I'm very much enjoying a recent Amazon purchase of the first five autobiographical Melrose novels by the English author, Edward St. Aubyn. It was so inexpensive that I'm almost guilty about it. $7.99 for the five novels in Kindle format. Mr. St. Aubyn is rather younger than I am, and still very much alive, and I doubt if he got more than a dollar or two from my purchase. I owe him a good dinner at least if I ever meet him. He's getting virtually no benefit while providing me with many hours of considerable enjoyment.
St. Aubyn is represented in the novels by Patrick Melrose, and in the first installment Patrick is five years old. On a selfish level, I admit that it is a great comfort to me to read of young Patrick's experiences of life with his parents. My own experience of childhood was disagreeable, but it was merely disagreeable by and large. Patrick's experiences, as described in the novel, are more at the "genuine horror" end of that continuum. My own parents may not have been the loving and nurturing parents that some people are blessed with, but at least they lacked the truly monstrous qualities that are present in, let's say, some parents.
So thank you, Mr. St. Aubyn, for reminding me how good I had it, relatively speaking. I will cease my complaining about my childhood immediately.