The Line of Beauty
As the boom years of the eighties unfold, Nick, an innoc...more
So lately my life does seem like a pot of thick, scalding acrid coffee; I read books in the hope that they'll help me choke it down. But for some reason everything I pick up lately's been unsatisfying, like skim milk or soy. It might take the edge off, but not nicely, and with some of this stuff I think I might be better off drinking the coffee black. That Martin Amis is like some synthetic creamer,...more
In any case, I always look for Swimming Pool Library in book stores, but they never seem to carry it. So finally I got this instead, to h...more
Alan Hollinghurst’s fourth novel, The Line of Beauty, was the surprise winner of the 2004 Booker Prize, beating out such lofty competition as David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Hollinghurst’s books are usually set in an England of the recent past, and feature gay male main characters. His novels explore the interconnectednes...more
Not quite a eulogy
I’ve been thinking lately about AIDS, so instead of just wallowing in musings, I decided to write something about this novel. I read it almost a year ago with one of my friends at our book club. At first, I didn’t realize that there’s anything gay in this novel. Not even the blurb at the back page of my copy winks at it, so I was surprised when graphic male sex was narrated at the early parts of the novel.
The novel is set during the turn of the...more
AWARD WINNING CAST REUNITED FOR 'THE LINE OF BEAUTY' ADAPTATION.
(HOLLYWOOD, Nov 25, 2007)
Academy Award winning producer Alan Ball announced today that he has reunited most of the cast of Six Feet Under for an HBO production of the award-winning English novel, "The Line of Beauty."
The 12 episode mini-series will tell the story of Nick Guest ("David Fisher"), a young homosexual who has managed to con his way into the hearts and minds of the conservative Fedden clan -- ambiti...more
The Line of Beauty contains some of the most beautiful passages in fiction I've read in, well, my life. The book is rich, thick and overflowing. Meanwhile things come across well-placed, timed, pertinent.
It's gay fiction for gays who love reading (and not just for gays who love reading about gays, which is fine, bu...more
Be that as i...more
It was one of two books I brought on my 20 hour flight to Singapore, where I was planning on enjoying, at long last, some time to myself to read. About 50 pages into it, my mind cried, "Noooooo" a...more
Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty briefly calls into question for me whether being a heterosexual female is that great, once compared to the heady intimacy enjoyed by men who love men and the even their particular burdens. This is not an especially lurid book overall, but its sex scenes are minutely detailed and veer between the erotic and the unsettling. The way Nick Guest, our protagonist, assess...more
The writing was supposed to by lyrical and graceful, but it was just long-winded and poorly executed. For beautiful prose, this book tries but does not hit the mark. The author needed a better editor, one who loves the delete key. It may be because I have been reading this book sporadically over the past year or more, but at the end of t...more
The Line of Beauty is the first novel focused on gay life to win the Booker Prize, yet it does more than glance back at the sometimes frivolous and deadly aspects of London's gay culture. Hollinghurst, acknowledged as one of his generation's best writers, is an incisive social and political satirist. With a sly wit, he confirms stereotypes about class, family, society, politics, and sexuality in _
Now, I don't really like sorrow. I've had enough really. But this is a work that in the end trumps sorrow with beauty. Honestly!!
I love the lower-middle class point of view, the working class first love; the manic-depressive friend, t...more
So it comes as a bit of a bummer that "The Line of...more
The book is interesting and relevant in many ways - so many people see it as 'just' a look at Thatchers Britain - but Thatchers Britain changed everything (and not in a good way) and this book is so much more than that anyway. It's about sex and class and culture and politics and AIDS and so many, many things.
I think one of the reasons people don't always love Hollinghurst's writing is because the...more
The gay male sex was not my cup of tea but I would venture to say was well written and probably real for the time (early 80's). That it is set in Thatcher's time and in a Tory family did not seem that relevant to me. It could have b...more
Assuming you represent the heterosexual consensus view, imagine for a moment if all your favourite authors wrote sex from a gay angle. You would be bored, wouldn't you? Romeo and Julian? Gabrielle Oak and Bathsheba? Rhett Butler carrying an unconscious Scott O'Hara from the burning Tara? It just wouldn't be the same. When gay characters do appear in modern literature t...more
It is apt that the protagonist is a student of Henry James. His prose has a clear precise simplicity that James seemed to avoid, but in many ways they are like. The beautiful rich descriptions of impressions and the emotional effect of objects and people. And, of course, a study of the upper class which seemed, to me, almost predictable.
When I think of the eighties, especially the 'party' days, I thin...more
He read English at Magdalen College, Oxford graduating in 1975; and subsequently took the further degree of Master of Literature (1979). While at Oxford he shared a house with Andrew Motion, and was awarded the Newdigate Prize for poetry in 1974, the year before Motion.
In the late 1970s he became a...more