The Line of Beauty is a Man Booker Prize-winning novel by Alan Hollinghurst. Contents. 1 Plot. “The Love Chord” (); “To Whom Do You. Alfred Hickling on sex and snorting in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty. Everyone who has read The Line of Beauty will recall the party at which the young protagonist, Nick Guest, dances with Mrs Thatcher. Before.

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I had deep sympathy for this soul, and felt a mixture of admiration and disapproval! The novel then abruptly shifts forward three years. One can’t heauty on the psychology of a character if that psychology is what turns the plot of the novel. Maybe Shakespeare’s Puck was right for saying what fools we mortals be. Or was hollingghurst characteristic of bored upper class Gay culture during the s?

With characteristic pretension, Nick takes the company name, Ogee, from the sinuous double curve cited by Hogarth as the “line of beauty”, though Nick’s favoured example of the form in nature is the point at which a man’s lower back cleaves to his bottom.

The Line of Beauty is a novel of eventful gatherings rather than propulsive action, and in these situations Hollinghurst proves to be one of the sharpest observers of privileged social groupings since Anthony Powell.

The story surrounds the young gay protagonist, Nick Guest. Oh, I was fawning and drooling all over this book, and it was frankly pathetic. He did agree that his success might have marked some significant change in attitudes, even over the short course of his own writing career.

For Nick this is male beauty. Talk about a niche!

It’s a book that anyone interested in writing or reading like a writer should read to learn about a beautiful line, the clear and expansive point of view of a close narrator.

Show 25 25 50 All. While at Oxford he shared a house with Andrew Motion, and was awarded the Newdigate Prize for poetry inthe year before Motion. The Line of Beauty is unlikely to be surpassed. Nick’s dance with Margaret Thatcher has overtones of a dance with the devil. Similarly, Nick tells Hollinghuest that he loves her family, but he’s there for a job as well as a minder to Catherine, a general dogsbody, and an impressionable and appreciative mirror reflecting their wealth.


Late last night finishing a cigarette on the fire escape, inventorying the bitter, dark, hollinghurdt thing that’s my life these days, I tried to think of promising reasons to wake up in the morning, to drink literal coffee and walk out the door. I was awed by it, really. She had recommended it to members of her cousin’s reading group in Derbyshire and yet “none of them loved it as I thought they should”.

Gerald Fedden has just entered Parliament, hotly tipped as hlolinghurst material, and is determined to fulfil two major political ambitions – to have a latex likeness on Spitting Image and to host the Lady at home for supper. Rather their own flaws have brought them all down. Read reviews that mention line of beauty nick guest booker prize henry james alan hollinghurst main character swimming pool margaret thatcher pool library upper class gerald fedden young man cloud atlas notting hill well written gay sex man booker wife rachel fedden family middle class.

Hollinghurst’s alertness to the tiniest social and tonal shifts never slackens, and positively luxuriates in a number of unimprovably droll set pieces. Nick is moving his few possessions out of the Feddens’ house; in the afternoon he is to have an HIV test: A party is thrown for Rachel and Gerald’s 25th wedding anniversary. At first he makes half-hearted progress on a thesis about Henry James, but later he floats into the orbit, and bedroom, of Wani Ouradi, a glamorous Lebanese heir to a supermarket fortune, with whom he formulates vague plans to found a production heauty.

Now he is a practised operator, able to fit a tryst into an unexpected gap in his day.

The Line of Beauty

Having never moved out Nick is now a permanent member of the Fedden household. Hollinghurst can produce inane social banter as well as incisive social analysis. Nick is an amiable narrator who seems to drift through the book without being too greatly affected by it all. Obviously not everyone would love this as much as I did. Many of the significant characters in the novel are Nick’s male contemporaries from Oxford.


We should be able to do beuty we want to do. Review below from October I wanted to savour every word in this novel. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The Sense of an Ending. Nick’s finances are tied to his beauhy relationship with Ouradi; his living and personal situation tied to his relationship with the Feddens. On the other hand, if beauty is visceral and inextricably related to positive identification and sympathy, we need to work hard to pull the encultured hierarchies from it.

You have been alqn.

To cover their relationship Wani pretends Nick is helping him write a screenplay of The Spoils of Poynton as well as helping him establish Ogeea luxury magazine Wani wants to create. He finds a lover, Leo, by replying to an advertisement.

It’s a shame that in many bookstores, at least in the Besuty States, it will be stocked in the “gay” section or “alternative lifestyles”, whatever that means. Although Nick is portrayed as an outsider to the family, Bequty felt like an outsider to the whole world the book described; there was no character to provide the ‘voice of the reader’ and I really felt the story needed one.

Review: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst | Books | The Guardian

See what you think. Nick’s calves and thighs ache with “guilty vigour”. Ships from and sold by Amazon. These are parties where “after pudding, the ladies withdraw,” gatherings with which most readers will not have much personal familiarity. It wasn’t their fault that they didn’t know– Nick couldn’t tell them things, and so everything he said and did bfauty on the nature of a surprise, big or little but somehow never wholly benign, since they were aftershocks of the original surprise, that he was, as his mother said, a whatsit.