The Swimming-Pool Library

The Swimming-Pool Library

4.5 8
by Alan Hollinghurst
     
 

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A literary sensation and bestseller both in England and America, The Swimming-Pool Library is an enthralling, darkly erotic novel of homosexuality before the scourge of AIDS; an elegy, possessed of chilling clarity, for ways of life that can no longer be lived with impunity. "Impeccably composed and meticulously particular in its observation of everything"

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Overview

A literary sensation and bestseller both in England and America, The Swimming-Pool Library is an enthralling, darkly erotic novel of homosexuality before the scourge of AIDS; an elegy, possessed of chilling clarity, for ways of life that can no longer be lived with impunity. "Impeccably composed and meticulously particular in its observation of everything" (Harpers & Queen), it focuses on the friendship of two men: William Beckwith, a young gay aristocrat who leads a life of privilege and promiscuity, and the elderly Lord Nantwich, an old Africa hand, searching for someone to write his biography and inherit his traditions.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On entering a London public lavatory in blithe pursuit of quick, anonymous sex, beautiful and roguish young aristocrat William Beckwith isconfronted instead with an ancient, doddering member of the British House of Lords who, after muttering an incoherent string of polite non sequiturs, promptly keels over at his feet in embarrassed but undeniable coronary arrest. After saving the old man's life, Will is invited to tea by the grateful and slightly senile Lord Nantwich, who, surprised by Will's impressive lineage and appalled at his state of idle unemployment, engages the young man to write the Nantwich life story. Thus begins the unusual relationship that forms the core of this funny, sad and beautifully written novel. The Swimming Pool Library weaves a rich and fascinating tapestry of Britain's gay subculture spanning pre-World War I through the sexually abandoned early '80s, stopping short at the doorstep of AIDS. Hollinghurst's prose is fresh, witty and wise, and his ever-surprising, sinuously unfurling story is told with insouciant grace and unabashed sexuality. BOMC and QPBC alternates. (September) .
Library Journal
This novel created quite a stir in Britain and will probably do so herefor it minces no words in providing a realistic glimpse of the gay lifestyle in pre-AIDS London. Yet the approach is much more ``literary'' than sensational, the author masterfully re-creating a sense of time and place and the social and cultural milieu in which gay men operated. The occasionally graphic descriptions of sex will likely upset some readers, but for most the aura of unselfconscious eroticism will provide a sense of authenticity that only adds to its impact. Still, this is not a nostalgia piece; the author clearly understands that the freedom to satisfy lust often interferes with the ability to find fulfillment and love. Perceptive and well written; belongs in most academic and public libraries. David W. Henderson, Eckered Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
From the Publisher
"Easily one of [1988's] most important debuts...A buoyant, smart, irrepressibly sexy book...that has the heft and resonance of a classic modernist novel, the sprawl and surprise of an intimate memoir." — Village Voice Literary Supplement"The swimming-pool library beautifully welds the standard conventions of fiction to a tale of modern transgressions. It tells of impurities with shimmering elegance, of complexities with a camp-fired wit and of truths with a fiction's solid grace." — The New York Times Book Review

"Absorbing and delightful...some of the brightest, smartest writing to come along in a long time." — Houston Post

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307806604
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/21/2011
Series:
Vintage International
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
246,825
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Alan Hollinghurst was born in 1954. He is the author of one of the most highly praised first novels to appear in the 1980s, The Swimming-Pool Library (1988), and was selected as one of the Best Young British Novelists 1993. His second novel, The Folding Star, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize. He has since written The Spell and The Line of Beauty, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2004. He was on the staff of the Times Literary Supplement from 1982 to 1995.

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The Swimming Pool Library 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had me from beginning to end. It is insightful, thought-provoking and moving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im Alex. The front desk is next door. Become a swim coach today at the next result.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bree and i are quitting jon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to florida thirs reult
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago