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The Sparsholt Affair
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
From the internationally acclaimed winner of the Man Booker Prize, a sweeping new novel that explores richly complex relationships between fathers and sons as it spans seven transformative decades in England, from the 1940s through the present. David Sparsholt is a man who commands attention. As a student at Oxford during the early days of World War II, he's handsome, powerful and alluring to all who meet him--both women and men. His two closest friends, Evert and Freddie, are aspiring artists who are quickly drawn into Sparsholt's magnetic field even as the mores of the day complicate their ambitions--aesthetic, romantic and otherwise. Twenty years later, all three men find themselves in unexpected positions--sometimes rewarded, but sometimes thwarted--vis-à-vis love and career; money and stature. David Sparsholt is now married with a wife and son, having claimed fame as a fighter pilot in the war, but also infamy after a scandalous affair rocked his entire family--especially his teenage son, Johnny. It's the 1960s, and upheavals of all sorts are rampant in England and around the world, including as we follow Johnny's struggles to untangle his own private web of identity, art and sexuality. Together, these men's trials and triumphs present a complicated portrait of masculinity and artistic worth in England's upper echelons, where one's name carries the legacy, but also the telling scars, of the generations before him. Engaging, atmospheric, told in lush and gorgeous prose, The Sparsholt Affair is a brilliant novel about sensuality and scruples set against a backdrop of radical social change, from a writer whose work is as provocative as it is precisely rendered.
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REPollock
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Next ebook! I sat next to a man on a plane reading this and when we landed, he recommended it to me. We hadn‘t spoken the whole flight. I‘ve remembered that ever since so since it‘s a kindle deal I bought it.

BarbaraBB Great anecdote. I hope you‘ll love it! 1w
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KarenUK
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

Loved this one! It‘s not for everyone - the plot is almost non existent, but the characters and the lovely prose more than makes up for it.
This story is in 5 parts, a tale of gay life in the UK from 1940‘s to today, each part almost like a novella. The first half is definitely more successful than the latter half, but it‘s still 4.5⭐️for the gorgeous writing, and making me immediately pick up 2 more from this author!
#pop19 #setonacollegecampus

Samplergal Next month. I bought it in Daunt Books in October! 🤪 2mo
CarolynM I liked this a lot too. 2mo
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KarenUK
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Another evening reading on the patio with some very welcome creatures..... these beauties have made a home on the lake recently... and despite my noisy dog Wally, seem to like our back yard..... #lakelife 😎🌴🦢🦢💕

JennyM So beautiful. 🦢 2mo
Suet624 Gorgeous! 2mo
Cathythoughts Love swans 😍 2mo
Centique 😍😍😍 2mo
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KarenUK
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Reading on my patio, and spotted this cool-looking fellow hanging out on my fence! I think he‘s a Cuban Anole 😎🦎#lakelife

JoScho Great picture! 💚 2mo
RachelO He‘s quite amazing! Not sure I‘d still be reading if he was on my patio though... 2mo
batsy Wow! 2mo
See All 11 Comments
LaraReads Beautiful! 🦎 That eye! 🖤💚 2mo
Simona He/she looks beautiful .... but my reaction would be 😱🏃‍♀️ 2mo
whatshesreadingnow How neat! 💚 2mo
BarbaraBB Scary 🤢 2mo
KarenUK @BarbaraBB @whatshesreadingnow @Simona @LaraReads @rachelo @batsy @joscho I‘m pretty sure he eats bugs, so he‘s fine by me! He can hang out all he wants! .... and he‘s little compared to the iguanas... only about 18 inches maybe... 2mo
Aimeesue So handsome! 2mo
Nute Wow! 2mo
DivineDiana Great shot! 💚 2mo
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KarenUK
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Just realized that all my #currentreads are color themed in my favorite color..... 💙💙💙

Samplergal Oh I have all three of those as well....just in a stack ready to read. Too many books to read. I‘ll never live long enough. 2mo
Macnjen I listened to IAm IAm IAm and really was enthralled. 2mo
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KarenUK
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain
1. The Island of Sea Women for B&N bookclub, The Sparsholt Affair on kindle and I am, I am, I am on audio.
2. The Hand that first held Mine by Maggie O‘Farrell (5⭐️read)
3. I‘m a total morning person.... I love the quiet of an early morning when no one else is up, a FL sunrise and the lake life in my yard....

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Cinfhen
Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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#MarchIntoThe70s #LondonCalling something about this cover caught my eye on my recent trip to London and I bought this book( along with 9 others😉) Of course, I haven‘t read it yet😝The blurb gave me Hearts Invisible Furies vibes, a young man good looking & charismatic develops a lifelong friendship with another young man when they both attend Oxford University in the Fall of 1940. Book spans 5 decades. #NeedToRead

CarolynM I liked this one a lot. Hope you do when you get there.🙂 3mo
LeahBergen I‘ve been eyeing this one, too. 3mo
Cinfhen I‘ll let you know @LeahBergen Was I correct that it has a Boyne vibe @CarolynM ???? 3mo
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CarolynM I've never read John Boyne so I don't know, sorry. 3mo
Cinfhen What????? You have too @CarolynM 3mo
TrishB Not read this one, read a couple of his others and enjoyed. 3mo
Cathythoughts My copy is in #hibernation I liked what I read though. Maybe when the winter is really over I‘ll take it out again 3mo
saresmoore I absolutely loved The Line of Beauty. When I was reading Heart‘s Invisible Furies, I kept mentally comparing Boyne to Hollinghurst. The verdict was decidedly not in Boyne‘s favor... 3mo
Cinfhen Good to know! Now I‘m excited to really get to this book 😁thanks @saresmoore 3mo
Lizpixie I‘ve heard great things about this. Let me know what you think❤️ 3mo
Cinfhen Will do @Lizpixie if it‘s really good I‘ll send it to you 😘 3mo
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Vicki22
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

This was a very Alan Hollinghurst book :) Beautiful prose and interesting characters. In my opinion, not as good as The Line of Beauty or The Strangers Child, but I think fans of Hollinghurst will enjoy it all the same. 4.5 ⭐️

CarolynM I really enjoyed this one too. I tried to read The Line of Beauty years ago but couldn't get into it. I should try again. 3mo
Vicki22 @CarolynM Yes, give it another go! I studied it at uni, so I probably overthought it way too much, but the part with Margaret Thatcher is one that has stuck with me...and that was over 10 years ago now 😄 3mo
Cinfhen I bought this book based on the blurb but never read the author before. I should probably pick it up and give it a go. 3mo
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Ray_bipasha95
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Congratulations @Nessavamusic !! Thank you for doing this! I would love The Sparsholt Affair in my bookshelf. #20K1KGIVEAWAY

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thebeercolonel
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
Pickpick

Big and brilliant beautiful of prose and fantastic in its gayness and mix of love ,heartbreaks and the progression of British 20th CENTURY life. My hat how I adore Alan Hollinghurst and his novels .

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Samplergal
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Only two, but theyve been on my library wait list for months. So now I own them. Beautiful day at a beautiful bookstore. If you are in London, a must see.

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andrew61
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

1 of the gr8 scenes of fiction is in the authors booker winner when the hero dances with Maggie thatcher. So i looked fwd to his latest and was absorbed by the story of how the gay experience changes from the early 40's to modern day through David and Johnny sparsholt (f+ son). A story which was absorbing , with gr8 characters but given the scope perhaps cd have been longer, &seemed to avoid whether deliberately the impact of aids. But worth rdg.

Samplergal It‘s on my library holds. It‘s been a few months... I do wish they would buy more copies. 8mo
HardcoverHearts I am so glad you mentioned the omission of anything to do with the AIDS epidemic. That was my difficulty with the book and I couldn‘t get past it in the end. 8mo
Cathythoughts Great review! I started this on Audible but never finished... I think maybe I‘ll get the book 👍🏻it might be one to read 8mo
Samplergal Great review! I just purchased this today because of your review! Thank you. 8mo
andrew61 @Samplergal hope you enjoy it. Look forward to seeing your comments. 8mo
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J3ff95
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
Pickpick

This is Hollinghurst‘s sixth novel & in terms of structure is very similar to his previous one ‘The Stranger‘s Child‘. It is divided into five sections, spanning wartime Oxford to modern day London. It reminded me a bit of ‘A Dance To The Music of Time‘ in that the characters fade in and out of the action over the course of the book - for example the ‘star‘ of the first section is barely seen or heard of in the other 4 sections.

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JenP
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book and the way the author captures the lives, relationships, and experiences of gay men in Britain over a 70+ year span. The writing is amazing and while the plot does drag in a few places, I still loved it.

Book is decided into 5 sections (section 1 is by far the best) and each section jumps ahead about 10 years to follow the Sparsholt family.

JenP @BarbaraBB I did really like it but I haven‘t read any of his other books so I had no comparison. I do get some of the critiques but overall a really enjoyable read for me 10mo
rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 10mo
BarbaraBB Thanks for this review. It moves up my tbr now despite my friend‘s opinion. I‘ve loved two other books by him, so I csb‘t go really wrong I think! 😘 10mo
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JenP
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Trying to cram in a few more books before I make my 2018 Man Booker longlist predictions. Each year on the blog our panel of judges reads and reviews the entire longlist. But before we begin we make predictions on which books will make it.

Do you think this one will make the longlist? I‘m only a few chapters in. Monday we post our predictions

Samplergal I will look forward to the predictions. I usually read a few of them. 10mo
ReadingEnvy I always love seeing your thoughts! 10mo
ReadingEnvy This particular one, I thought the first section was strongest. 10mo
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JenP @ReadingEnvy I love following your thoughts too. Which is your top pick for the longlist? 10mo
JenP @Samplergal I look forward to discussing the list with you! 10mo
JenP @ReadingEnvy my list of predictions is mostly done but I am reading a few more to try and see which ones will snag my last few prediction spots 10mo
ReadingEnvy @JenP I have a much harder time now that it includes USA now. Is there a master list somewhere? I wonder if Circe by Madeleine Miller might make a showing. 10mo
JenP @ReadingEnvy no, no master list. It can be any book published in UK between oct 2017-sept 2018. There is a goodreads list for voting but it‘s not a comprehensive list and based on the books nominated by members of that group. 10mo
JenP @ReadingEnvy what do you think of overstory? 10mo
ReadingEnvy Well if Overstory counts it's a definite yes for me. It's gorgeous so far and helpful that it's a previously nominated author. Ooh maybe Winter by Ali Smith or maybe that was on last year. 10mo
JenP @ReadingEnvy I‘m trying to read that one next -overstory. Here‘s the list: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/115479.Man_Booker_Prize_Eligible_2018 (edited) 10mo
ReadingEnvy I have this on my shelf but hear consistent good things 10mo
ReadingEnvy I hope this one isn't selected because I would hate to see it take a spot from someone else - 10mo
BarbaraBB Interesting predictions on the GoodReads list. I always look forward to the Man Booker Longlist. I don‘t think the Hollinghurst will make it there, but my predictions are mostly wrong😊 10mo
JenP @BarbaraBB have you read this one? Didn‘t like it? I‘m loving it so far but only a little way in. Yeah the goodreads list is interesting and I don‘t agree with many of the top ones. And Pullman‘s book is high up on the list which is bizarre to me. 10mo
BarbaraBB @JenP no I haven‘t read it yet, so I don‘t really know but I heard little about it. On the GoodReads list I see many I don‘t agree with too. But there are a lot there too that I haven‘t even heard of! 10mo
BarbaraBB A good friend of fine was disappointed by this Hollinghurst (while she is a big fan) so I have postponed reading it. I hope you‘ll like it, then I am motivated to pick it up too! 10mo
Liz_M I love the bookmark! ♥ 10mo
JenP @Liz_M one of my favorites! 10mo
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ablachly
Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

A glorious sprawling tale in 5 sections, The Sparsholt Affair follows a father and then his son from Oxford in 1940 through to modern day London—and how life for gay men in Britain changed over that 70 year period. This is a sweeping saga of family and a group of friends, quiet and romantic and patient as it moves along.

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ablachly
Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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“Each person, if he was lucky, found the place where he could shine, and the person to shine on.“

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Emilymdxn
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Yes I broke my book buying ban. No I don‘t feel bad...

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Lauren.Archer
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Next read...I heard this is a good saga. That is so my jam.

emmaturi It does sound very interesting! 12mo
emtobiasz Ooh, they were just talking about this on the podcast The Librarian is In! 12mo
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Redheadrambles
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have never read anything quite so beautifully written about the varieties of lust and desire and how changes in society impact these things but also how scandal from the past can overshadow the future . It is quite an exquisite feat of writing, ambitious in scope and yet ultimately a little bit of a disappointment in terms of a satisfying novel.

Hollinghurst is a sublime prose stylist and I think of this more as a beautiful failure.

jhod Lovely review. I think a beautiful failure is a great way to describe it - although I think I ended up giving it a high rating because of the writing. 13mo
Redheadrambles @jhod thanks ! Yes it is just exceptional writing and I now want to read more of his books. 13mo
ClairesReads An excellent review as always 13mo
Neale Beautiful failure, hmmmmm, don‘t know whether to stack it or not. 🤔 13mo
Redheadrambles @Neale hard to say my feeling is The Line of Beauty is his book to start with even though I have not read that one myself yet. 13mo
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Redheadrambles
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Hollinghurst is such a master wordsmith. Such brilliant and sly observations this one just seemed so astute and unusual

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MrBook
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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#TBRtemptation post 3! In 1940, Evert Dax and David Sparsholt meet at Oxford U. With military call-ups, the students sense futility with their studies cut short. What the two do this year will set a great deal in motion among a many people. You'll witness several generations, up through the present, love through uncertainty and change. Also, you'll see the evolution of the Modern, in art, architecture, etc. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

CarolynM Great book 13mo
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CharlotteK
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Met the man himself today. Very interesting and intelligent, fabulous dry sense of humour.

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HardcoverHearts
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Next up- I am already enchanted by this book set in Oxford. First impressions of this book are giving me The Virgin Suicide vibes with a group of young men fancying the new young man they see across the way from one of their rooms. While I know it won‘t mirror that novel, I do love when one book (knowingly or unknowingly) reflects another. And I am loving hearing the descriptions of all the places in Oxford that I adore. I have high hopes...

mrozzz Oxford! 😍 14mo
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RobinGustafson
Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Saturday postal delivery

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LauraBeth
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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👯‍♀️

saresmoore Fun! 1y
LeahBergen Ooo, that‘s cool. 1y
LauraBeth @saresmoore and @LeahBergen this is the only thing that my brain does well 😂 1y
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kbuggle
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

Although the story of The Sparsholt Affair at times felt like it dragged on a bit longer than necessary, Hollinghurt‘s writing is so beautiful, especially when describing quiet, almost ‘nothing‘ moments, in such a fascinating way.

Thank you to Knopf and Goodreads for an advanced copy to enjoy! Happy pub week

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kbuggle
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Big thank you to AAKnopf and Goodreads for an advanced copy of the new Alan Hollinghurst- I think this is exactly what my lackluster January needs.

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Cathythoughts
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Later in the day. Now some bookish activity can begin. Same beach. The tide is going out. ✨✨✨

robinb Beautiful! ❤️❤️ 1y
GripLitGrl 💞 1y
LeahBergen 😍😍😍 1y
51 likes4 comments
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Cathythoughts
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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The Sparsholt Affair is my next Audible book. Another #blameitonlitsy Im going in blind. This is the beach outside our hotel in Inchydoney - so I may start this Audible- or I may just have to listen to the sea....

Lizpixie Oh that looks heavenly! I‘d just listen to the sea 🌊 1y
eanderson Oh my!!!! 😍❤️❤️❤️❤️ this looks so peaceful! Love it!!! 1y
batsy Oh yes.. The sound of the sea, for sure 🌊💙 1y
See All 13 Comments
Cinfhen So peaceful 💙💙💙 1y
TrishB Beautiful 💜 1y
youneverarrived Looks beautiful 💙💙 1y
readordierachel Lovely view! 1y
CarolynM Looks very relaxing. Hope you enjoy Sparsholt. 1y
Cathythoughts @CarolynM thanks 🙏. Did you enjoy Sparsholt ? I haven‘t started the audible yet ! Hopefully today as it‘s raining. Good book weather 👍 1y
CarolynM Yes, I liked it a lot. He took a different approach to an intergenerational story and it worked for me. 1y
Cathythoughts @CarolynM thanks! That‘s good to hear. 👍 1y
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JamesChatham
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

Alan Hollinghurst‘s new novel, The Sparsholt Affair, is an impressive portrait of the titular character, David Sparsholt, through the eyes of various people surrounding him. Beautifully and sensually written, it follows three generations, showing change in time both in Sparsholt‘s character as well as public perception of gay people in society. This was my first Hollinghurst, and it definitely won‘t be my last.

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JamesChatham
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Having a nice evening in with a mug of tea, finishing up Alan Hollinghurst‘s wonderful The Sparsholt Affair. Hope everyone‘s been great and reading something fantastic!

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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Mehso-so

BookTube review here: https://youtu.be/Sn-SYlBbKb0
I feel a peculiar kind of sadness, devastation even, that this novel—which started out so brilliantly I expected it‘d end up being among my top reads of the year—slipped out of Hollinghurst‘s grasp in the second half, evoking the quote about a painter losing a painting from Guare‘s Six Degrees of Separation. The first section would have been a masterpiece as a stand-alone novella.

Grimscythe Subbed! I‘m looking forward to starting my own soon! 1y
TrishB Awww....disappointing. 1y
Lindy Great face! (Too bad the book was disappointing, however. Hate when that happens.) 1y
See All 7 Comments
LeahBergen Nooo! ☹️ 1y
minkyb Sorry... 1y
saresmoore Bummer. 1y
HardcoverHearts I couldn‘t agree more. And ultimately, how was I supposed to buy into a novel with a large portion in modern day with no mention of the AIDS crisis? I honestly am baffled by that decision and don‘t know what to say about it other than it really upset me. Very disappointed. Given how many loved ones I have lost, it felt like an erasure. Any ideas on that? 14mo
64 likes1 stack add7 comments
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ScorpioBookDreams
Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Treated myself to two signed books at Foyles today.

RealBooks4ever Cool covers! 😻 1y
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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saresmoore Perfect picture pairing! 1y
LeahBergen This is great. 1y
TrishB ❤️ 1y
Christine11 Lovely quote 😊 1y
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Bibliogeekery Are you enjoying this book? I'm looking forward to reading it! 1y
shawnmooney @Bibliogeekery Am I ever! 😍 1y
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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jhod
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

I spent #Litsycrash2017 reading this which is beautiful. Parents, love, lust, beautiful writing, vivid descriptions of Oxford and London from the 1930s to the present, recommended. The chapter in the nightclub was brilliant.

AmyG That sounds really good. 1y
TheSketchyReader I‘m intrigued! I love Oxford 1y
CarolynM I really enjoyed this one 1y
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Cathythoughts Sounds great stacking ✨ 1y
SilversReviews LOVE THE FRAMES. 1y
jhod @SilversReviews oh my gosh, it's so odd what we notice isn't it - I didn't notice the cover at all until you wrote that! (I read it on kindle). Must observe More! 1y
jhod @CarolynM I'm going to stalk you for more good reads! 1y
SilversReviews @jhod LOL!!! It is difficult to notice a cover when you read on a Kindle. 1y
jhod @AmyG @TheSketchyReader @Cathythoughts go for it - it's written in five parts from a different characters viewpoint and in a different decade so think there's something for everyone ! 1y
TheSketchyReader @jhod okay I‘m adding it to my stack!!! 1y
CarolynM @jhod I see you've stacked some of the books I've posted about recently. I'd love to hear what you think if/when you get around to reading them.🙂 (edited) 1y
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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LeahBergen I think I‘d be a really crap sailor. 😆 1y
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Suet624 Lovely. 1y
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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LeahBergen This sounds divine. 😍 1y
shawnmooney @LeahBergen it‘s sure starting out that way! 😍 1y
MayJasper I like 1y
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CarolynM
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Pickpick

I've just read Alan Hollinghurst describe his work as "gay lit" and I guess that's right, but it seems to me that his observations of families and friendship groups are universal. I enjoyed the way he invoked the various time periods the story covered and the way he developed his characters over that time.

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PegStar
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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This has one of the best opening scenes I have read in a book. Instead of “introducing” us to the main characters Hollinghurst places them in a most unusual activity!

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jhod
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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Congrats @Cinfhen on your massive milestone!
And thanks for playing #payitforward and the #crushingongiveaway
I would buy the new Hollinghurst :-)

Cinfhen That sounds great! 2y
TrishB I've got my eye of that too! 2y
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shawnmooney
The Sparsholt Affair | Alan Hollinghurst
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WOO HOO! ❤️💜❤️💜

BarbaraBB That is good news! 2y
LeahBergen I've never read him! 2y
shawnmooney @LeahBergen Oooh, well I think you'd love my favorite of his: 2y
LeahBergen Why have I never read that?? It sounds fantastic. Stacked! 2y
Bibliogeekery Exciting news 🎉🎉🎉 2y
39 likes2 stack adds5 comments