Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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As in his first novel, The Swimming Pool Library, British author Hollinghurst skillfully combines lush details, a reflective voice and erotic depictions of gay life and relationships. Edward Manners, a 33-year-old aspiring British writer, arrives in a Flemish town to work as a private tutor in English, only to find himself obsessively smitten with one of his pupils, Luc Altidore, a 17-year-old expelled from school. Through a second pupil, Manners is also drawn into the world of (fictional) painter Edgard Orst, who died during the Nazi occupation of Belgium and whose paintings depict an infatutation with a red-haired actress. At first, events are presented as clues, and Manners pursues his preoccupation with Luc as if unraveling a mystery. Triptych patterns abound: the reassembling of three panels of an Orst painting, trios of friends and lovers and the three-part structure of this complex, mature and richly textured novel. Meanwhile, AIDS adds shadow to the depths of the contemporary gay relationships portrayed here. The title, taken from Milton, refers to the first evening star; like that bright herald of night, this extraordinary, often darkly funny novel captures our attention. (Oct.)


Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Hollinghurst's first novel, The Swimming Pool Library (LJ 9/1/88), which offered a somewhat critical look at gay life in pre-AIDS England, received much critical acclaim. This, his second novel, is also likely to receive considerable praise-and excoriation. Its theme is obsession and its object is a 17-year-old Belgian youth, who, just prior to disappearing, is graphically ravished by his 32-year-old English tutor. While Luc is no angel and, in fact, can be seen as the seducer in this incident, the fact that he is a minor (at least by U.S. standards) and Edward his teacher are sure to land the work on more than one banned list. This is too bad, because taken as a whole the novel offers a fascinating, often eloquent look at the nature of desire and the impossibility of making time stand still. There will definitely be an audience for this book, but it will be limited. Larger public and academic libraries should have a copy available. [Finalist for the British Booker Prize.-Ed.]-David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

As in his first novel, The Swimming Pool Library, British author Hollinghurst skillfully combines lush details, a reflective voice and erotic depictions of gay life and relationships. Edward Manners, a 33-year-old aspiring British writer, arrives in a Flemish town to work as a private tutor in English, only to find himself obsessively smitten with one of his pupils, Luc Altidore, a 17-year-old expelled from school. Through a second pupil, Manners is also drawn into the world of (fictional) painter Edgard Orst, who died during the Nazi occupation of Belgium and whose paintings depict an infatutation with a red-haired actress. At first, events are presented as clues, and Manners pursues his preoccupation with Luc as if unraveling a mystery. Triptych patterns abound: the reassembling of three panels of an Orst painting, trios of friends and lovers and the three-part structure of this complex, mature and richly textured novel. Meanwhile, AIDS adds shadow to the depths of the contemporary gay relationships portrayed here. The title, taken from Milton, refers to the first evening star; like that bright herald of night, this extraordinary, often darkly funny novel captures our attention. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Hollinghurst's first novel, The Swimming Pool Library (LJ 9/1/88), which offered a somewhat critical look at gay life in pre-AIDS England, received much critical acclaim. This, his second novel, is also likely to receive considerable praise-and excoriation. Its theme is obsession and its object is a 17-year-old Belgian youth, who, just prior to disappearing, is graphically ravished by his 32-year-old English tutor. While Luc is no angel and, in fact, can be seen as the seducer in this incident, the fact that he is a minor (at least by U.S. standards) and Edward his teacher are sure to land the work on more than one banned list. This is too bad, because taken as a whole the novel offers a fascinating, often eloquent look at the nature of desire and the impossibility of making time stand still. There will definitely be an audience for this book, but it will be limited. Larger public and academic libraries should have a copy available. [Finalist for the British Booker Prize.-Ed.]-David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.