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The Line of Beauty: A Novel de Alan…
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The Line of Beauty: A Novel (original: 2004; edição: 2005)

de Alan Hollinghurst

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4,2161082,137 (3.59)269
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.… (mais)
Membro:paperscratch
Título:The Line of Beauty: A Novel
Autores:Alan Hollinghurst
Informação:Bloomsbury USA (2005), Paperback, 400 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The Line of Beauty de Alan Hollinghurst (2004)

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Inglês (103)  Holandês (3)  Alemão (1)  Sueco (1)  Todos os idiomas (108)
Mostrando 1-5 de 108 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
In early 1980s London, Nick Guest walks an interestingly fine line. He's a postgraduate student lodging with the family of a member of parliament. He's gay. And he's not entirely closed off about it. But the family is accepting, so it all seems okay.
But even in the 80s, prejudice against gays was more than just the norm. Many of the guys that Nick finds are still closeted themselves. And Nick finds himself having to make some choices about the men he chooses to be with. Secrets aren't uncommon in Nick's world, but he's not usually the one who is keeping them.

Add to that the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic, and Nick certainly faces some challenges. But he's not going to let them hold him back from living his life.

But Nick might just find that when one lives in a house of cards, it just takes a light breeze for it all to come crashing down.

--

I saw the film version of this a few years ago, and I'm still trying to decide if I liked that or the book better. What I do like about this story is that it's one that's not usually told. Yes, there are plenty of historical novels that take place in London. And there are many m/m stories that take place in the 80s and address the AIDS epidemic. But I feel like this may be the first I've read that combines both. Most stories on that topic I've read seem to be US-based.

There's also something about Nick's tentative status as observer/participant that makes this one resonate for me. There are those moments in live where we find ourselves in a place where we're not entirely sure why we're there. We feel a bit out of our element. It's not our world, but now we live in it. And at those times, it can be hard to figure out how to fit in. This is one of those stories. ( )
  crtsjffrsn | Aug 27, 2021 |
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 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 108 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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.
adicionado por paradoxosalpha | editarThe Believer, Dan Johnson (Oct 1, 2004)
 

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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Alan Hollinghurstautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Risvik, KariTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Risvik, KjellTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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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