Terrific sense of genius loci,
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This review is from: The Folding Star: Historical Fiction (Kindle Edition)
It is difficult to add to the complimentary comments already made. I loved this book. The descriptions of the Flemish town and its people is so real, and the preoccupation with the boring artist Orst that some reviewers complain about is typical of Belgium. Visit the Maeterlinck Museum in Gent and you will see what I mean. I think the Maeterlinck Museum is the model for the Orst Museum. The author knows Flanders well. The book is the best of Hollinghurst's that I have read, better even than The Swimming Pool Library, which was brilliant, and streets better than The Line of Beauty that I gave up on because of all the tedious Thatcherian politics. A wonderful book. It should have had an award.
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Initial post: 2 Jan 2015 19:55:55 GMT
Nom Prénom says:
It did; it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1994, and well deserved it was, too. Possibly my favourite Hollinghurst novel to date. I've lived in the south of the Netherlands and I've visited northern Belgium many times, and I felt that he depicted it extremely well, particularly the episodes in the Cassette and the Golden Calf. A truly funny book, I found myself laughing out loud when I read this recently on holiday. When I finished I picked up a collection of short stories by Joseph Conrad, whom I love, but found I just wanted to read the Folding Star again right from the beginning. I'm looking forward to reading it again, and hopefully I'll be working in Flanders again in the summer. In that case I simply can't wait to book into a hotel in a Flemish town (possibly Bruges but it's so popular these days!) and spend a weekend with this and some beautiful Belgian beer. Heaven! May Mr Hollinghurst long continue to produce such exquisite novels - he is certainly the best author writing in English today, in my humble opinion.
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