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At Last (2012)

Tekijä: Edward St. Aubyn

Sarjat: Patrick Melrose (5)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5362742,666 (4.02)31
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.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 27) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Didn't enjoy this exploration of 'Sincerity Deficit Disorder' but there is some clever observation in there. I agree that we should 'drop our defenses while it's still a voluntary act' but would hope that this lethargic cautionary tale is not what is required to convince people of that. Much more fun to get there through the more vigorous pleasures of love. But well, if you need to unpack your depression and emerge into the light I guess this book is ready to help you do that.

121 "moments of shame that precipitated moments of clarity in the pilgrim's progress of recovery"
121 "sedation was the prelude to anxiety, stimulation the prelude to exhaustion, and consolation the prelude to disappointment"
149 "Neither a soul nor a personal identity were needed to precipitate human life, just a cluster of habits clinging to the concept of hollow existence"
154 "The underlying assumption...was that that authenticity was the only project that mattered and that religious belief necessarily stood in the way. He was now faintly embarrassed by the lack of subtlety and self-doubt..."
164 "joggers and cyclists bobbed along, determined to stay alive"
182 "You know the way tears spring on you, in a silly film, or at a funeral, or when you read something in the paper: not really brought on by the thing that triggers them, but from the accumulated grief...and life being so generally maddening."
197 "felt the stranglehold of social responsibility"
227 "She had a few little pockets of friendship, each assuming that there was something more central, but in fact there was nothing in the middle."
183 "Aquinas said that love is 'desiring another's good'...'Just desiring another is good enough for me...It seems to me that Aquinas is just stating the obvious. Everything is rooted in desire.' 'Except conformity, convention, compulsion, hidden motivation, necessity, confusion, perversion, principle.' 'But they just create other kinds of desire' "
228 "we must drop our defenses while it's still a voluntary act"
232 "Sincerity Deficit Disorder"
  ahovde01 | Apr 1, 2023 |
Loved it. ( )
  k6gst | Jan 19, 2023 |
The last time we saw the dysfunctional Melrose family was at the end of Mother's Milk when Eleanor, in severe mental and physical decline, played with the idea of leaving the world via suicide but just as in any other case (except for her divorce), she changed her mind at the very last moment. A year and a half later, she finally dies and the novel, the last of the series, is set in a single day - her funeral.

The novel is not dated but Nancy provides the exact date (Prince Charles' second wedding) and Mary mentions that Eleanor died on Easter Sunday so here we are on 9 April 2005, assembling for the last time to see how Patrick had managed to mess up his life again (and to attend the funeral of course).

As usual in these novels, the time between the previous book and this one is mentioned in memories and conversations (and this time we get even more history both about David (making him even more horrendous than he already was) and about the Jonson sisters (Eleanor's part of the family). I really like how that last part was handled - while Nancy kept complaining about the lack of funds and how she was swindled out of her money, Patrick gets to learn that his mother has more secrets than one expected and that even if the house in France is truly lost, his mother's family still had another card to play in the game that is Patrick's life.

Almost everyone we met at the first books is dead now except for Nicholas Pratt - the man who always found excuses for David. The marriage between Mary and Patrick is also dead although after him spending some time in a mental hospital and finally kicking off all addictions, he is a functional co-parent and human being for probably the first time in his life.

Most of the novel deals with the past and with how people perceive other people - everyone in the room has their memories of Eleanor and none of them really match with each other - everyone saw what they wanted and needed in her (or what they were forced to). Listening to them gets Patrick that additional nudge towards sanity that had eluded him even after all the substances were gone from his bloodstream. And as usual, there are enough moments which make you at least smile - sometimes because you are happy that did not happen to you, sometimes because St. Aubyn really knows how to be funny even in the middle of a serious novel.

The book can be read as a standalone but I suspect that it will appear either shocking for the sake of being shocking in some places or its characters would just appear as first drafts of people. The previous 4 novels give this one the background - even with its dead people - Victor may be gone but Erasmus is here to provide the philosophy; Anne being dead is almost expected now with Eleanor being dead (she was always the one which almost highlighted what a miserable woman Eleanor was by just being there and being herself). And then there is Nick...

If there is one part which was a bit weak, that was the very end. Not because Patrick's acceptance and almost understanding of the abuse he grew up with (if you did not see that one coming, you were not paying attention) but with the very convenient penultimate act which made sure that the last connection was severed (not that it could have happened to a better man but still). Added to the earlier news from the States, it felt too forced. It fits the story, it was needed for the story to end but... real life rarely works that way and it felt almost like a fairy tale ending - all the villains get their justice.

And yet, it works because it allows for hope to finally shine into Patrick's life and the novel ends on a high end - with a door opening towards a new happier life. Too bad we won't hear of it -- happy Patrick is probably not as interesting as the one we met in these 5 novels but I will miss him.

If you had read the first 4 novels, you really should read this one. If you had not, the series is worth reading - even if it is not always an easy read. ( )
1 ääni AnnieMod | May 18, 2022 |
Fitting end to a wonderful series about the least likeable characters you will ever meet. But Patrick comes through in the end. ( )
1 ääni bostonbibliophile | Apr 13, 2022 |
What a thoroughly gorgeous and brilliant ending to the saga of Patrick Melrose, finally free of his parents to become his own man.

There's really nothing more to say. ( )
1 ääni TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 27) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
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Tärkeät paikat
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Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
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For Bo
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
'Surprised to see me?' said Nicholas Pratt, planting his walking stick on the crematorium carpet and fixing Patrick with a look of slightly aimless defiance, a habit no longer useful but too late to change.
Sitaatit
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As far as Patrick was concerned, the past was a corpse waiting to be cremated, and although his wish was about to be granted in the most literal fashion, in a furnace only a few yards from where he was standing, another kind of fire was needed to incinerate the attitudes which haunted Nancy; the psychological impact of inherited wealth, the raging desire to get rid of it and the raging desire to hang on to it; the demoralizing effect of already having what almost everyone else was sacrificing their precious lives to acquire; the more or less secret superiority and the more or less secret shame of being rich, generating their characteristic disguises; the philanthropy solution, the alcoholic solution, the mask of eccentricity, the search for salvation in perfect taste; the defeated, the idle, and the frivolous and their opponents, the standard-bearers, all living in a world that the dense glitter of alternatives made it hard for love and work to penetrate.
Viimeiset sanat
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(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

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.

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