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The Line of Beauty: A Novel di Alan…
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The Line of Beauty: A Novel (originale 2004; edizione 2005)

di Alan Hollinghurst

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It is the summer of 1983, and 20-year-old Nick Guest has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: conservative Member of Parliament Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby-- whom Nick had idolized at Oxford-- and Catherine, highly critical of her family's assumptions and ambitions. Framed by the two general elections that returned Margaret Thatcher to power, The Line of Beauty unfurls through four extraordinary years of change and tragedy.… (altro)
Utente:ibkennedy
Titolo:The Line of Beauty: A Novel
Autori:Alan Hollinghurst
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 400 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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Etichette:Nessuno

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The Line of Beauty di Alan Hollinghurst (2004)

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Inglese (102)  Olandese (3)  Tedesco (1)  Svedese (1)  Tutte le lingue (107)
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A very good novel, well paced and stylish writing. What kept me enthusiastic too, was the merciless depiction of the Conservative Party milieu as evil, unintelligent, irredeemable.
The one character who I found sympathetic was Catherine the perverse, but more likely bi-polar, daughter of grotesque Tory, Gerald Fedden. She has the insight to appreciate the catastrophe of her family, the directness to ask the questions and the destructive urge to blow the fatuous edifice apart, with the help of her boyfriend, Jasper.
The protagonist, Nick Guest, having been invited to live with the family to keep an eye on Catherine, is free to pursue his own obsessions in this privileged world - sex with beautiful men, words, objects and cocaine.
Brilliant wit and delicious insight permeate this book.
  ivanfranko | Mar 12, 2021 |
The protagonist of The Line of Beauty, Nick Guest, is aptly named: he reminds us of Nick Carraway, the middle-class observer of Gatsby's high life; and he is a guest, at the home of a Member of Parliament. He is also a gay man in the 80s, anxiously pursuing sex for the first time in the years just before AIDS rears its ugly head.

Nick has been invited to the conservative MP's home ostensibly as a friend of their son's, but his secret mission is to keep an eye on their mentally unbalanced daughter. Our protagonist pursues beauty and romance, while the straight and respected around him have affairs and hide mental illness. The hypocrisy is glaring, as well as a setup for heartbreak: the lower class but well-educated loyal dependent comes to think he is part of the family; sadly, blood and money turn out to be much thicker than water. The novel explores gay love and lust, Thatcherism, and social prejudice in England.

Hollinghurst's writing is beautiful, including the graphic sex scenes. I was reminded of the understated sophistication of Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children.

I'm reading all the Booker Prize winners since 1968 this year. Follow me at www.methodtohermadness.com ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
This one I gave up on, something I seldom do but I found it seedy and aimless. Sorry. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
Nick Guest (nomen est omen), middle middle class, 20 jaar, het zijn de jaren 1980, is in het huishouden van MP Gerald Fedden en zijn aristocratische vrouw Rachel als vriend van hun mooie zoon Toby, op wie hij verliefd is. Maar dat kan hij niemand bekennen, al is hij wél uit de kast gekomen en voert hij openhartige gesprekken met Tony's labiele zuster Catherine op wie hij past terwijl de verdere familie in hun huis in Frankrijk zomervakantie viert.
Heel wat zelfvoldane Engelse heterorecensenten hier merken op dat het boek niet zomaar gay fiction is, maar meer dan dat. Vreemd, ik heb nog nooit een boek zien omschrijven als straight fiction, laat staan meer dan dat ... Hollinghurst's roman is een genadeloze ontmaskering van de Thatcher-maatschappij, een zedenschets van de hedonistische jaren '80 van de rijken, een Bildungsroman van de jonge homo Nick. Maar vooral een roman over gebrek aan inzicht (Nick), verraad (de Feddens en hun kliek) en er wel bij horen of buitenstaander zijn. Dit wordt het beste samengevat door de minnares van Fedden, die, wanneer hij na een publiek schandaal toch een nieuwe prachtbaan krijgt, uitlegt: "Gerald simply cannot lose". En zo is het.
In deel 1 heeft Nick zijn eerste seks en kortstondige relatie met de zwarte (Caraïbische) Leo. In deel 2 is hij de minnaar van de schitterende Libanese Wani (Antoine) met wie hij in Oxford geen contact kon krijgen: steen- en steenrijk, voor de vorm verloofd met een vrouw aan wie Wani's moeder een salaris betaalt voor deze schijnverhouding, want zijn vader, een Libanese patriarch die ongeveer alle supermarkten in het VK bezit mag nooit weten dat zijn zoon het alleen met mannen doet. Coke coke coke, en een onbevredigbare stroom aan porno, trio's, onenightstands: Wani wil alles, Nick doet mee en regelt het. Nog steeds woont hij op de zolderkamer van de Feddens in Notting Hill. Gerald heeft carrière gemaakt, is minister, en eenmaal komt de IJzeren dame zelfs langs voor een feest (Nick door coke bedwelmd danst met haar in een bijna-droomscène). Dan komt de langverwachte val: Catherine spant Nick voor haar karretje en ontmaskert haar vaders verhouding met zijn assistente: levensgroot in de tabloids. Dan ontdekken journalisten Nick, huisvriend van Gerald, en zijn verhouding met Wani die inmiddels aids heeft en een wrak is. En de keiharde afrekening volgt: voor Gerald en de zijnen, zelfs de aanminnige Rachel, is Nick alleen maar een poofter, een parasiet in hun huishouden, altijd geweest. Hoe goed was hij eigenlijk bevriend met Toby? Wat heeft hij eigenlijk slecht gezorgd voor Catherine! Hij is domweg niet one of us en nooit geweest ook. In sommige verwijten zit een kern van waarheid: Nick is een plakker die nooit zelf iets presteerde maar zich vastzoog aan anderen zoals de Feddens en Wani, gesteld op comfort en eager to please, bang om het fout te doen.
Hollinghurst kan prachtig schrijven, scherp karakteriseren, een situatie neerzetten en ook een gevoel overbrengen. Daarnaast ook die manier van kijken verwoorden die ik in elk geval als homo deel. Soms iets te sentimenteel, zoals in de schets van het simpele Caraïbisch-Engelse milieu waar Nick zich als een 'echter' (?) mens liet zien (dit geloof ik eigenlijk bij nader inzien niet). Zijn beschrijving van de weerzinwekkende Tories in de jaren '80 is fantastisch. Maar de Engelse klassenmaatschappij is ook na Thatcher nog lang niet over, en het roofkapitalisme is hier erger dan elders in westeuropa, dus Brexit was een goed idee. ( )
  Harm-Jan | Aug 2, 2020 |
Very dull. ( )
  edwinbcn | Dec 23, 2019 |
But the plot isn’t the point. This novel’s pleasures are thick and deep, growing out of the brilliant observational powers of the main character.
 

» Aggiungi altri autori (16 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Alan Hollinghurstautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Risvik, KariTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Risvik, KjellTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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'What do you know about this business?' the King said to Alice. 'Nothing', said Alice. 'Nothing whatever?', persisted the King. 'Nothing whatever', said Alice. 'That's very important', the King said, turning to the jury. They were just beginning to write down on their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted: 'Unimportant, your Majesty means, of course', he said in a very respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as he spoke. 'Unimportant, of course, I meant', the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone, 'important - unimportant - unimporant - important -' as if he were trying which word sounded best. - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 12
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It is the summer of 1983, and 20-year-old Nick Guest has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: conservative Member of Parliament Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby-- whom Nick had idolized at Oxford-- and Catherine, highly critical of her family's assumptions and ambitions. Framed by the two general elections that returned Margaret Thatcher to power, The Line of Beauty unfurls through four extraordinary years of change and tragedy.

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