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Arts > Sins of a father brutally charted in TV adaptation of Edward St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels

10 May 2018 | by Lucy Lethbridge

Sins of a father brutally charted in TV adaptation of Edward St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels

Benedict Cumberbatch as Patrick

 

Admirers of the mordant semi-autobiographical novels of Edward St Aubyn will, I think, approve of this adaptation by David Nicholls, which makes an episode of each of the five Patrick Melrose books. It cannot make explicit the unbearable central act of cruelty at the centre of the first book (the rape of the protagonist, Patrick, by his father at the age of five) but it leaves the viewer in no doubt of the event. What it does show in graphic detail is the older Patrick’s terrifying spiral of drug addiction as a young man in the 1970s and 1980s.





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