Bad News, Patrick Melrose 2 – Edward St. Aubyn

Bad News is the second book in the Patrick Melrose series, and I realised that I couldn’t go back to my other books waiting to be read until I finished this series. Edward St. Aubyn has created a series that one does not want to let go of. Also, as I thought that these things emerged from experiences, I realised that I wanted to get to know the author more.Bad News didn’t disappoint.


Bad News, Patrick Melrose 2 – Edward St. Aubyn

Bad News is definitely more challenging and slower than the first book. In this book, Patrick emerges from childhood and is now twenty-two years old. He lives independently of his family and has plenty of money to spend carelessly. Since his family is already quite wealthy, he does not have to work. Besides, Patrick has become a drug addict.

Following his father’s death, he goes to New York to collect his ashes.Bad News is only about Patrick’s few days in New York, but you feel as if the author has written about his whole life as you read it. His experiences while chasing drugs and after taking drugs are told in a very realistic way. Inevitably, you also feel his hatred towards himself, his family, life, and everything in general. How could I have loved such a book so much? Now that I think about it, I can’t get it. I believe every pathetic situation that comes out of the author’s hand turns into a diamond—such an incredible author.

Other books in the Patrick Melrose Series

  1. Never Mind
  2. Bad News
  3. Some Hope
  4. Mother’s Milk
  5. At Last
Bad News, Patrick Melrose 2 – Edward St. Aubyn

Bad News, Patrick Melrose 2

Bad News: Bad News is the second of Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels, adapted for TV for Sky Atlantic and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as aristocratic addict, Patrick.

InBad News, Twenty-two years old and in the grip of a massive addiction, Patrick Melrose is forced to fly to New York to collect his father’s ashes. Over the course of a weekend, Patrick’s remorseless search for drugs on the avenues of Manhattan, haunted by old acquaintances and insistent inner voices, sends him into a nightmarish spiral. Alone in his room at the Pierre Hotel, he pushes body and mind to the very edge – desperate always to stay one step ahead of his rapidly encroaching past.

Bad News was originally published, along with Never Mind and Some Hope, as part of a three book omnibus also called Some Hope.

Edward St. Aubyn

Edward St Aubyn (born 14 January 1960) is an English author and journalist. He is the author of eight novels, including notably the semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels. In 2006, Mother’s Milk was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Edward St Aubyn was born in 1960 in London, England, into an upper-class family. He is the son of Roger Geoffrey St Aubyn (1906–1985), a former soldier and a surgeon, and his second wife, Lorna Mackintosh (1929–2005). On his paternal side, he is a great-great grandson of Sir Edward St Aubyn, 1st Baronet, and great-nephew of The 1st Baron St Levan.

On his maternal side, he is a grandson of Captain Alastair William Mackintosh of the Seaforth Highlanders (briefly married to Constance Talmadge 1926–1927), and Lela Emery (later Duchess of Talleyrand). Through the latter he is a great-grandson of American businessman John Josiah Emery, Sr., and a great-nephew of John J. Emery, Jr. and Audrey Emery (wife of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia).

His father was first married to Sophie Helene Freifrau von Puthon of Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg, whom he divorced in 1957. St Aubyn has two half-sisters by his father’s first marriage, and an elder sister, Alexandra. He grew up in London and France, where his family had houses. He has described an unhappy childhood in which he was repeatedly raped by his sexually abusive father from the ages of 5 to 8, with the complicity of his mother.

St Aubyn attended Westminster School and in 1979 went on to read English at Keble College, Oxford. Although at the time a heroin addict, he graduated, but with a pass, the lowest possible class of degree. He entered psychotherapy at the age of 25 and subsequently became a professional writer.

From 1987 to 1990, he was married to the author Nicola Shulman, now The Marchioness of Normanby. St Aubyn has a son, Lucian St Aubyn, by Jane Longman, daughter of Lady Elizabeth Longman and Mark Longman, and a daughter, Eleanor St Aubyn by another previous relationship, and lives in London.

Five of St Aubyn’s novels, Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother’s Milk, and At Last, form The Patrick Melrose Novels, the first four of which were republished in a single volume in 2012, in anticipation of the fifth. They are based on the author’s own life, growing up in a highly dysfunctional upper-class English family, dealing with abuse at the hands of his father, the deaths of both parents, alcoholism, heroin addiction and recovery, and marriage and parenthood.

The books have been hailed as a powerful exploration of how emotional health can be carved out of childhood adversity. Mother’s Milk was made into a feature film released in 2011. The screenplay was written by St Aubyn and director Gerald Fox. It stars Jack Davenport, Adrian Dunbar, Diana Quick, and Margaret Tyzack in her last performance.

In 2018 a five-part television series, Patrick Melrose was broadcast, a joint production of Showtime and Sky Atlantic. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Patrick Melrose (with the young Patrick played by Sebastian Maltz), with each episode based on a different novel in the series. The series premiered on Showtime on 12 May 2018 to favourable reviews.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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