Patrick Melrose on the small screen; the overdue return of novelist Matthew Klam with Who is Rich?
Edward St Aubyn’s cult novels finally land on the small screen
“Unless something seems almost impossible to say,” Edward St Aubyn,
author of the five quasiautobiographical Patrick Melrose novels, told Esquire in 2011, “there doesn’t seem to be any point in locking
yourself in a room for years on the verge of a nervous breakdown trying to say it.” Perhaps David Nicholls, the author of One Day and Us, felt similarly when he was charged with
adapting St Aubyn’s novels for a five-part series, Melrose, which makes its debut this month (though he’d be too polite to say so).
The difficulties of the subject matter of the books are hard to deny — young Patrick Melrose is sexually abused by his sadistic father and turns to heroin as a young man, leading inevitably to a spiral of decline. But
they’re also pin-sharp, funny and — there’s no other way to say it — fun. It’s an unlikely balance that St Aubyn achieves and Nicholls is more than capable of matching, though he will
no doubt be glad that the script ended up in the hands of Benedict
Cumberbatch, whose knack for suppressed angst and stony-faced English wit should make for a perfect Patrick. We can’t wait.
Melrose starts at 9pm on 13 May on Sky
Atlantic and Now TV