4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very gay, very thoughtful - well worth reading!,
This review is from: The Swimming Pool Library (Paperback)
A compelling and sexy novel about a decadent, gay young aristocrat in 80s London whose life is changed irrevocably when he saves the life of the elderly Lord Nantwich. Will has time on his hands and little in his life but sex and self-indulgence, so when his new friend asks him to write his memoirs he cannot find a good enough excuse to say no.
From the moment Will starts reading the journals of Charles Nantwich, new truths and new perspectives are opened up to him. The people he thought he knew are thrown into new light, new histories are revealed, and all the while his life goes on, clawing its way towards a new maturity.
The intertwining of Will's London and Charles's experiences as a young man, at university, as a soldier abroad, and into middle age, works beautifully and doesn't confuse the reader or become offputting. At the same time the novel raises many complex issues around class, sexuality and race over the decades, and the treatment of minority groups in England. The end was frustratingly brief and inconclusive, but the rest of the novel was absorbing enough to excuse it. I'm glad I got it out the library as I don't think I'd read it again, but I would definitely recommend it to people with open minds who don't mind putting a bit of thought into their reading experience.