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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Nick discovers that Gerald is having an affair with his assistant, Penny, which disturbs Nick’s idealization of the Feddens. He gives Nick a salary and car, while they do tacit work on the magazine and a film script. When Catherine, in a manic phase, blurts out some of these truths to the press, Nick’s only usefulness then is as a sort of scapegoat.

I’m nervous about all this gushing because I don’t want everyone to run out and get this and then be like, “What’s your problem, Aoan But if so, it attracted the perfect target audience.

The ellipses hollignhurst the narrative, you realise, have enacted Nick’s own suppression of his feelings. We hollinghuurst know if Nick is HIV positive. Explore the Home Gift Guide. Catherine has now been diagnosed as being bipolar and is on lithium which helps to control her mood swings.

A lot of sentences in here made me feel I should stop embarrassing hollinghudst and degrading the language by writing any more sentences of bdauty own.

But that too is left ambiguous. Maggie, Charlie, and the Boys The effusive press comments quoted on the cover and flyleaf of the paperback edition of Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty are totally correct in everything they actually say; they merely fail to mention one of the most important aspects of the book. The plot is focused, crystal-clear in sharpness that it is illuminating and mesmerizing.

Nick’s biggest problem, as a character, is that he is such a sycophantic bluenose. View all 31 comments.

I started this last night, heading home after one of the most dreadful evenings in recent memory. I’d put this on my to-read list ages ago after pillaging a beloved professor’s Amazon reviews, and reviews by terrifyingly-literate-Eric-of-the-drink-and-wide-smirk have recently pushed Hollinghurst back into my mind. And for once, the wider beajty context is embraced rather than ignored – not only is Mrs Thatcher a pervasive influence throughout, she even puts in a personal appearance.


The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Perhaps this might have been because of the book’s vivid topography of certain parts of London though others disagreed about this. 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.

I don’t think I liked Nick much and I’m still not sure whether or not I was supposed to; and after finishing the book I felt empty and desolate. Hollinghurst is like a god in the Olympus and I am just a mortal slave and I am not even worthy to kiss the ground he steps on.

Before the event begins, as caterers fuss and tension mounts in the Notting Hill home of Tory MP Gerald Fedden where Nick is a lodger, he slips out “for a walk”. Its first section, “The Love-Chord”, is dated Loading comments… Trouble loading? So most people don’t do it, or will only pretend to do so. America’s National Book Award went to an equally explicit gay book way back inan autobiography called “Becoming a Man. One must know how much pathos is ingrained in these particular events from not too long ago The conversation prompted me to think hard about this, and to see how personal beauty being instrumentalised has a regressive effect, reinforcing hierarchies and layers of oppression.

At the beginning of the next he is walking home, “[f]rowning again, at having done something so vulgar and unsafe”. There was considerable discussion of his protagonist — sensitive observer or self-deluding exploiter?

The Line of Beauty

Invited to stay after the vacation as a useful dogsbody, he gets to be the hanger on of wealth, and dabbler in their society. Going slowly and in short spurts. Please try again later. It’s a book that anyone hollinghurst in writing or reading like a writer should read to learn about a beautiful line, the clear and expansive point of view of a close narrator.


Customers who viewed this item also viewed. His father was a buyer and seller of antiquities, a caretaker of ancient clocks in mansions. There was, for me, hollowness at the centre.

We should be beakty to do what we want to do. Let’s not waste time on books that are not worth our time. This well-written society critique and winner of the Man Booker prize will bore the pants off you unless you are deeply interested in class struggle, gayness, politics, ethnicity, and AIDs, the intersection of in England in the mid-to-late 80s.

At an election viewing party with Catherine, who has had her personality devastated by her medication, Nick watches as his former friend Polly is elected an MP at 28 and Gerald reclaims his seat. Don’t make them uncomfortable. Nick’s dance with Margaret Thatcher has overtones of a dance with the devil. 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.

I’m truly dreading tomorrow’s commute to work for the first time this week. Second part brings more sophisticated Nick, more fatigued in his pursuit of pleasure, rather satiated than fulfilled with love but also hollnighurst new romance with not so unexpected partner.

This is a fine novel indeed. View all 9 comments.

The only reason McEwan’s more famous must be because his TMI sex scenes tend not to be gay, and a lot of people really are inexplicably freaked out by gay male sex.