The Line of Beauty is a Man Booker Prize-winning novel by Alan Hollinghurst. Contents. 1 Plot. “The Love Chord” (); “To Whom Do You. 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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Man Booker Prize recipient I hated Nick the gay character the most. Topics Alan Hollinghurst Book club.

And when I thought of reading more of this novel, I got really excited. It’s a hard book to like, for that reason. Invited to stay after the vacation as a useful dogsbody, he gets to be the hanger on of wealth, and dabbler in their society.

The Line of Beauty

Also, the best book I’ve read in years. At the end of the section, with the house to himself for the beaugy time, Nick has Leo to stay for the night. Just don’t do that. But that too is left ambiguous.

Gerald, a conservative Member of Parliament, his wife Rachel, his children Toby, Nick’s friend, and Catherine; Leo; Wani and a host of other lesser characters.

Despite having read most of the Booker winners I had been oddly reluctant to tackle this one, partly because I had heard about its graphic descriptions of gay sex and that is just not a subject that interests me. In the first section of the novel, Wani was a beautiful, alluring object of fascination; now he is Nick’s occasional sexual partner.

Unfortunately, the illicit glamour of these scenes wears off as quickly as the drug itself, to the point where the incessant snorting takes over from the sex as the most mechanically repetitive element of Hollinghurst’s writing.

Wani goes through a lot of cocaine, a lot of rent boys, a lot of sex with Nick. Hollinghurst is a great stylist and his debt to Henry James, suggested hollingburst the protagonist is writing a thesis on ‘The Master’is always evident. It was difficult to engage with any of the characters, apart from Leo; but it does capture a place and time.


Finishing this book is like forcing down the rest of the vegetables you don’t like. Aids was never even alluded to in the earlier novel; here it ominously clouds the narrative. Indeed, often the sentence after Nick professes love to someone, he wonders at himself for doing so.

And those readers who admire Holling-hurst’s style but weary of his sex drive even the Gay Times condemned the erotic passages of his previous book as “selfish” and yollinghurst will be pleased to discover it is a work of social nuance rather than sexual urgency.

The Sense of an Ending. Ina three-part television adaptation was broadcast by the BBC.

Oh, I was fawning and drooling all over this book, and it was frankly pathetic. Readers apparently disagree about Nick Guest. Nick dates Leo Charles, a black man from Willesden in his late 20s, whom he meets through a lonely hearts column. There were sentences in here that made me cry. Best of all is his subtle but uncompromising social satire: My one quibble is with the plotting, and with the various burdens of plot-advancement each character must bear.

The Line of Beauty is actually the first book I don’t finish. You have been warned.

: The Line of Beauty: A Novel (): Alan Hollinghurst: Books

Reading this, I often felt to be in masterly hands: A master of language, Hollinghurst can describe a character or create a mood with one or two words: Apr 12, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: His prose is so beautiful that I felt that I would never be able to libe a novel myself.

So most people don’t do it, or will only pretend to do so. Nick is an old Oxford chum of the family’s oblivious son, and he’s become the unofficial caretaker of their dangerously depressed daughter.

Its first section, “The Love-Chord”, is dated It’s not like The Line of Beauty was a bad book.

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

This book, at the beginning, really took my interest. Many of the significant characters in the novel are Nick’s male contemporaries from Oxford. I found him pathetic, to be honest, and even though I felt that Hollinghhrst purposely presented him as unsympathetic, I couldn’t make myself go along for the ride. English Choose a language for shopping. That the Booker committee awarded him their prize makes me forgive them bewuty every horrendous mistake they’ve made in the years since.


This someone is gaunt, very ill, and dying of an AIDS related illness.

Between the lines

The Line of Beauty is unlikely to be surpassed. It’s the kind of crowd in which everyone is uollinghurst aware of the flourishes of wealth but determined to treat them with casual disregard.

Or was it characteristic of bored upper class Gay culture during the s? London in the eighties. He recalled how one tabloid headline greeted his Man Booker Prize by announcing, “Gay Sex Wins Prize” — “a rather different award” from the famous literary prize itself, the author reflected. To count frequency of use for your favorite pet words, and make you cut down? This novel, however, is more more than a brittle look at money and manners among the wealthy.

He can’t shake the sense that he’s only playacting, that his ambiguous status in the Feddens’ house and in his lover’s life is symptomatic of some deeper failure to be an adult. Although the book takes time to explore Hollinghurst’s principal obsessions with Eros and aesthetics, its main theme is the climate of giddy success among well-to-do Tories between the electoral victories of and Nick is moving his few possessions out of the Feddens’ house; in the afternoon he is to have an HIV test: Still, I hope Hollinghurst’s new one is better.