This work centres on the friendship of William Beckwith, a young, gay aristocrat who leads a life of privilege and promiscuity, and the elderly Lord Nantwich who is searching for someone to write his biography.
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"The first major novel in Britain to put gay life in its modern place and context... A historic novel and historic debut" Guardian "The tautness and energy of Alan Hollinghurst's novel derive from its ambiguous status as it shimmers somewhere between pastoral romance and sulphurous confession, between an affectionate and credible rendering of contemporary mores and lurid melodrama...classic English prose...surely the best book about gay life yet written by an English author" -- Edmund White Sunday Times "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" New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Publisher:
‘Deserves first prize in every category… superbly written, wildly funny’ Daily Telegraph
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