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The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst
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The Stranger's Child (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Alan Hollinghurst

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1,223626,520 (3.5)1 / 173
Member:florasuncle
Title:The Stranger's Child
Authors:Alan Hollinghurst
Info:Vintage (2012), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:2012

Work details

The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst (2011)

Recently added byElpaca, Rena37, jgtarwater, peterbrown, private library, JaneDickerson, e.delfava, clauja, lector51
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    Possession by A. S. Byatt (kylenapoli)
    kylenapoli: Gives the reader a similar backstage view of 'what really happened' and how it is misremembered, misrepresented, and otherwise lost to time.
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English (57)  Dutch (4)  Swedish (1)  All (62)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
I read [b:The Swimming-Pool Library|30106|The Swimming-Pool Library|Alan Hollinghurst|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388450054s/30106.jpg|2776591] last September (while I was training around Europe) and loved it and still think of it often (the prose more than the plot). I'm still looking to read [b:The Line of Beauty|139087|The Line of Beauty|Alan Hollinghurst|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1172099924s/139087.jpg|918312] and am sure I will soon, but for the time being I started on this one, not quite certain of what to expect. It affected me oddly--I was so frustrated by the way that social mores interfere with the biographer's ability to get the whole picture (I won't use the word 'truth'). It reminded me in so many ways of my own plight when conducting research on figures from the past who were forced to conceal their identity. The men I worked on were even faithful keepers-of-records a la Harry Hewitt in this novel, and yet still concealed a great deal in their letters to each other out of necessity. I know very well the difficulty of forming an accurate picture, and in this case it's especially frustrating for the reader because we know the things that actually happened, we read about them in the earlier parts.

The breaks between each part were wonderfully executed, as you attempted to figure out where the thread picked up from the previous section. There were such strong elements of Waugh and Forster running through it, and I found in some ways, especially in the middle parts, that it seemed like Hollinghurst was kind of re-writing a Forster novel, pursuing things past the end and on into the spanning decades (those decades Forster ceased publishing in). I really enjoyed it, but the ending didn't go quite where I expected (though the ultimate disappointment was as masochistically satisfying as The Swimming-Pool Library). ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
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). ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
2.70
  johnrid11 | Feb 14, 2016 |
Took me a long time to get into, and the plot didn't quite do justice to the jumps in time, but really enjoyed from the second part on. A bit Possession... ( )
  ellohull | Feb 10, 2016 |
An amusing novel of manners and how gay people love to find each other out. Despite spanning a multi-generational timeframe, some of the characters seem to resemble each other and deal with similar types of iissues. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (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.
 
In many ways, The Stranger's Child has the same qualities as his previous novels. It is elegant, seductive and extremely enjoyable to read, and peppered with astute, apparently casual noticings. (Of a man stumbling around in a shed at a party: "He was drunk, it was one of the hilarious uncorrectable disasters of being drunk." Of a grand literary wife: "A hard, good-looking face, thoroughly made up, and a manner he knew at once, from its tight smiles and frowns, of getting people to do things.") It treads much of the same ground as its predecessors: class and money, buried histories of gay life in this country, the dreary provinces and the exciting metropolis, with forays into architecture and Victoriana. As ever, Hollinghurst's set-piece parties are stunning.
added by peterbrown | editThe Guardian, Theo Tait (Jun 18, 2011)
 
Hollinghurst’s fine new book, “The Stranger’s Child” — the closest thing he has written to an old-fashioned chronicle novel — contains a whole hidden literary curriculum, out of which he has fashioned something fresh and vital. Underpinned with a range of styles that run from Iris Murdoch to William Trevor and back to Forster, the novel is divided into five parts that play out over five different decades.
 

» 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
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She'd been lying in the hammock reading poetry for over an hour.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307272761, Hardcover)

From the Man Booker Prize–winning author of The Line of Beauty: a magnificent, century-spanning saga about a love triangle that spawns a myth, and a family mystery, across generations.

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.

Rich with Hollinghurst’s signature gifts—haunting sensuality, delicious wit and exquisite lyricism—The Stranger’s Child is a tour de force: a masterly novel about the lingering power of desire, how the heart creates its own history, and how legends are made.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:03 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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