Monday, May 08, 2006

THE LINE OF BEAUTY

I read avidly (whatever that means). I usually read novels from the library or charity shops so I can send them back if I can’t face the second chapter.

However, you can’t resist a 3 for 2 in Borders can you? A few months ago, I chose ‘The Line of Beauty’ by Alan Hollinghurst. Don’t really know why. It’s a long book - 500 pages. I usually avoid these because I think they must be filled up with word padding to last through an Atlantic crossing.

It won the Man Booker prize (who was Man?). I now find it’s soon to be a play on BBC2, you’ve probably seen the trailer.

The novel was absolutely marvellous. From the notes on the sleeve I was looking forward to a biting satire on the 80s - full of Thatcher hatred and larger than life Tory MPs who gave the word sleaze a new meaning.

It wasn’t that…. and yet it was. . . it just didn’t lay it on with a trowel and was therefore more compelling.

Oh dear I’ve never reviewed a book before and I’m struggling - HELP!

I just want to tell you it’s very very good and I was hoping it would never end.

The central character is Nick a young, innocent gay man staying with the family of a Tory MP in the Thatcher years. I liked him a lot. I shouldn’t have because he was apolitical and I could never forgive that in real life. I didn’t like any of the other characters. They were too rich or too right wing or too aristocratic. However, I felt I knew them and was interested in their lives, probably because they were so well written. The author was bold enough to include Thatcher herself as a Silver Wedding guest who danced with Nick.

The description of Nick’s initiation into gay sex was very appealing. Well I suppose any heterosexual red-blooded female could empathise with the physical attraction he felt for Leo, his first love. I usually find descriptions of male/female sex in novels laughable or embarrassing, but this was sensuous and engaging.

Let’s hope Andrew Davies does it justice.

KAZ

1 Comments:

Blogger Pete said...

Hi Kaz

Man? here you go

http://www.mangroupplc.com/default.cfm

1:39 pm  

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