At Last by Edward St. Aubyn
A Novel

78%

5 Critic Reviews

Readers who do not know the other novels in what is now the Melrose Quintet will still enjoy At Last’s humour, thoughtfulness, amusing characterizations and intelligence.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

A New York Times Notable Book of 2012

One of The Telegraph's Best Fiction Books 2011

One of Esquire's Best Books of 2012

One of TIME's Top 10 Fiction Books of 2012

Here, from the writer described by The Guardian as "our purest living prose stylist" and whom Alan Hollinghurst has called "the most brilliant English novelist of his generation," is a work of glittering social comedy, profound emotional truth, and acute verbal wit. At Last is also the stunning culmination of one of the great fiction enterprises of the past two decades in the life of the English novel.
As readers of Edward St. Aubyn's extraordinary earlier works—Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and the Man Booker Prize finalist Mother's Milk—are well aware, for Patrick Melrose, "family" has always been a double-edged sword. At Last begins as friends, relatives, and foes trickle in to pay final respects to his 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.

The service ends, and family and friends gather for a final party. Amid the social niceties and social horrors, Patrick begins to sense the prospect of release from the extremes of his childhood, and at the end of the day, alone in his room, the promise some form of safety. . . at last.

 

About Edward St. Aubyn

See more books from this Author
Edward St. Aubyn was born in London in 1960. He is the author of A Clue to the Exit and On the Edge; a series of novels about the Melrose family, including the trilogy Some Hope; and Mother's Milk, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize.
 
Published January 31, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for At Last
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Feb 21 2012

The high-altitude world of Patrick’s ghastly family is delineated by Mr. St. Aubyn with a razor-sharp eye for the hypocrisies of inherited wealth and the indolence and wretched excesses indulged in by its denizens.

Read Full Review of At Last: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Francine Prose on Feb 10 2012

St. Aubyn’s books are at once extremely dark and extremely funny.

Read Full Review of At Last: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Adam Mars-Jones on Apr 13 2012

St Aubyn is a sophisticated novelist, and knows very well that however saturated fiction may be with autobiography, the process can't be reversed by the reader, however apparently licensed to do so.

Read Full Review of At Last: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Sam Sacks on Jan 28 2012

...for readers who have followed Patrick through Mr. St. Aubyn's unforgettable novels, the story's conclusion is deeply affecting.

Read Full Review of At Last: A Novel | See more reviews from WSJ online

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Andre Alexis on Mar 09 2012

Readers who do not know the other novels in what is now the Melrose Quintet will still enjoy At Last’s humour, thoughtfulness, amusing characterizations and intelligence.

Read Full Review of At Last: A Novel | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Reader Rating for At Last
79%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 126 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'

×