Editions. The Swimming-Pool Library . Alan Hollinghurst · Paperback · Ebook. View more editions. Buy from Buy from – arrow icon. Buy The Swimming-Pool Library (Vintage Classics) by Alan Hollinghurst (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free. The Swimming-Pool Library [Alan Hollinghurst, Samuel West] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A literary sensation and bestseller in both.

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Arthur has accidentally killed a friend of his brother Harold’s, after an argument about drugs. So Lirbary choose very carefully what I listen to.

On finishing, I should report it’s not all hot guy on guy action – there are some challenging questions raised about race and class in England. Fascinating the way Hollinghurst put this book together and well worth the read hollinghurat it’s story and themes but also for Hollinghurst’s rich, exhaustive writing style.

Or maybe that was just me and I have read too much Waugh and Wilde of late. Another character in The Spell, an unappealing antique dealer called George, is said to have “a delight in artifice and a mania for honesty”.

Though I very much wanted to fuck his big, muscly bum — and several times dropped behind a step or two to see it working as he walked — my stronger feeling was more protective and caressing.

Described by some as an elegy to the lbirary AIDS homosexual world, this was a tale without a single likeable character, with no human bases I could touch down with whatsoever. Books by Alan Hollinghurst.

I thought the Line Of Beauty was rubbish, but at least there was darkness hiding amongst the swjmming sex. Strong became a soldier in the Great Warwas badly injured and died insane. To comply with the Wikipedia quality standardsthis book-related article may require cleanup. The reader is forced to look critically on Will as an Oxford graduate and as the grandson of a Peer of the British Empire. He oool enchanted by the land and powerfully drawn to African men but finds himself cut off by race, rank and position.

Maybe that’s part of it.

Will suspects that Phil is the man with whom he had sex in the cinema. It appears to be a case of police-entrapment, with an undercover officer soliciting sex from homosexual men.

Refresh and try again. Charles has sex with one of them; a young man who feels insecure about his comparatively modest background and sexual inexperience. What a terrible reason to lower a book’s rating! The attempts to contrast this with the diary of the elderly Lord Charles’ antics in the s and 30s fall flat, as he too is ultimately unlikeable.


The Sparsholt Affair ends on an upbeat note, in contrast to some of his previous work. It may not be Middle Hollinghurst, in the sense in hollinghurat James would have understood it, but it is the work of a middle-aged writer, whereas the four earlier novels were the work of a younger man galvanised by thhe arrival in London and by exposure to a suddenly more assertive gay world after 10 years doing EngLit at Oxford in the 70s.

At the match, Will meets Bill: Also there a several long stretches in which the narrator is reading the diary of one of the other characters – I xwimming how the two voices are impressively hollingurst. That’s a funny sort of secret, isn’t it? Not in this case. Trivia About The Swimming-Pool I wasn’t interested in his thoughts or what happened to him, which is usually a deal breaker for swi,ming a novel. Quite brave and ambitious, how it takes in all these things, but also art, class snobbery, racism, while moving back and forth between colonial era Sudan and pre-AIDS London.

Just such a town is the setting for one section of The Stranger’s Child; there is even hollunghurst bank and a bank manager, who is married to Daphne’s daughter and has been psychologically damaged hollinghusrt the second world war. There were a few scenes similar to that of Call Me by Your Namebut while it was believable and heartwrenching and stunning in that book, it was devoid of any real attachment in this one.

ISBN 4 43 Nov 24, In fact, all of the scenes where Hollinghurst delves into discrimination and violence against the gay community is very well written and elicits very, very strong sympathy from me is it only because these situations hit so close to home for so many of us?

Finally I have kibrary time for Alan Hollinghurst. Open Preview See a Problem?

It is very unclear whether the author is extoling the virtues of swimminf man’s life or criticising them; to be honest it reads like he is doing neither and just reporting the tedious antics of this promiscuous man over one summer. It was also exciting to read a book that was very unashamed of its homoeroticism. This is all on the background of a bizarre landscape where seemingly every man William meets is gay and impulsively interested in sex.


A big part of this book covers a diary hollinghurat Will is reading and those eve This book was brilliantly written. Hollinghurst’s hero, Henry James, had three distinct writing periods — early, middle and late.

The Swimming-Pool Library

The book would have been more fun if in the end we find out that Will is actually in a padded room in a mental institution and that all the while he’s been reading his own swimking as a racist colonialist rich prick. Will goes to the opera with James and his grandfather. But then of course that was in the wake of gay liberation and various social and political changes; and then of course the great crisis of Aids was the second stage of that — it gave gay writing a new, unanticipated subject.

Was he trying to touch every base in post-Wilde gay fiction?

The Swimming-Pool Library – Wikipedia

It did seem to seal something off. Returning, he encounters a group of skinheads who demand his watch, attack and queer-bash him, destroying the Firbank novel in the process. Will goes to Phil’s hotel. A wonderful romp around London-town, arguably the gayest city in all of Europe!

Is he nothing but a narcissist?

It took an incredibly long time to get started, during which time I struggled with every page, trying desperately to identify with anyone at all and not get too annoyed with the prose style, which was effortlessly elegant and rich, swimmin also plummy and even a little camp in a rather awfully upper-class too-British way.

The relationship between gay sexual expression and art is gently explored. Already I dreamt up headaches, queazy tums, excuses for dullness and an early escape; and I was so tense that as I did so I even began to feel the symptoms.

But I mean, Will keeps picking up guys in random places, and how did he know they wanted what he wanted and that he wouldn’t get rejected or even ridiculed? Interesting idea that decriminalising gay activity while obviously very important, took away some of the frisson and excitement from the game of seduction this comin Beautifully written.