way thanks to our awesome community!
Get Started
Click here to join 108,574 Fetchies!
Already a Fetchie? Sign in here