The Line of Beauty
Man Booker Prize
Whitbread Novel Award
Winner of the Man Booker Prize, Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty is a classic novel about class, politics and sexuality in Margaret Thatcher's 1980s Britain.
It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. Nick had idolized Toby at Oxford, but in his London life it will be the troubled Catherine who becomes his friend and his uneasy responsibility.
Innocent of politics and money, Nick is swept up into the Feddens' world and an era of endless possibility, all the while pursuing his own private obsession with beauty.
The Line of Beauty is Alan Hollinghurst's Man Booker Prize-winning masterpiece. It is a novel that defines a decade, exploring with peerless style a young man's collision with his own desires, and with a world he can never truly belong to.
Luminous... [an] astonishingly Jamesian novel, a crafty, glittering, sidelong bid by a contemporary master of English prose to be considered heir to James himself. For a novel that spans only four years, 1983 to 1987, it seems to encompass a world as capacious as any in a James novel.
There is something memorable on every page... there is much to savour in The Line of Beauty, not least its humour, a shivering yet morally exacting satire that leaves no character untouched.
Times Literary Supplement
Superb . . . Alan Hollinghurst is in the prime of his writing life, and the immaculate rolling cadences of his new novel are right now the keenest pleasure English prose has to offer.