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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Hedonist, gay, admirer of beauty and connoisseur of art. He is visited by Leo’s sister at the Ogee office where he learns that Leo died a few weeks ago of AIDS and his sister is trying to warn all his former lovers.

You can see that he is going to be the agent of a scandal. No one will notice, only me, myself and I. The most socially conservative reader won’t be surprised to see here that gay men are emotionally oversensitive, sexually voracious, desperately lonely, and finally doomed.

In a passage reminiscent of James’ indirectness on the death of Poe, “The extremity of personal absence had just overtaken him” Nick wonders how James would have described a certain character’s healthy member: While at Oxford he shared a house with Andrew Motion, and was awarded the Newdigate Prize for poetry inthe year before Motion. There are aspects I thoroughly enjoyed the themes, the writing, the wit and others that I disliked equally strongly: Is Nick a sensitive, wide-eyed observer, or is he a kind of exploiter?

His fantasy of people like the Feddens blinds him to their often dubious actions. Thatcher will bless them with an appearance. Hollinghurst wrote part of the novel at the Yaddo colony. Gerald was brought down by a financial scandal, then by a petty affair with his secretary. A beautifully written novel, but ultimately depressing and unsettling.

See and discover other items: Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. On the same day, Leo’s sister arrives to tell Nick that Leo has died of Aids-related complications. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. There were a couple things in here like that, overuse of certain words, and while on some I’ll give him a who-knows-how-rich-people-talk-over-there-not-me pass on some such as “longing”the language was so gorgeous and memorable and almost perfect to me, that the exceptions glared out.


Hollinghurst is inspired by writers like Forster and James, whose works were written a hundred years ago or more, and even if I was not exactly bowled over by his story, there were times where I almost wanted to weep at the exquisiteness of his prose, his lines of beauty.

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. The book also considers heterosexual hypocrisy regarding homosexual promiscuity.

I lo The Line of Beauty —is an elegant portrait of the rise and fall of a recent Oxford graduate playing at being privileged. Perhaps what I love most about his style is how it is the complete antithesis to the much-praised Scandinavian minimalism that I feel surrounded by living in Denmarkand for that alone I applaud him.

Retrieved from ” https: He spends most of his time with Wani Ouradi, one of his Oxford contemporaries, the son of a rich Lebanese businessman. Though at times he may affect a certain superiority, it is clear that Nick has been seduced by his proximity to the intersecting worlds of wealth and politics. Sometimes one has to admit that one’s preconceptions about a book are entirely wrong.

Mar 13, Alex rated it really liked it.

: The Line of Beauty: A Novel (): Alan Hollinghurst: Books

How can you not be? The book won the Booker Prize. The title, The Line of Beautyholllinghurst from Hogarth, and refers to the particular elegance of an ogival double-curve.


Certainly, the secrecy practiced by other characters in the story who have not come out as Nick has done, does seem to point up the falsity of the world in which they cannot admit their preferences. This book confounded such baseless expectations, and the final part in particular is very moving.

The Line of Beauty

There is little interrogation. Going slowly and in short spurts.

It is the story of Nick Guest, a young gay man from a middle class background. 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. There are so many books and so little time, right?

These are, after all, the stereotypes that homosexuals have labored under for years. To count frequency of use for your favorite pet words, and make you cut down? And now it is and Alan Hollinghurst ‘s new book The Stranger’s Child has been long listed for this year’s prize and already he’s the bookmakers’ pick to win.

It is the first gay-themed book that won the Booker.

It is ultimately about betrayal, sickness and death, the cynicism associated with political ambition and the tragedy of wrong choices.

Although Nick is portrayed as an outsider to the family, I felt like an outsider to the whole world the book described; there was no character to provide the ‘voice of the reader’ and I really felt the story needed one.

Readers apparently disagree about Nick Guest. There was, for me, hollowness at the centre. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.