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The stranger's child : a novel by Alan…
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The stranger's child : a novel (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Alan Hollinghurst

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,480688,814 (3.5)1 / 178
In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge schoolmate--a handsome, aristocratic young poet named Cecil Valance--to his family's modest home outside London for the weekend. George is enthralled by Cecil, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by him and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to. But what Cecil writes in Daphne's autograph album will change their and their families' lives forever: a poem that, after Cecil is killed in the Great War and his reputation burnished, will become a touchstone for a generation, a work recited by every schoolchild in England. Over time, a tragic love story is spun, even as other secrets lie buried--until, decades later, an ambitious biographer threatens to unearth them.… (more)
Member:m_leigh
Title:The stranger's child : a novel
Authors:Alan Hollinghurst
Info:New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst (2011)

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» See also 178 mentions

English (61)  Dutch (6)  Swedish (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
The plot sounded intriguing: a love triangle, where a brother and a sister are both in love with the same guy, set in the beginning of the last century. Alas, all the excitement was confined to part 1. The other 4 just rehashed the events of the first. The main heroes of the first part kept loosing their importance as more and more characters were introduced in each new part. By the time new tidbits from the past (aka part 1) were disclosed in part 5, all interest was lost. I think the author was trying to show the effects of memory and incomplete sources on retelling history, but I feel it could have been achieved without making this book such a tedious and uninspired read.
Overall, a highly disappointing book. I should have stopped after the first part. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
Started off okay, then just got worse and worse, the book is divided into parts representing different time periods and they start and end without any reason. I just found it very frustrating and off-putting and would have dumped it if I had more books up here at the cottage. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
I liked this a lot -- my favorite of this year's Booker longlist. It's a very Booker-y book, full of country houses and garden parties and posh people drinking tea. Beautifully written, of course, and leaves the reader with something to think about it. If you're completely over Upstairs, Downstairs then I could see why you wouldn't like it (especially as the downstairs is almost entirely unrepresented). On the other hand if you were a fan of Downton Abbey then I think you will like this (although it isn't nearly as soapy). ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
The novel opens with two Cambridge scholars pursuing a necessarily secret affair at one boy's country home.

A poem is written, becomes famous, and biographers try to unearth the background to the poem over the next century. A century of England that begins with a love that dare not speak its name and ends with celebrations of gay marriage. An England that loves the romance and nostalgia for the country house, and both understands its inequality whilst mourning its decline and demolition to be replaced by modern boxes.

Hollinghurst writes with a beguiling ease. He understands the slight nuances of class, the rise and shabby fall of fortune and ageing, and can describe every small social awkwardness. ( )
  LARA335 | Feb 5, 2018 |
A major disappointment for me. I slogged through all 320 pages (it seemed longer) in an unsuccessful search for a coherent story or message. In the end I can agree with one commentator who said it was about the passing of time and literary posterity.
The narrative lacked continuity for me, I found it to be a disjointed collection of scenarios in which characters popped up without proper (or in some cases, no) introduction to the reader. A good example is Rob the book dealer in Part 5 who serves mostly as an observer at a memorial service for Peter Rowe, a character from earlier in the book. Some other characters come and go which made it a challenge for me to remember who they were.
I hope I can like the next Hollinghurst novel. ( )
1 vote BrianEWilliams | Dec 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
För en litteraturvetare är romanen förstås rena tivolit, med sina beskrivningar av research, intervjuer med mer eller mindre frispråkiga släktingar, pusslandet med ledtrådar och akademisk tuppfäktning.
 
In The Stranger’s Child he weaves a number of stories around the idea of Brooke and his posthumous fortunes, detailing the lives caught up in the reputational arc of a Brooke-like poet called Cecil Valance between 1913 and 2008. Both world wars, fought offstage, have effects that ramify throughout the novel, as do changing attitudes to gay people and to biographical disclosure. Hollinghurst writes with amused tenderness about Rupert Trunk-type phenomena, investing them with dignity and pathos, but he also puts both hands on opportunities for irony, arch humour and, intermittently, an un-Jamesian directness.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Hollinghurstprimary authorall editionscalculated
Granato, GiovannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krol, EdzardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lacruz, JavierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pawlikowska-Gannon, HannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Päkkilä, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Gli Oscar Mondadori (Contemporanea)

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In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge schoolmate--a handsome, aristocratic young poet named Cecil Valance--to his family's modest home outside London for the weekend. George is enthralled by Cecil, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by him and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to. But what Cecil writes in Daphne's autograph album will change their and their families' lives forever: a poem that, after Cecil is killed in the Great War and his reputation burnished, will become a touchstone for a generation, a work recited by every schoolchild in England. Over time, a tragic love story is spun, even as other secrets lie buried--until, decades later, an ambitious biographer threatens to unearth them.

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