Thursday, September 6, 2012

Review: The Line of Beauty

The Line of Beauty
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You perhaps shouldn't read this if you haven't yet read the book. it is a little bit spoilerish.

It is apt that the protagonist is a student of Henry James. His prose has a clear precise simplicity that James seemed to avoid, but in many ways they are like. The beautiful rich descriptions of impressions and the emotional effect of objects and people. And, of course, a study of the upper class which seemed, to me, almost predictable.

When I think of the eighties, especially the 'party' days, I think of coke and sex. So many of my friends became addicts, burning through their inheritance, their scholarships, their lives. Happily many of them are now alive and well and clean.

Not so for many of my friends who contracted HIV before there was any medical knowledge of the disease.

It seems horrible in retrospect. But Hollinghurst reminds us of the wonder, and joy and innocence as the decade opened.

There are so many wonderful sentences in the book. So many surprising little humorous moments that sneak up on you. He gets under the skin of things and stays there, moving flawlessly in the protags head, heart.

I just learned that there was a miniseries adapted from this book and that in it the protag 'cons' his way into an upper class family. This isn't at all what motivates the hero of the book. He's really just looking for love...

Beautiful. I've read it twice and set it aside to read again. What a pleasure.

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