Winner of the Man Booker Prize and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the NBCC award. From Alan Hollinghurst, the acclaimed author of The. Alfred Hickling on sex and snorting in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty. Everyone who has read The Line of Beauty will recall the party at which the young protagonist, Nick Guest, dances with Mrs Thatcher. Before.

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The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Let it wash over you. Retrieved 6 February Now he is a practised operator, able to fit a tryst into an unexpected gap in his day. Aug 31, Shanley rated it did not like it. These characters end the book no better, in most cases much worse, and with no more insight, than when they entered. He wanted to live in hollinghurs mansions. As AIDS ravages the gay community and scandal rocks the Fedden household, Nick finds himself as abandoned as he ever feared, and the compensation of beauty seems heartbreakingly tragic.

An unusually powerful and deserving winner of the Man Book Alxn, this is one of the few books that took me over a year to read, not because it was ever boring or sluggish, but because each sentence was so beautiful, I wanted to give every passage its due attention. At the beginning of the next he is walking home, “[f]rowning again, at having done something so vulgar and unsafe”.

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Anyone who knows me has heard me ramble to death on the “You’ll be like us one day” attitude with which most Norwegians treat ex-patriates, which is the exact opposite of celebrating diversity, which is the entire point of employing ex-pats—but wait, no it isn’t, if they are in fact equal Nick leaves the Feddens house for a final time and muses on the HIV test he is having done the next day and imagines that the results will be positive. He never once stood up for himself. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews.


I alternately dragged out the reading experience to relish the language, and sped through sections because I felt greedy and impatient and wanted to see what linguistic marvels Alan Hollinghurst could produce next. It takes place between the years andand follows Nick’s relationship with the family, his romances and sexual development, his preoccupations with beauty and pleasure, and some other stuff Others will fret over the shocking sex scenes.

Like, the scenes pretend to be matter-of-fact and part of the text, but I bet the ones who enjoyed reading them the most were like, ‘Look at the funny little men going at it. Hollinghurst’s gay protagonist, Nick Guest, more or less ingenuously follows his sexual and aesthetic inclinations, which lead him, somewhat incongruously, into the house of Tory MP Gerald Fedden, the arms of a Lebanese millionaire’s son, and finally personal disaster and tragedy.

To ask other readers questions about The Line of Beautyplease sign up.

View all 10 comments. The son of a modest antiques dealer, Nick is able to call upon his knowledge of art, antiques, and architecture to ingratiate himself further with the rich. Certainly, the secrecy practiced by other characters in the story who have not come out as Nick has done, does seem to point up the falsity of the world in which they cannot admit their preferences.

It is ultimately about betrayal, sickness and death, the cynicism associated with political ambition and the tragedy of wrong choices.

But also, I don’t like Henry James. Disaster comes inwith a og scandal that engulfs Gerald and then entangles Nick. View all 36 comments. The sitting arrangements at fancy dinners mean everything.


Indeed, often the sentence after Nick professes love to someone, he wonders at himself for doing so. See all reviews.

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst | Books | The Guardian

Isn’t the main character in that Nick too? Having been more than a lien disappointed in the most recent Booker Prize recipients, it is nice to read something truly worthy of that honor. These are minor quibbles, however, about hollinghutst book I was often reluctant to put down.

To cover their relationship Wani pretends Nick is helping him write a screenplay of The Spoils of Poynton as well as helping him establish Ogeea luxury magazine Wani wants to create. The Prime Minister herself makes a brief appearance.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Retrieved 8 February aln He holds his host family, the Feddens, in a hushed awe, as he observes the move about their daily life.

Hollinghurst can produce inane social banter as well as incisive social analysis. On the surface it is a study of these elites, how they operate and how ruthlessly they ditch those who no longer serve them, on another it is a gay coming of age story, in which the shadow of AIDS inevitabily looms, and a third is as a tribute to Henry James.

Between the lines

And for once, the wider political context is embraced rather than ignored – not only is Mrs Thatcher a pervasive influence throughout, she even puts in a personal appearance. Sometimes one alwn to admit that one’s preconceptions about a book are entirely wrong.

He also warns Nick that a scandal over improperly managed funds will soon be breaking around Gerald.