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The line of beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

The line of beauty (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Alan Hollinghurst

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Title:The line of beauty
Authors:Alan Hollinghurst
Info:London: Picador, 2005, c2004. 501 p. ; 20 cm.
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, booker prize, book club

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The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (2004)

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» See also 218 mentions

English (84)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
On the whole I do not care for Literary Fiction, and the characters in this book are a frightful lot, snobbish, immoral, pompous and generally unlikeable, yet I loved The Line of Beauty.

A lot has been written about the Thatcherite Years and Britain of the 80s: although I experienced that period as an adult, South Africa was a very different proposition and while greedy young Brits were rolling up their jacket sleeves, snorting cocaine and dancing to Duran Duran, South African were experiencing bomb blasts, necklacing, isolation and political unrest. Still though, we looked north with envious eyes and those who could afford it, aped the fashions and the culture of drugs and hedonistic avarice rampant in the Old World.
The Line of Beauty is a wonderfully written study of riches and envy, wasted lives and wasted money, of cultural elitism and the old school tie: the fact the wealthy family is Jewish and the adoring parasite is gay, is a slight twist but in no way mitigates against our immersion in the story.
And any book that introduces me to the word Ogee is guaranteed a forever place on my shelves. ( )
  adpaton | Jun 11, 2015 |
Of course this is exquisitely written, and overall an enjoyable read. It dragged on in parts, leaving me wondering whether I was really bothered about these people, but it's top quality writing. ( )
  MatthewJamesHunt | Jun 5, 2015 |
It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. Nick had idolized Toby at Oxford, but in his London life it will be the troubled Catherine who becomes his friend and his uneasy responsibility. At the boom years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick becomes caught up in the Feddens' world. In an era of endless possibility, Nick finds himself able to pursue his own private obsession, with beauty -- a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends.
  Cirencester | Jan 26, 2015 |
Brilliantly, painfully written. Every sentence is a study of impeccable craftsmanship. Get out your highlighters, kids, and get ready to diagram the shit out of this book.

Some pacing issues and when things finally fall apart at the very end, the collapse is almost an afterthought and there's very little room for denouement. I am a wuss and while I don't demand a happy ending, I do like some kind of conclusion. The feeling of being thwarted out of a satisfying ending may seem like a childish one and often results in Harry Potter-style type epilogues, but I couldn't help but wish we got a chance to look into the future --to see the trajectories of Nick and the Feddens in the post-Thatcher years after the glittering promise of the decade has faded, the '90s, the new millennium and beyond. Hollinghurst, of course, doesn't need to explicitly tell us because everything we need to know has already been said --we can feel what will happen if we don't have a grasp on the specifics.

3.5 stars. As a novel, it'd never be my favorite but I'd read it again and again. ( )
  megantron | Jan 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
But the plot isn’t the point. This novel’s pleasures are thick and deep, growing out of the brilliant observational powers of the main character.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Hollinghurstprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'What do you know about this business?' the King said to Alice. 'Nothing', said Alice. 'Nothing whatever?', persisted the King. 'Nothing whatever', said Alice. 'That's very important', the King said, turning to the jury. They were just beginning to write down on their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted: 'Unimportant, your Majesty means, of course', he said in a very respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as he spoke. 'Unimportant, of course, I meant', the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone, 'important - unimportant - unimporant - important -' as if he were trying which word sounded best. - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 12
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0330483218, Paperback)

Interview with Alan Hollinghurst
Alan Hollinghurst's extraordinarily rich novel The Line of Beauty. has garnered a new level of acclaim for the author after winning the 2004 Man Booker Prize. Hollinghurst speaks about his work in our interview.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:28 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

It is the summer of 1983, and 20-year-old Nick Guest has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: conservative Member of Parliament Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby-- whom Nick had idolized at Oxford-- and Catherine, highly critical of her family's assumptions and ambitions. Framed by the two general elections that returned Margaret Thatcher to power, The Line of Beauty unfurls through four extraordinary years of change and tragedy.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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