Regular price: £23.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

In October 1940, the handsome young David Sparsholt arrives in Oxford. A keen athlete and oarsman, he at first seems unaware of the effect he has on others - particularly on the lonely and romantic Evert Dax, son of a celebrated novelist and destined to become a writer himself. While the Blitz rages in London, Oxford exists at a strange remove: an ephemeral, uncertain place in which nightly blackouts conceal secret liaisons. Over the course of one momentous term, David and Evert forge an unlikely friendship that will colour their lives for decades to come....

Alan Hollinghurst's masterly new novel evokes the intimate relationships of a group of friends bound together by art, literature and love across three generations. It explores the social and sexual revolutions of the most pivotal years of the past century, whose life-changing consequences are still being played out to this day. Richly observed, disarmingly witty and emotionally charged, The Sparsholt Affair is an unmissable achievement from one of our finest writers.

©2017 Alan Hollinghurst (P)2017 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    92
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good - not extraordinary

A very reliably good story with some wonderful characters, cleverness of plot, carried along by the beauty of the English language. Beautifully crafted, heart breaking story that leaves you with that familiar Hollinghurst-iesq sense of loss, emptiness, desperate love, quest for beauty, and the ultimate frustration of having lost the battle with time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Life among the gay arty literati .

Winds and wends its way through lives. At times deliciously entertaining, at times not. Became a little bored with the people though, and after a while wasn't that curious to find out what was going to happen to anyone of them.



5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Evocative of the periods covered...

I found the story absorbing, although occasional jumps in time were sometimes frustrating, they soon made sense.
The quality of Alan Hollinghurst's descriptions are wonderful and really conjure vision of the times, places and events described.
David Dawson's narration is the final cherry, wandering through believable regional accents with ease. I will be making sure to find other titles that utilise his narratory skills.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Long Slog But Worth It

Well that was a very long slog. But very, very worth it. Looking forward to reading another of his books.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nigeyb
  • Hove, England
  • 20-06-18

Superb

A story which spans several decades and is told in five separate points in time. A consummate novel full of beauty, perceptive and insight. Splendidly narrated too. Exquisite.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

About the world of art? Hardly

The mere fact that the characters are painters or writers doesn’t make a book about “the world of art”. Book lacks good intrigue.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful