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The Folding Star


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'An extraordinary book which takes the reader into a world of obsession and mystery...The Folding Star is lit by insight and humour' Evening Standard

About 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, and was selected as one of the Best of 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. His novel The Line of Beauty won the Booker Prize in 2004.


Hollinghurst's (The Swimming Pool Library) erotic novel of a language tutor's obsession with his teenage pupil was a Booker Prize finalist. (Oct.)

"'As is typical of the best classics, he has fashioned a universal tale of sexual obsession, love and death out of a particular life'" Marie Claire "'Even in its sexiest moments, it never loses its intellectual poise. Dry witticisms intersperse sweaty couplings...The Folding Star is a novel of considerable breadth.What gives it its depth is the candour, wit, sensuous immediacy and melancholy intelligence applied to it'" -- Peter Kemp Times Literary Supplement "'Few writers' prose can throw a party as easily as retire to the library as Hollinghurst's...[He ] is on as fine a form in this novel as his first'" -- Tom Shone Spectator "'Grand 19th-century fin-de-siecle lusciousness, a seamy 20th-century carnality and a generous pinch of true wit'" Sunday Times

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.

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