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Summary

With an introduction by Sebastian Faulks.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize, The Line of Beauty is a classic novel about class, politics and sexuality in Margaret Thatcher's 1980s Britain.

There was the soft glare of the flash - twice - three times - a gleaming sense of occasion, the gleam floating in the eye as a blot of shadow, his heart running fast with no particular need of courage as he grinned and said, 'Prime Minister, would you like to dance?'

In the summer of 1983, 23-year-old Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the wealthy Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious Tory MP, his wife, Rachel, and their children, Toby and Catherine. 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.

©2018 Alan Hollinghurst (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Line of Beauty

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Obvious and lusty

I'd heard many good reports of this....but after three hours all I could discern was a flimsy narrative linking the lusty thoughts and dabblings of a young Gay adventurist. Tedious repetition of the words penis, bulge, snog, hole, etc.
Bored by the boring.
And so it was abandoned.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent writing and urgent listening

If you want to understand the political landscape of 1980s Britain, this is the novel. If you want to understand the history behind the current media morality panic about trans people, this is the novel. If you want to understand our current government, this is the novel.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent prose - but do we really need all that detail?

On reflection, I enjoyed listening to this. The narration was excellent - just the right sardonic time for the times. The writing is very beautiful too. The story moves slowly, but everything falls into place at the end, which is satisfying. But there is just too much explicit description of sex... it seems on every page. I do understand that this is an important theme... and I’m no prude, or I wouldn’t have chosen this book at all... but too much detail and too frequently just gets really tedious. If it was a paper book, I’d just skip those sections, but more difficult with audio.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Dull

I had high hopes of this novel as I love this narrator, who can usually bring anything to life, and I liked the sound of the storyline. However, I found it at best unengaging, at worst tedious and mannered.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Boring

Aimed at a limited interest group. Cliche ridden. Hardly of interest to a wide audience.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Holds your attention

Well crafted story from a good author. Very good reader. Enjoyable commentary on the 80's.

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A masterpiece!

Exquisite writing. Not a short book, but I was left longing for more! Highly recommended