Use these discussion questions to guide your next meeting.

For a quarter century, Edward St. Aubyn has chronicled the life of Patrick Melrose, painting an acrid portrait of a beleaguered and self-loathing world of privilege. The five short books known as the Patrick Melrose novels are, without doubt, one of the most acclaimed fiction cycles of our time. By turns harrowing and hilarious, this ambitious novel cycle dissects the English upper class. Edward St. Aubyn offers his readers the often darkly funny and self-loathing world of privilege as we follow Patrick Melrose’s story of abuse, addiction, and recovery from the age of five into early middle age. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Patrick Melrose in the 5-Part Limited Event Series adaptation, premiering Saturday, May 12th – only on SHOWTIME®.

St. Aubyn has spoken candidly with interviewers about the horrific incidents from his own life that inspired aspects of Patrick’s story, including being brutalized by his father and recovering from drug addiction. How does it affect your reading to know that the plot is partially autobiographical?

How does Patrick Melrose’s imagination as a child save him from the realities of his home life? What effect does this have on his perception of reality in subsequent books?

Edward St. Aubyn describes Patrick as being torn between the lure of consolation and the lure of disappointment. Why does he find those options alluring? What aspects of a powerful, albeit masochistic, bond are captured in the fact that he mourns not the loss of his mother but the loss of longing for closeness to her?


Patrick Melrose: The Novels

This Book of the Month is sponsored through partnership with SHOWTIME. Copyright ©2018 Showtime Networks Inc. All rights reserved. SHOWTIME is a registered trademark of Showtime Networks Inc., THE COMPLETE PATRICK MELROSE NOVELS Copyright ©2015 by Edward St. Aubyn. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address Picador, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.