Young, gay, William Beckwith spends his time, and his trust fund, idly cruising London for erotic encounters. When he saves the life of an elderly man in a public convenience an unlikely job opportunity presents itself. The man is Lord Nantwich, a gay peer of the realm and in the market for a biographer. Reluctantly accepting the commission, Will ...
Young, gay, William Beckwith spends his time, and his trust fund, idly cruising London for erotic encounters. When he saves the life of an elderly man in a public convenience an unlikely job opportunity presents itself. The man is Lord Nantwich, a gay peer of the realm and in the market for a biographer. Reluctantly accepting the commission, Will receives the first of Nantwich's diaries. But in the story he unravels, a tragedy of early twentieth century gay repression, lurk bitter truths about Will's own privileged existence.
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Publishers Weekly, 1988-07-29 On entering a London public lavatory in blithe pursuit of quick, anonymous sex, beautiful and roguish young aristocrat William Beckwith isconfronted instead with an ancient, doddering member of the British House of Lords who, after muttering an incoherent string of polite non sequiturs, promptly keels over at his feet in embarrassed but undeniable coronary arrest. After saving the old man's life, Will is invited to tea by the grateful and slightly senile Lord Nantwich, who, surprised by Will's impressive lineage and appalled at his state of idle unemployment, engages the young man to write the Nantwich life story. Thus begins the unusual relationship that forms the core of this funny, sad and beautifully written novel. The Swimming Pool Library weaves a rich and fascinating tapestry of Britain's gay subculture spanning pre-World War I through the sexually abandoned early '80s, stopping short at the doorstep of AIDS. Hollinghurst's prose is fresh, witty and wise, and his ever-surprising, sinuously unfurling story is told with insouciant grace and unabashed sexuality. BOMC and QPBC alternates. (September) . (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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