So okay, maybe you don’t have a lot of money.*↑

Would you like to feel magnificently, juicily, deliciously superior to a bunch who do?

Namely, to all but a couple of the characters in Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels?

Dreadful, unhappy rich people, brilliantly observed, maliciously skewered?

Fun! And exactly the sort of reading better done with ears than eyes.

Just as with the first book I ever read “on tape” — Bonfire of the Vanities, written by the genius Tom Wolfe, read by the genius John Lithgow — here, also, you have two extraordinary talents at work for you — St Aubyn, as read by Alex Jennings.  (Not sure who he is — but oh, my.)

Notes:

  1. I am basing this on only the first of five novels that came with my purchase (one credit on Audible), called Never Mind.  From the reviews, I expect the others are equally good.
  2. I am apparently the last to discover this guilty pleasure.  Showtime turned the novels into a five-part series.
  3.  For reasons likely known only to some participants in an epic contract dispute, the John Lithgow version of Bonfire, linked to above, is literally “on tape.”  Audible offers a version read by someone else.  I can’t imagine it’s better and find it hard to imagine it’s as good.  I have weighed in with Audible to see if we can fix that.

*Shockingly, only 1% of Americans are actually in the top 1%.

↑Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of money.  You need food, shelter, a good internet connection; and, mainly, good health, good friends, and purpose.  As I’ve quoted Barack Obama advising his daughters: “Be kind and be useful.”  And as one of you generously wrote me, in that spirit, this week: “It’s frustrating that I can’t release the Mueller Report or treat children at the border with compassion. But I can help an old lady lost in the hardware store fix her remote control, or track down the stranger who lost his wallet on the sidewalk, or close my neighbor’s garage door for him while he’s asleep. Those are all real examples from the last six months. They’re small, but they were things I could do to help instead of focusing on myself.”

 

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