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The Line of Beauty (Picador 40th Anniversary Edition) (Picador 40th Anniversary Editn) [Kindle Edition]

Alan Hollinghurst
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

‘A classic of our times . . . The work of a great English stylist in full maturity. A masterpiece’ Observer A huge critical success on first publication in 2004, the novel went on to win that year’s Man Booker Prize. It was adapted for television and broadcast on BBC2 in 2006. 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. As the boom years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick becomes caught up in the Feddens’ world, while pursuing his own private obsession, with beauty – a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends. In 2012 Picador celebrates its 40th anniversary. During that time we have published many prize-winning and bestselling authors including Bret Easton Ellis and Cormac McCarthy, Alice Sebold and Helen Fielding, Graham Swift and Alan Hollinghurst. Years later, Picador continue to bring readers the very best contemporary fiction, non-fiction and poetry from across the globe.


Product Description

Review

"Mr. Hollinghurst's great gift as a novelist is for social satire as sharp and transparent as glass, catching his quarry from an angle just an inch to the left of the view they themselves would catch in the mantelpiece mirror.The Line of Beauty is unlikely to be surpassed." --The New York Observer

Review

"Mr. Hollinghurst's great gift as a novelist is for social satire as sharp and transparent as glass, catching his quarry from an angle just an inch to the left of the view they themselves would catch in the mantelpiece mirror.The Line of Beauty is unlikely to be surpassed."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 777 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073HNKX2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,695 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant surprise, eventually. 1 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Before reading this, the only think I knew about it, was that it was set in the 80's. However, as it was 99p, and on a list of "1000 great novels" that I have, I thought I would give it a shot.

Initially, I found it hard work. I didn't really like Nick, I found him to be a bit of a sponge on the family he was staying with, and the descriptions of his initial sexual encounter were a bit of a shock. Does being slightly disturbed about reading a description of a homosexual encounter make me shallow? Maybe, but while I certainly believe that anyone has the right to do whatever takes their fancy (as long as no innocent party is hurt), I wasn't expecting it. So, the first 20% or so were a struggle and I was already envisioning giving this book a paltry two stars (I liked the style!). However, I stuck with it, and am glad I did.

As the book progressed, it became more and more engrossing. Nick's relationship with the other characters became more interesting. His struggles to fit in to the different crowds (his old Oxford friends, the upper-class acquaintance's he meets), start to mean more, and he develops as as a person, and a character.

Of course being set in the 80's, with a large number of gay characters, AIDS has a fairly fundamental part of the story, and it is handled very well by the author, the way that many people viewed it (a plague that the "homo's" deserve) is nicely juxtapositioned with the hurt, shame, and pain of those affected (both those who have it, and their families). It really is well handled.

I could go on, but this is a great book. A bit like a new improved like "The Great Gatsby" in many ways, but updated and set in 80's England.

The downside? Not with the story, but Picador obviously didn't even bother to proof read the Kindle version. Very poor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tory Story 25 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At the time of writing this, this Kindle version of the Booker Prize winning 'The Line of Beauty' was a paltry 89p. I would say this is a fantastic bargain for a thoroughly entertaining story that I would retrospectively have paid full price for anyway!

The story follows Nick Guest, a gay graduate from Oxford University who has found himself adopted by the family of Gerald Fedden. Fedden is the father of Nick's friend from university, Toby. Gerald Fedden is a fairly prominent Conservative politician whose political career provides a constant background to the explorations of friendship, sexuality and drugs that the story engages with.

The most pleasing aspect about the novel is the way that it deploys Nick's viewpoint to flit in and out of the broader political context which avoids it becoming a staid political critique of Thatcher's Britain. Readers therefore avoid being manipulated towards a simplistic conclusion about Tory Britain in the '80s even if the activities of this particular household are personally fairly damning.

Viewed from the perspective of austerity Britain, the presentation of the economically booming Britain of the '80s is arguably even more compelling. The casual attitude to both drugs and wealth certainly gives food for thought and provides a significant reminder to the reader about the social legacy that underpins the political machinations of 21st century politicians, a significant number of whom would have partied with the best of them at the kind of parties detailed within the fabric of this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, if depressing 5 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good piece of writing and wholly worthy of the praise and prizes heaped on it. A real document of its seedy times.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I did not know what to expect from the book and the first chapter did not give anything away ( a little to the detriment of the book). However, it was an interesting read and certainly a good insight to the feelings, prejudices and class systems that are both of that time, or even still in society today.

It was a beautifully written book that drew you in, whether you liked the characters or not. However, the book did get mixed reviews at our bookclub as some were not drawn in, but those that read to the end of the book were praising of how Alan Hollinghurst drew you into the privelegded lifestyle of the few, politics of the 80's and the charade some played before the truth came out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars even better second time around 17 Nov. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I re-read this recently, probably because I liked the anniversary cover. It's a joy of a novel; about corruption and decadence, the overwhelming sense of entitlement oozing from the rich and powerful and the frailties of sensitive people struggling to cope in an insensitive world. Hollinghurst captures this so well, but the most poignant and memorable sections, for me at least, are those in which he expresses his longing for love and acceptance from a family that is not his own. It's a longing that most of us recognise, but too few of us realise is doomed from the start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 July 2014
By baige
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting 7 Aug. 2013
By PD
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely depiction of human feelings and frailness, also an insight into the richer political classes and how they are possibly detached from reality.
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