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The Line of Beauty (Anglais) Cassette – Livre audio, septembre 2005

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Détails sur le produit

  • Cassette
  • Editeur : Sound Library (septembre 2005)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0792737601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792737605
  • Dimensions du produit: 22,1 x 13,1 x 6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
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5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Phil-Don TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS sur 18 mai 2009
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Nick Guest, un jeune diplômé d'Oxford, gay, va habiter chez les parents d'un ami. La famille est très riche et fréquente le 'beau monde', le père est un homme politique promis à une belle carrière. Nous sommes au milieu des années 1980 - marquées par Margaret Thatcher et l'émergence du Sida. Autant d'éléments qui ont leur place dans le livre, mais l'auteur a le bon goût de ne pas transformer son roman en playdoyer.
"The Line of Beauty", gagnant du Man Booker Prize en 2004, est un très beau livre. L'histoire est contemporaine mais le milieu décrit, celui de la haute société, et l'écriture soignée, élégante, rappellent les grands classiques de la littérature anglaise. Il est d'ailleurs fait plusieurs fois référence à Henry James, mais Evelyn Waugh ('Brideshead Revisited')vient également à l'esprit. A noter cependant des scènes de sexe et de drogue qui viennent nuancer ce jugement d'une écriture classique.
Certains critiques parlent de chef d'oeuvre. Seul le temps le dira. Ce qui est sûr, c'est que nous sommes en présence d'une oeuvre littéraire de qualité et d'un vrai plaisir de lecture!
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Carolyn Jordan sur 4 juin 2013
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Un livre que j'ai (relu) avec beaucoup de plaisir. Pour moi, tout y était: un narratif, l'écriture fluide et entraînante — bref, un des mes livres préférés.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Midnight Nox sur 18 janvier 2013
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Ce livre est selon moi le meilleur de sa génération, tout dans ce roman me plaît: les personnages, le cadre, le narrateur, le style.
The Line of Beauty ne raconte pas seulement les années Thatcher, c'est une tranche de vie, ses tourments, ses complications, ses joies et ses peines. A lire et relire sans modération!
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par DGM sur 15 décembre 2013
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Je pensais que le Man Booker Prize était une garantie de qualité littéraire !!!
Eh bien, celui-là est vraiment surfait, ou alors, ce fut un alibi pour une bonne conscience
"politically correct".

Je n'ai rien contre l'homosexualité, mais j'ai arrêté de lire au bout de 100 pages :
c'était le seul & unique sujet du roman & l'obsession névrotique perpétuelle du jeune
Too much is too much !!!
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92 internautes sur 99 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Maggie, Charlie, and the Boys 7 janvier 2006
Par Roger Brunyate - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The effusive press comments quoted on the cover and flyleaf of the paperback edition of Alan Hollinghurst's THE LINE OF BEAUTY are totally correct in everything they actually say; they merely fail to mention one of the most important aspects of the book. Hollinghurst writes brilliantly about life among the movers and shakers of Margaret Thatcher's London in the early 1980s. His ability to portray his characters, as one critic puts it, "from just an inch to the left" of how they would see themselves is masterly, and the result is something like the portraits of Goya, a flattering likeness with just a hint of satire. Hollinghurst has perfect pitch when it comes to the social sensibilities and small hypocrisies of the well-bred. As a lineal descendant of Trollope, James, and Forster, he is a well-deserved winner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

But none of the reviews quoted in the book mention the gay sex, which is pervasive and often explicitly physical. By portraying the narrator of the book, Nick Guest, as a gay man in an ostensibly straight world, Hollinghurst achieves an oblique angle on the people he observes, moving considerably more than an inch from the axis on which they would ideally see themselves. The glamorous life is glimpsed through a foreground that straight readers might find far from glamorous, especially when it deals with bodily interactions. Ultimately, this becomes essential to the plot, but for a long time it seems merely an authorial device. It is difficult to know whether the author sees these elements as a heightening of the sexual charge, or whether they are deliberately introduced as an antidote to romanticism, and as much an emblem of decadence as the increasingly frequent use of "charlie" (cocaine) by the narrator and his friends. Certainly, the secrecy practised by other characters in the story who have not come out as Nick has done, does seem to point up the falsity of the world in which they cannot admit their preferences.

Not that Nick needs the difference in sexuality to give him detachment. He is presented as a talented boy from a middle-class background who has made some upper-crust friends while at Oxford, so becomes a kind of permanent guest in their lives after college. [This has much in common with my own background, and it was a curious experience to find one of my own Oxbridge friends of this kind, not named but clearly identifiable, appearing as a minor character in the book!] While Nick is clearly thrilled to have been adopted into this world, he remains subtly an outsider, but with an acuteness of perception to compensate for his lack of belonging. His social position is not so very different from that of Kazuo Ichiguro's hero in the first part of WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS -- a peculiarly English awkwardness which both writers capture very well.

The title, THE LINE OF BEAUTY, comes from Hogarth, and refers to the particular elegance of an ogival double-curve. It is emblematic of the genuine aesthetic understanding that is Nick's most appealing quality for this particular reader; the passages talking about art, literature, and music are perceptive and beautifully written. But art is also seen as the province of the rich, who can afford it but don't necessarily appreciate it. As the book goes on, there is increasing emphasis on art objects in a mannerist or rococo phase, seen surely as symbols of decadence, where art is "just make-believe for rich people," as one of the characters says. But the phrase also stands for that fatal line of attraction that leads from one love object to another, or towards some ideal of the beautiful life, that comes crashing down on the characters' heads at the end of this social comedy which turns out to have been a tragedy after all.
61 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent craftmanship, impoverished content 28 décembre 2004
Par Oliver Tessier - Publié sur
Format: Relié
LINE OF BEAUTY is a fine piece of writing; I wish I could accomplish something nearly as good. It was also a difficult read for me because Hollinghurst provides so little relief from the hollowness of main character's life -- from everyone's lives, really. I know he intends to represent the era, and I have a high tolerance for bleak (meaning that I often adore it); but nothing works without the benefit of contrast, and this is a one-note symphony. I'm glad I read it, but I didn't learn anything, and it left me feeling uniquely depressed. Perhaps that was the writer's intent.
51 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Writing Is Not the Book 19 juin 2005
Par Mark Eremite - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Hollinghurst is quoted as having said that if you come to this book looking for your normal sort of "fall from grace" story, you will be disappointed.

He's right.

Hollinghurst has also said that he is more interested in analyzing characters, in protraying them vividly, than in populating his books with people you are likely to identify with or actually care about.

He's right.

Many people have described Hollinghurst as a new genius of prose, as a writer of skill that is long missing in novels from any part of the world.

They're right.

So what's wrong with The Line of Beauty? Not much, but what IS wrong, like a tiny microbe or virus, seems to infect the whole thing.

Read with an eye on the craft of the words, this book is absolutely stunning. Hollinghurst's abilities as a novelist are truly astounding. Even the rather lurid and not particularly tasteful sexual escapades of the novel are crafted with a precision and glory that keep them from wallowing in the muck of which they are made. The affairs, the drugs, the betrayals and the promiscuous, anonymous trysts -- at heart they are what they are, but carved out with Hollinghurst's pen, they become more than that.

Unfortunately, not MUCH more than that.

The deeper meanings, the symbols of the 80s fall from grace, the metaphors woven into the events, these are all admirable evidences of a fine talent, but in the end, the novel seems to stumble over its own style, it clutches at its own class.

During a debate over music, Nick muses this about Strauss: "What the problem was was this colossal redundancy, the squandering of brilliant technique on cheap material, the sense that the moral nerves had been cut, leaving the great bloated body to a life of valueless excess." This phrase could equally apply to the book in which it is found.

At its heart, the book claims to be about a search for beauty in all its forms. Hollinghurst has said that Nick, the timid protagonist, comes to a realization that the outer beauty of the priviledged men and women with whom he lives disguises a deeper moral ugliness. I found it odd that he would mention beauty of a moral nature, since, in this novel, there really is none, either of a conservative, relativistic, religious, or liberal nature. Nick, caught up in his life of drugs and unchecked sexual hunger, doesn't prove himself to be any more or less beautiful than those people whom he analyzes and with whom he is ultimately disillusioned.

Even if you were to approach this book from the plane of one looking for a totally intellectual experience -- the realm of the observer observing, not judging or conspiring with the story or characters, but simply taking the events and people as they are presented by the almost flawless prose -- well, even then, the sum total of the events turns out to be rather facile, and even the opposite of what it intends. In spite of the gorgeous writing -- Hollinghurst's ability to describe almost anything with a grandiose and supreme ease of grace -- in spite of that, the book itself borders on being rather ugly.

Don't get me wrong. I do not make this assessment because the book is about homosexuality, or political scandals, or the dark deeds of the overpriviledged. I make this assessment because, in the end, Hollinghurst's tale does not rise above its subject matter, even if the writing itself does.

For those of you interested in literature, interested in a reawakening of the style of fine writing and pure form, this book will be a treat, but in the end, is more like a fancy, overpriced appetizer that leaves you wanting much much more.
50 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Hollinghurst, the keen observer 6 novembre 2004
Par Jon Hunt - Publié sur
Format: Relié
"The Line of Beauty" is the first novel I've read by Alan Hollinghurst and having just finished it I'll make a beeline to read his others. Every chapter of this book is a sheer delight.

There are few authors who can move a book at such a torturedly slow pace and still manage a success. The key to "The Line of Beauty" lies in the detail....Hollinghurst unfolds his characters with enormous pathos, keeping their quotes brief and allowing his observations about them to become expanded. Their is a dryness to his writing that seems endemic of British authors but remaining in that style allows the flavor of his characters to come through with great shades of color.

As told through the eyes of the protagonist, Nick, Hollinghurst is able to steer him through a feel that combines an Edwardian England with the present. Nick grows up, to be sure, but he does so in a wafting way, sensitive to the world and his growing self-awareness. If Nick wears rose-colored glasses in the beginning, he has neatly discarded them at the end.

"The Line of Beauty" is really a book about connections...connections in a changing world of friends, lovers, family, illness and death. There is a general sadness that accompanies this book, as it should. Alan Hollinghurst reminds us, through the seriousness of Nick's story, how tenuous we all are in each other's care, no matter what our "standing" is in society... and how far we still have to go.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"Secrets are simply things that can't be told..." 21 mars 2005
Par Matthew M. Yau - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Elegantly written with salvage details of sex, THE LINE OF BEAUTY however, is not a gay fiction, but a literary piece that portrays a political period through the eyes of a gay protagonist. It embodies the grand metaphor of what Thatcher did to Britain in the 80s and also the personal temptation-pulsed journey of Nick Guest. It reminisces the lasting sense of unhappiness and dismay and how awful Maggie's Britain was. In a wider sense, the novel is an oblique look, one that is both imaginative and interesting as it approaches the sense of forlornness through the eyes of someone like Nick who was absorbed by it and thought it was all rather glamorous. The novel slowly unveils through Nick's journey to relationship, with his lovers and that with the MP household. He is rather weak and easily led but morally pliable. He could be wholly corrupted but he knows his limits and is prune to many temptations, which seem to characterize the novel's times. The novel exposes to the full the idea of an absolute instability and frailty when the country seems to lose its common sense.

THE LINE OF BEAUTY is a significant novel in its historical and political essence. It is a painstaking, disconcerting, and savage delineation of the Thatcher years as seen through the tale of Nick, who finds himself living in the attic room of the stately mansion of ascendant Tory politician Gerald Fedden and his family. Nick is a just-coming-out Oxford graduate and is secretly in love with Fedden's straight son Toby. An affair with a young black clerk gives Nick his debut romance, but also alerts him with lurking crisis of his gay identity. He feels he might look like a person with no friends. He is extremely sensitive to anything that might be said. He feels he has the wrong kind of irony, the mistaken knowledge, the inappropriate sarcasm for gay life. With a tinge of innocence and careful curiosity that will later whittle away in time, he is faintly shocked, among other emotions and interest and excitement, at the idea of a male couple.

It is later secret affair with a millionaire, a film-maker, his college friend Wani that changes Nick's life drastically and rids all his boyish innocence and curiosity on aspects of being gay. A handsome Lebanese and the only son to an old-valued man who owns a supermarket chain, Wani, with an indefeasible family instinct, exacts totally secrecy in his affair with Nick. It is not sure whether he pretends to be straight or chooses to keep a low-profile with his affair. To him, for sure, his family is as natural as sex and as irrefutable in its demands. His "fiancée", a female companion whom he pays, is just a front. Everything Wani and Hick do: the surreal montage of sexual conspiracy and the drug escapade is clandestine that Wani has slipped away into a world his father has never imagined.

Though Nick might have entertained the thrill of wandering away from strict truth, tricking people and longing for scandalous acclaim of the secret affair, he finds himself compelled to tell the truth, and to vocalize all the mischievous beauty. The deep connection between them is so surreptitious that at times it is difficult to believe it exists. The cultivation of their love requires indifference. It is an intuition blinked away by its own absurdity, the very element that charms and hypnotizes them. Wani's strict discretion originates from his father casting high hope on him, the only son, after his brother was killed in a car accident in Beirut. Wani has shouldered that burden of family mourning since childhood and seems more touching, more glamorous and more forgivable at the revelation of the mishap. It therefore aggrandizes the affair, which becomes more convincing not to be mistaken for the squeeze of guilt.

The novel carefully winds down towards a shocking and forceful denouement in which the entire political decade is expertly drawn as a human sham. Regardless of the lucid elaboration of sex and drugs, which might have raised highbrow of literary elite, the novel has scooped the Booker Prize. The explicit physical content in THE LINE OF BEAUTY is nothing compared to Hollinghurst's 1988 debut THE SWIMMING POOL LIBRARY, which is riddled of even more explicit scenes all the way through it. The gay protagonist in the novel of current interest, however, does not isolate himself in a strange way and whose contact with the world is not entirely sexual. THE LINE OF BEAUTY is clearly about things other than being gay: a social commentary perhaps and it almost becomes somewhat irritating if it is used to imply that that is all there is to the book. Merely looking at it as gay fiction will not do justice of its fine writing and buried meaning.
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