Here are the interlocking affairs of four men Robin Woodfield, an architect in his late forties trying to build an idyllic life in Dorset with his young lover, Justin, a would be actor increasingly disenchanted with the countryside Robin s attractive and dangerously volatile twenty two year old son Danny and Justin s former boyfriend Alex, whose life is unexpectedly traHere are the interlocking affairs of four men Robin Woodfield, an architect in his late forties trying to build an idyllic life in Dorset with his young lover, Justin, a would be actor increasingly disenchanted with the countryside Robin s attractive and dangerously volatile twenty two year old son Danny and Justin s former boyfriend Alex, whose life is unexpectedly transformed by a night of house music and a tab of ecstasy.As each falls under the spell of romance or drugs, country living or rough trade, a richly ironic picture emerges of the illusions of love, and of the clashing imperatives of modern gay life the hunger for contact and the fear of commitment, the need for permanence and the continual disruptions of sex Ultimately, The Spell details the restlessness of every human heart.
The Spell Here are the interlocking affairs of four men Robin Woodfield an architect in his late forties trying to build an idyllic life in Dorset with his young lover Justin a would be actor increasingly di
This book, which has been much praised, goes to show that if your standing in the literary world is elevated enough, you can get away with writing a shit novel I, too, love Alan Hollinghurst, but I cannot pretend this book is anything but awful.The storyline in as much as there is one concerns a father and son, both gay, and their lovers present and former, which include some overlap However, what should be a fizzy soap opera is merely banal and depressing The novel seems rudderless not much hap [...]
Well disguised porn Enthusiastically gay the only type you can ever possibly find that s these things dramatic, haunting, even poetic Hollinghurst is incomparable his niche is his very own.
This is the third of Hollinghurst s four novels And from what I can gather, the runt of the litter for quite a few of his readers Not hard to see why, given what it followed a brace of densely brilliant novels which permit us to richly inhabit the lyric sensibilities of two very sinuous and engaging first person narrators writers are still taking up the gauntlet of Lolita The Spell, by contrast, flits among a circle of suggestively drawn but necessarily flatter London men Hollinghurst does the c [...]
Hollinghurst s The Line of Beauty, which won the 2004 Booker, may be one of the best novels I ve read, among those novels in the Forsterian Jamesian tradition, if such a tradition can exist You know what I m talking about Novels about the lives of interesting people just a shade fascinating and a shade better looking than average, whose lives fall in the midst of some greater sociopolitical moment c c What s surprising is how that incredible novel came out of the writer who produced this small [...]
Fiction This book was so unpleasant I finished it in two days I d read a chapter, make a face, put the book down, and walk away Later I d find myself reading it again It s a terrible book filled with gay men who are all cheating on each other The really annoying thing is that it s quite well written so I kept reading even though I didn t want to I wanted to see how it turned out, but I didn t care about any of the characters because they obviously didn t care about each other So that was depress [...]
Ultimately, The Spell details the restlessness of every human heart, informs the blurb No, that is exactly wrong What it details is the restlessness of the gay penis The novel is about a group of gay men in 1990s Britain, ranging in age from late teens to mid forties, who desperately try to determine the size and shape of other men s cock and balls in whatever pants or underwear begarbs them.As such, the novel was about 70% too gay for me It was like a dish that had two ingredients but needed fi [...]
Hollinghurst s prose is as frank and lush as ever in The Spell He reveals his characters intricate internal worlds to the reader s benefit, they are wonderfully observant and self aware, yet they do not communicate well with one another They withhold information they hesitate to reveal themselves It s not unexplored territory, but Hollinghurst deals brilliantly with characters emotional and psychological lives I m left wondering if they re all happy with who and what they end up with, or are the [...]
Although to my mind Hollinghurst CAN T write a truly bad book, this does not live up to the sheer brilliance of the other three of his I have read it just didn t have the compulsive forward thrust that keeps one really interested Am not sure exactly why that should be the prose is gorgeous as always, and the characters are varied and for the most part interesting But this short book took me longer to read than his magnum opus, The Line of Beauty, so something didn t quite click.
Wow, this book is bad Nearly all the characters are hollow, superficial, empty that doesn t make it easy to like them or even care about them but maybe that s intentional what do I know The Swimming Pool Library wasn t anything special either, but this one is terrible.I was tempted to give The Spell two stars but that would be too harsh In the end, it s just a gay variation of chick lit No artistic value expected required Read it if you need to turn off your brain but stay occupied with somethin [...]
4 stars becuz of the extremely lengthy descriptions of environment.
I was warned about this, so can I really complain It s just not good I can see what it tries to, but the skills weren t there yet I hear that his later work is much better and I am looking forward to reading that.It s a strange glimpse into the upper middle class English country side with a few trips into London night clubs All the characters are gay men and it s about their interweaving relationships At first that was actually entertaining to a degree, but as the story progressed everybody just [...]
This book was difficult to like both for the writing style and the content The wandering prose was no doubt meant to be artful and evocative but all it achieved a sense of confusion Scene changes and points in time were difficult to discern, which made the story hard to follow Speaking of story there wasn t much of it, though I suppose this is a slice of life style novel The scenes and characters are recognisable from real life groups of gay men who will only befriend good looking people, take d [...]
Beautifully written story by Hollinghurst describes the loves and betrayals of 3 gay men How each cope and their feelings toward each other as they meet on a weekend Two are ex lovers and we find a contrived weekend merely to compare loves It s cruel and Justin is cruel Robbin is hot Alex is dumped and lonely.Hollinghurst manages to illicit emotions and feelings from the smallest things in life and encapsulate them and uses them to describe how a little stream, dust motes in the air all of these [...]
Every morning when Alex woke he thought of Danny his thoughts emerged from the watery interview or vanishing railway carriage of dreams, stumbled on for a few forgetful instances, pale and directionless, and then fled towards Danny in a grateful glow of remembered purpose It was love, and all the day would be coloured by it Or perhaps love was the primary thing, onto which the events of the day were transiently projected that was how it seemed afterwards, when his memory gave back rather little [...]
This was another book I had abandoned out of sheer boredom This time I finished the book, but the book was like eating oatmeal Nothing wrong with oatmeal, it s hot and nourishing, but not exciting The characters were unappealing and unlikeable In truth, they were worse than oatmeal On the whole the writing seemed accomplished but too many passages tried too hard The effort in the writing translated into effort in reading There seemed to be no joy in the act of writing I confess the extremely Bri [...]
Alright, so the ending scene was a little silly and, as a whole, this book doesn t come close to the dizzying literary heights of The Line of Beauty It is, however, a wonderful read I love the way Hollinghurst evokes character and place and community, I love the awkward terrible sad sweet workings of the relationships he portrays, I love being dropped into a world in which nearly everyone is gay That 1 star review up there really bugs me I can t understand why anyone looking for a fast paced plo [...]
Alan Hollinghurst writes lush, beautiful sentences about lush, beautiful men who spend lots of time staring hungrily at each other s bodies and sleeping with each other s boyfriends Compared to his other novels, this one was a bit of a lightweight definitely not the same caliber as either The Swimming Pool Library or The Line of Beauty, both of which would probably make my top 25 But he s such an amazingly astute observer of character that I didn t even mind and my god, what gorgeous prose.
Not nearly as good as The Line of Beauty, which is one of my all time favorites, but still a pretty good book Hollinghurst is probably my favorite author in the gay literature genre His stories have great characters, and he is able to capture the most ordinary of interactions, and people s reaction to them, in such an insightful and authenticate way If you haven t read him yet, I d start with the Line of Beauty It is a little dense, but totally worth it.
Simply put, this novel is about four gay men and their relationships that are always in a state of falling apart or coming together The prose is beautiful, and the main reason I picked upThe Spell Having never read Hollinghurst, I was excited to delve into one of his works and see what all the hype was about Evidently, I picked the wrong novel The characters are not just unlikable which I could handle , they re entirely two dimensional, propelled by the most basic of desires There s no motivatio [...]
Very much enjoyed this one Funny and a great comedy of manners It s interesting to trace the original elements that were later explored in the Line of Beauty Great for anyone who likes Hollinghurst.
Some really stand out moments in this book and a very enjoyable read
Sex, sex, sexthe catalytic role of sex and beauty in gay world.
So good I read it twice Has the best description of being high on drugs that I have ever read.
Published by Penguin May 1, 2000 , The Spell by Alan Hollinghurst marked Mr Hollinghurst as perhaps the eminent classical Gay stylist writer since E.M Forester.Booker prize winning author The Line of Beauty Alan Hollinghurst s The Spell is an earlier, and relaxed book than Beauty Here Hollinghurst has a really fine sense of gay life in England in the late 1990 s His protagonists are 4 gay men.Alex the sensitive of the group is a bit over 40 and has just lost his younger lover, Justin, to Robin [...]
Given my fondness for The Line of Beauty and Hollinghurst s vivid yet succinct prose, I figured I might as well try this outrightly gay novel The jacket cover certainly didn t usher me into the pages a tab of ecstacy and a night of house music Ah , but I began with a quiet ease As a gay male myself, I was all about reading a book that tried to qualitatively describe the than sometime isolation of the modern gay man Rather than offering any insights in regards to why these characters acted in p [...]
I confess that I am partial to Alan Hollinghurst s gorgeous prose, so much so that I sometimes pay scant attention to the stories he is trying to tell, which incidentally feel conspicuously similar at least this one feels similar to both The Swimmingpool Library and The Line of Beauty I deeply admire his writing than perhaps any other writer but I merely like the content of his stories I haven t yet read a story by him where I really liked a character, possibly apart from Alex in this one, but [...]
I have enjoyed this book as much as I have Hollinghurst s other works I have read What I enjoy is the man s use of the language I really find it spellbinding The turn of phrase, the descriptive passages laying out a scene, sketching in the character of people, or simply revelling in nature It could be over woked at someone else s hands but for me he has the gift.I find I have little sympathy in the tragi comic meanderings of the gay characters in his story I feel for Alex but there seems to be s [...]
I enjoyed this book, centred around 4 men The narrative switches to each of their points of view, so that you gain insight into each of the characters Robin is the first character we meet, he s a student in the Arizona Desert, who is clearly gay but has a girlfriend at home in England who announces she is pregnant during a long distance call Fast forward some years Justin is the callous, promiscuous youth that Robin falls in love with He drinks, he s funny, and he s about as selfish as you can g [...]