This emotionally charged, disarmingly comic novel weaves the tale of a 20-year-old's private pursuit of beauty as expressed through his dangerous yet rewarding love affairs with a young black clerk and a Lebanese millionaire as he navigates within a world driven by rising fortunes, politics and money, and power and riches in 1980s Britain.This emotionally charged, disarmingly comic novel weaves the tale of a 20-year-old's private pursuit of beauty as expressed through his dangerous yet rewarding love affairs with a young black clerk and a Lebanese millionaire as he navigates within a world driven by rising fortunes, politics and money, and power and riches in 1980s Britain.Read Less
New in new dust jacket. SHIP DAILY from NJ; GIFT-ABLE as NEW LATER PRINTING, fresh, NEW w/DJ NEW AS SHOWN THIS COVER. Sewn binding. Clothette over boards. With dust jacket. 400 p. Audience: General/trade.10637 10637---This emotionally charged, disarmingly comic novel weaves the tale of a 20-year-old's private pursuit of beauty as expressed through his dangerous yet rewarding love affairs with a young black clerk and a Lebanese millionaire as he navigates within a world driven by rising fortunes, politics and money, and power and riches in 1980s Britain.
"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.
Sep 18, 2008
language as art
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.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-09-20 Among its other wonders, this almost perfectly written novel, recently longlisted for the Mann Booker, delineates what's arguably the most coruscating portrait of a plutocracy since Goya painted the Spanish Bourbons. To shade in the nuances of class, Hollingsworth uses plot the way it was meant to be used-not as a line of utility, but as a thematically connected sequence of events that creates its own mini-value system and symbols. The book is divided into three sections, dated 1983, 1986 and 1987. The protagonist, Nick Guest, is a James scholar in the making and a tripper in the fast gay culture of the time. The first section shows Nick moving into the Notting Hill mansion of Gerald Fedden, one of Thatcher's Tory MPs, at the request of the minister's son, Toby, Nick's all-too-straight Oxford crush. Nick becomes Toby's sister Catherine's confidante, securing his place in the house, and loses his virginity spectacularly to Leo, a black council worker. The next section jumps the reader ahead to a more sophisticated Nick. Leo has dropped out of the picture; cocaine, three-ways and another Oxford alum, the sinisterly alluring, wealthy Lebanese Wani Ouradi, have taken his place. Nick is dimly aware of running too many risks with Wani, and becomes accidentally aware that Gerald is running a few, too. Disaster comes in 1987, with a media scandal that engulfs Gerald and then entangles Nick. While Hollinghurst's story has the true feel of Jamesian drama, it is the authorial intelligence illuminating otherwise trivial pieces of story business so as to make them seem alive and mysteriously significant that gives the most pleasure. This is Nick coming home for the first and only time with the closeted Leo: "there were two front doors set side by side in the shallow recess of the porch. Leo applied himself to the right hand one, and it was one of those locks that require tender probings and tuggings, infinitesimal withdrawals, to get the key to turn." This novel has the air of a classic. Agent, Emma Parry. (Oct.) Forecast: Widely praised for his three previous novels, Hollinghurst (The Swimming-Pool Library) is primed for even greater acclaim and sales with this masterful volume, the latest in a wave of Jamesian novels. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.