Winner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize. It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved ...Show synopsisWinner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize. It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. Nick had idolized Toby at Oxford, but in his London life it will be the troubled Catherine who becomes his friend and his uneasy responsibility. At the boom years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick becomes caught up in the Feddens' world. In an era of endless possibility, Nick finds himself able to pursue his own private obsession, with beauty - a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends.Hide synopsis
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"Jamesian" is to me a term of disparagement--wordy and displaying how to write and to say very little in the process. But this book does say something--lessons in how to be a loser. (Wouldn't it be nice if a novel told you how to be a winner?) AIDS, of course, figures heavily in it--if you want drama in a gay novel, how can you do better than AIDS. Cocaine and three-ways: all the magic ingredients to give you a feling or anguish--but did you really want that anguish? Ingredients made-to-order drama, because like tragic operas, AIDS novels end with death, and make you feel so wonderful about it. Yes, exquisite writing. Read it and admire, then give it away, you won't want to read it again. Neither will the friend you gave it to.
if you have never read alan hollinghurst, prepare yourself for a display of the english language as few can ever hope to accomplish. soaring prose...language as art. having read all four of his major works, i was not disappointed by "the line of beauty". the only let-down was moving on to my next book by a lesser author and feeling, well the only way i can compare it is to visualize when your high definition cable tv goes off in a storm and you are forced to revert to simple antenna reception. although all of hollinghurst's works involve gay themes and charachters, i can only suggest that the prospective reader get past this and dive in. get to know how achingly expressive the english language can be and why it is that we read fiction in the first place: to be moved and to have our breath taken away simply by turning the page.
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