• June 19, 2019

The Line of Beauty has ratings and reviews. Jessica said: I started this last night, heading home after one of the most dreadful evenings in. 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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It is emblematic of the genuine aesthetic understanding that is Nick’s most appealing quality for this particular reader; the passages talking about art, literature, and music are perceptive and beautifully written.

Hollinvhurst debut novel, The Swimming Pool Librarywas lauded for its startling conflation of high literary style and low-rent sex, and presented an eye-opening trawl through the London gay scene, from private clubs to public toilets, in the laconic tone of a latter-day Henry James. But also, I don’t like Henry James.

A year and a few pages later, he is on the brink of political disgrace. The story of their affair forces Gerald to resign as an MP and causes resentment between Rachel and Nick, as Rachel accuses Nick of never having truly understood that his job was to take care of Catherine, not indulge her. Nick meets Margaret Thatcher for the first time lime, high on coke, asks her to dance, which she accepts. The book could have gotten along without so much of the Feddens, really.

A couple of readers mentioned the influence of Henry James, but one asked specifically about the influence of Brideshead Revisited. Because honestly it kind of doesn’t matter if your life’s watery burnt crap, if you’re reading something good enough, you can usually get by.

I loved the innovative, hillinghurst description a favourite line: I feel like I should apologize to the author, to the characters, to the story and to the physical book itself. This man’s writing is like cream you only get at the farm. I am holding my mug underneath the cow’s teat here, I guess, bwauty Farmer Alan squirts this magical lin in. View all 36 comments.

That Martin Amis is like some synthetic creamer, Beatuy started this last night, heading home after one of the most dreadful evenings in recent memory. His words make made me breathless even if his milieu is something that I am not very familiar with: We read because we have to, because otherwise this cupful’s just too rank to swallow.


It took me a little while to get into this book, but when I did, I couldn’t stop. It may be because I have been reading this book sporadically over the past year or more, but at the end of t Finally finished Want to Read saving…. It is largely composed of scenes and situations, a satire of rich people and politicians as experienced by the protagonist Nick Guest, who indeed feels like a guest in the privileged lives he witnesses but never quite belongs to.

Hollinghurst was fairly honest about his debt to Evelyn Waugh and others. They provide the frame, the setting, and their small bag of traits and attitudes are sufficiently well shuffled and deployed as to make convincing characters–but Hollinghurst didn’t really need to shift his focus back to them at the end. As it took me so long to read, I spent an embarrassing amount of time repeating to people who asked me what I was reading that it was Line of Beautyabout a young homosexual during Thatcher’s 80s England, staying at his straight friend’s home, making a life for himself after Oxford, and that they just had to read it.

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

Nick avoids him and manages to leave without being seen. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. It’s about thinking that you are accepted and welcomed, and then suddenly those that you thought loved you, turni It took me a little while to get into this book, but when I did, I couldn’t stop.

A few weeks later I dread re-opening the book. But he describes them with witty precision that captures and satirizes them simultaneously. Man Booker Prize recipient Nick, and his lovers Leo and Wani are so much more complex creations, and so much more important to the book, that it didn’t bother me that Catherine was so banal and badly done–just as long as she was irrelevant. There were a few in here, man Shortly after, the press who have been camped outside the Feddens’ home publish a story on Wani and Nick, causing greater scandal and a complete break of Nick from the Feddens as Toby asks him to move out and Gerald accuses him of attaching himself to the family and then wrecking them because of his homosexuality.


The narrative is so powerful that I was able to picture much of the story as clearly as if I had actually witnessed it all taking place, and several of the more disturbing scenes were so real to me that they stuck in my head in graphic detail, as if they were horribly memorable scenes from a film, for days afterwards.

Nick is an old Oxford chum of the family’s oblivious son, and he’s become the unofficial caretaker of their dangerously depressed daughter. The Ogee organisation is in fact no more than a rich boy’s distraction – part production company, part publishing house, but really no more than a nebulous excuse for its directors to Hoover up vast quantities of cocaine.

London in the eighties.

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

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. What was never shown in that particular work of British manners and bourgeois life is found nestled here. That attitude of beautg good with what you have versus striving to guiltlessly express who you are in places in which you’re supposed to feel safe, beauuty so pervasive.

Maybe McEwan should stop writing sentences too! The author needed a better editor, one who loves the delete key. You know, it’s your fairly standard kind of thing, I just thought it was spectacularly well-written. Is he villain or victim? Hollinguhrst well, even if I couldn’t love it, I did like it.

The Line of Beauty

I rarely say such things about books, so Hollinghurst must be a magician or a hypnotist. He holds his host family, the Feddens, in a hushed awe, as he observes the move about their oine life. For different and subjective reasons, obviously. Hollinghurst writes brilliantly about life among the movers and shakers of Margaret Thatcher’s London in the early s. As the boom years of the eighties unfold, Nick, an innocent in the world of politics and money, finds his life altered by the rising fortunes of this glamorous family.

The plot is focused, crystal-clear in sharpness that it is illuminating and mesmerizing. Lists with This Book.