Never Mind-Edward St. Aubyn
nationality: UK (Cornwall)
"At his mother's family house in the south of France, Patrick Melrose has the run of a magical garden. Bravely imaginative and self-sufficient, five-year-old Patrick encounters the volatile lives of adults with care. His father, David, rules with considered cruelty, and Eleanor, his mother, has retreated into drink. They are expecting guests for dinner."
I liked Patrick but really I'm a terrible audience for 'modern classic' British novels or 'possibly autobiographical' stories about the upper class. They just leave me so cold and antagonistic which may be the clearest sign that I ought to move. My favorite character was the American who gave us some humor and the rest of the characters are British to the core: from the precocious child to the utterly cruel father. I mean, David Melrose's utter horribleness might be a satire but it is not that far off from certain people whose acquaintance I've made.
Oh my goodness, what a ghastly set of characters being so dreadfully fashionably British! So pompous and upper class, their very existences are twisted by tedium and boredom with that barrage of mockery and insults that characterizes far too many British friendships. A self-inflated ego that matches nothing of the reality of their behaviors. If you could see my face, it'd just have the same disgusted screwed up expression. And you know, since I was so horrified by the entirety of the novel, the moment of child abuse didn't even register as a shock...I thought he such a horrible human being, it was not a surprise he'd do that.
The writing is clear and simple which probably doesn't help endear it to me but it floats other peoples's boats.