The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Alan James Hollinghurst, FRSL, (born 26 May 1954, and is an English novelist, poet, short story writer and translator. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1989 Somerset Maugham Award, the 1994 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the 2004 Booker Prize for this novel, The Line of Beauty.

The summary is as follows. In the summer of 1983, twenty-year-old Nick Guest moves 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. As the boom years of the eighties unfold, Nick, an innocent in the world of politics and money, finds his life altered by the rising fortunes of this glamorous family. His two vividly contrasting love affairs, one with a young black clerk and one with a Lebanese millionaire, dramatize the dangers and rewards of his own private pursuit of beauty, a pursuit as compelling to Nick as the desire for power and riches among his friends. I loved this book for its style, wry humour, maturity and its skilful nuanced observation of English life in the 1980s. If you remember that decade, you may enjoy this novel too. Enquire at your local library or consult  for full bibliographic detail.

This novel was brought to the screen in the form of a 179 minute, 3 part, TV mini series in 2006 ( Dan Stevens, Tim McInnerny, and Hayley Atwell play the parts. Saul Dibb directs.

Available on DVD at

512 pages in Picador

First published 2004

ISBN  978-0330483216

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Alan Hollinghurst

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