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The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollingworth

(8 Posts)
hattynewyear Sun 02-Jan-05 10:05:40

Can anyone explain to me why this won the Booker? Am half way through it and am contemplating giving up. Every other page I find myself reacting to something by thinking "but I don't care". The characters are under-developed, there is no story, it's vaguely atmospheric but I can think of a whole load of books that capture a mood or an atmosphere far better than this. Am I missing something? Dh read it before me - he says he thought about giving up and wishes he had.

donnie Mon 10-Jan-05 18:04:40

haven't read this. I read another of his novels The Folding Star about 10 years ago and didn't really like its obsessive gay theme - scenes with weirdos who collect and sniff men's underwear dont really strike me as a good read! I think Hollinghurst is a bit of a literary darling at the moment though !

hattynewyear Mon 10-Jan-05 18:23:50

Hi donnie. in fact I haven't given up and am warming to the book. I suddenly realised that somehow the characters have been developed to be very real people. It's kind of like you get to know them as you read the book - like you get to know people in real life. Very clever.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 11-Jan-05 15:15:28

Weird, I thought The Master had won, but on looking it up, I see this one did.

I've read all the other short-listed books (got them as a group), and I'm certainly not seeing why this one won! It's nowhere near as good as Cloud Atlas (but then I always love David Mitchell). I think I even liked I'll Go to Bed at Noon better.

I am enjoying this one ok, but all the scenes of wealth and so on just seem a bit odd to me.

Pidge Tue 11-Jan-05 15:29:31

I really enjoyed The Swimming Pool Library - currently waiting for dp to finish Line of Beauty. He got a bit frustrated with it at first, but seems to be really enjoying it now, so maybe it's a bit of a slow burner ....

wild Tue 11-Jan-05 15:38:05

Loved the Swimming Pool Library a bit disappointed with Folding Star
Will give this a go as I do like AH

binkie Tue 11-Jan-05 15:47:27

I too am having strange second thoughts as to whether it's just the self-indulgent dreary rubbish I thought while reading. Descriptive moments keep returning (visit to Leo's home; Ouradi's flat) and I am finding them annoyingly vivid.

But however cleverly evocative, it is altogether still lazy and facile and just not in the same universe as lovely ambitious (and Far Better Looking) David Mitchell.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 11-Jan-05 15:50:41

Yeah, I'm boggled that anyone would choose this one over David Mitchell. I liked his first two, but really loved Cloud Atlas. It's funny, DH bought me his first book ages ago because it was set in Japan, and because we have a friend with the same name. But he's turning into one of my favourite authors - I'm certainly looking forward to whatever he'll do next.

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