©2006 Alan Hollinghurst; (P)BBC Audiobooks LTD
If it weren't for Audible I'd never get any reading done.
Swimming Pool Library is beautifully written and will give you a vivid picture of the life depicted. As a straight man I endeavored to give all the gay sexuality the same distance I gave the sexuality of "straight" characters whose taste differs from mine--cf. Lolita or anything by Pynchon. But don't think you can just skim over it and get back to the plot. Gay sexuality is THE subject of this book.
This story is about gay life. That is the heart of it. If you are offended by that (and it includes explicit sex) then this is not for you. However, what you will be missing is superb writing and an amazing debut novel which showed what a genius Hollinghurst is. All his books are marvellous, with The Line of Beauty, which won the Booker, being a very worthy winner. There is an audiobook of that which sadly Audible doesn't have but would be fantastic if they got it.
Say something about yourself!
While the book was beautifully written with vivid language and distinct characters where the hell was the plot???? There was no plot and by the end there was no resolution for any of the characters. However Samuel West did an amazing job as the narrator. He is the only reason i finished the book!
great period piece
Listening to it twenty years after reading it made me realize how much I had changed. It's a great description of upper class British life. Hollinghurst's lush writing is in full bloom.
Sam West's narration makes this an good example of listening surpassing reading. His Lord Nantwich is spot on. It's Hollinghurst's ear for British language that provides such great material. Sam brings the fellow to life.
Gay England in the late 20th century.
I did actually listen to the whole book because I waited in hope of some twist or purpose to the story .... sadly there was none. I purchased because it won the Man Booker prize, I have to say I have no idea why.
I think as others have said this is more of a gay porn novel and as I straight person I found it over the top (probably 1/3 of the book was gay sex), I only tolerated it in the hope the story had some interesting twist around Charles Nantwich... but sadly no .. and well it just ends with no reason, although I was very happy about this in many ways.
I think there may have been an idea related to identity hidden somewhere in this book, but if so it was safely concealed beneath episode after episode of meaningless sexual encounters described in graphic detail.
I came away from this book feeling disappointed and repelled by both the characters and the author. If there was a point to this story, I really don't know what it was.
Angered by the image of gay men presented in this book.
Don't waste your money on this one.
I guess the performance was ok but the book was terrible
Don't really know
I kind of enjoyed it, I spent most of the time facinated by the lifestyle of the era (1970's) and the research into the days of the time before. I kept expecting their posh bubble to burst but disappointingly it is not the point of the story, then again any point would have been good. Unless the point is that posh lives are pointless.
Highly recommend not reading this. I tried to keep an open mind throughout most of the book, but it continually toyed closer and closer to sex with underage boys. I know in England that it's legal to have sex with young men as early as 16, but this book even crosses that boundary, and tries to paint it as fun and flippant.
I believe the author to be perverted, there is no celebration of true love between men of legal age. It relishes in perverseness. It really bothered me, and I couldn't finish the last quarter of the book. The plot sucks, by the way, and it's extremely long winded most of the time.
I actually got my money back from Audible after writing them an email explaining my issues with it. They were nice about it. Save your money and your credits, pass this one by.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.