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The Line of Beauty

By Alan HollinghurstHere is, at last, a new writer in my library. But my first encounter with Hollinghurst has been a bit of a shocker. The explicit gay sex scenes and the unabashed depiction of drug use overwhelm first impressions. This mix of coke, sex and exquisite language proves to be a heady cocktail.
Nick Guest is a guest, a paying one at that, at the Feddens, an upper class English family with political ambitions. He is an outsider, an imposter in the Fedden world of power, glamour and wealth. Yet, Nick with his passion for Henry James and his intimate knowledge of aesthetics is the true inheritor of beauty. The Feddens might have a Gaurdi on their mantelpiece but it is Nick who understands its true worth. Nick is intoxicated with the idea of being a part of the Feddens because they represent to him a world that he should truly belong to. Yet in Gatsby-like fashion, it is evident he never does.
Gatsby’s 20-s Jazz-age America is Nick’s 80-s Tory England. It is a…