LINE BEAUTY ALAN HOLLINGHURST PDF

Smartly assuming control of the situation, Nick relieves her of the contents of the cutlery drawer, and chivalrously holds her hand until she calms down. The Line of Beauty is not a sequel as such, but picks up where the earlier narrative broke off, in August "the last summer of its kind there was ever to be". Aids was never even alluded to in the earlier novel; here it ominously clouds the narrative. And for once, the wider political 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 is a novel of eventful gatherings rather than propulsive action, and in these situations Hollinghurst proves to be one of the sharpest observers of privileged social groupings since Anthony Powell.

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AS a novelist, Alan Hollinghurst has set himself an intimidating standard. To say, then, that his latest novel, the Booker Prize-winning "Line of Beauty," is also his finest should give some idea of its accomplishment, not just in the breadth of its ambition but in its felicities of observation and expression.

Nicholas Guest, intellectual, gay and about to turn 21, has been invited to lodge in the seigneurial West London mansion of Gerald Fedden, M.

Often seeking his reflection in the gilt-framed mirrors of his fashionable friends, Nick is unsure of his footing in this opulent "looking-glass world" and is secretly ashamed of his own dull provincial parents -- his fretting mother and his antique-dealer father, who winds the clocks in the grand houses of the local aristocracy.

But the presiding genius of the novel is neither Powell nor Fitzgerald. Nick is distractedly writing a thesis on Henry James and later tries to stir interest in a film adaptation of "The Spoils of Poynton. In fact, female characters, hitherto felt by some readers as a decided absence, are among the liveliest here.

Appearing at a party chez Fedden, the P. She smiled back with a certain animal quickness, a bright blue challenge. Around her the men sniggered and recoiled at an audacity that had been beyond them. Moralist that he is, Hollinghurst generally prefers to proceed through subtle modulations of irony, slipping in a dagger rather than wielding a cutlass. This treatment is as true for Nick as for the cast of grandees and gargoyles among whom he moves.

Courteously, perhaps cravenly, ingratiating himself with the Feddens and their friends, Nick nevertheless makes you wonder whether, behind the show of his slightly unctuous civility, he actually likes these people. Occasionally his distaste is unambiguous, as when he dances attendance on the plutocrat Sir Maurice Tipper and his wife -- as incisive a sketch of upper-class English ghastliness as anything in Evelyn Waugh.

Yet even around Gerald, to whom he feels an almost filial tenderness, there lingers a warning suspicion, "long resisted, that there might be something rather awful about him. One of the funniest is a piano recital, given by an Eastern European prodigy, that delights Nick but rather tests the patience of the assembled toffs: "Lady Kimbolton. She might have been in church, at the memorial service of some unloved colleague, in a world of unmeant expressions, the opposite of Beethoven.

The pathos of old buildings is later reprised as Nick surveys the tearing down of a Victorian workshop, a melancholy intimation that beautifully dovetails with the sudden dramatic unraveling of his family idyll. It is also of a piece with the elegiac close, rendered with a grace and decorum entirely appropriate to this outstanding novel.

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'The Line of Beauty': The Last Good Summer

Share via Email Lines of beauty Alan Hollinghurst. 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". The paragraph ends. At the beginning of the next he is walking home, "[f]rowning again, at having done something so vulgar and unsafe". In the gap between paragraphs, Nick has had sex. The ellipsis — the deliberate omission of the encounter — is both casual like the encounter and telling.

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[PDF] The Line of Beauty Book by Alan Hollinghurst Free Download (438 pages)

AS a novelist, Alan Hollinghurst has set himself an intimidating standard. To say, then, that his latest novel, the Booker Prize-winning "Line of Beauty," is also his finest should give some idea of its accomplishment, not just in the breadth of its ambition but in its felicities of observation and expression. Nicholas Guest, intellectual, gay and about to turn 21, has been invited to lodge in the seigneurial West London mansion of Gerald Fedden, M. Often seeking his reflection in the gilt-framed mirrors of his fashionable friends, Nick is unsure of his footing in this opulent "looking-glass world" and is secretly ashamed of his own dull provincial parents -- his fretting mother and his antique-dealer father, who winds the clocks in the grand houses of the local aristocracy.

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