At Last: Book summary and reviews of At Last by Edward St. Aubyn

At Last

A Patrick Melrose Novel

by Edward St. Aubyn

At Last by Edward St. Aubyn
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

For Patrick Melrose, "family" is more than a double-edged sword. As friends, relatives and foes trickle in to pay final respects to his mother, Eleanor - an heiress who gave up the grandeur of her upbringing for "good works," freely bestowed on everyone but her own child - Patrick finds that his transition to orphanhood may not be the liberation he had so long imagined.

Yet as the service ends and the family gathers for a final party, as conversations are overheard, danced around and concertedly avoided, amidst the social niceties and social horrors, the calms and the rapids, Patrick begins to sense a new current. At the end of the day, alone in his rooftop bedsit, it seems to promise some form of safety, at last.

A powerful reflection on pain, acceptance, and the treacheries of family, At Last is the stunning culmination of the Melrose books, a work of glittering dark comedy and profound emotional truth.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Sparkling... With the wit of Wilde, the lightness of Wodehouse, and the waspishness of Waugh, [St. Aubyn] wraps his fancy prose style around the self in extremis." - Harper's Magazine

"A miraculously wrought piece of art." - The Financial Times (UK)

"Starred Review. Though he echoes Anthony Powell and Evelyn Waugh, St. Aubyn's voice is unique, powerful, and scathingly funny." - Publishers Weekly

"Good stuff for thoughtful readers..." - Library Journal

"St. Aubyn's technique is to crystallise emotional intensity into sentences of arctic beauty, which can be caustically witty or brutal. His novels are uncommonly well controlled, and thus their impact is all the more powerful... We have reached the pinnacle of a series that has plunged into darkness and risen towards light. At Last is both resounding end and hopeful beginning." - The Telegraph (UK)

"Ferociously funny, painfully acute and exhilaratingly written... Brimming with witty flair, sardonic perceptiveness and literary finesse." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"The thing that everyone loves about this man... is that his prose has an easy charm that masks a ferocious, searching intellect. As a sketcher of character, his wit - whether turned against pointless members of the aristocracy or hopeless crack dealers - is ticklingly wicked... [An] amazing book." - The Times (UK)

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More Information

Edward St. Aubyn was born in London in 1960. He is the author of A Clue to the Exit and On the Edge, and of a series of novels about the Melrose family, the trilogy Some Hope and Mother's Milk, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. Visit St. Aubyn online at www.edwardstaubyn.com.

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