Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst


Have just finished reading The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst.

The paperback has 560 pages, and the novel is so well-written that at no time did I feel bored with it.

Ostensibly about a poet (obviously based on Rupert Brooke) it is actually a literary detective story comparable to AS Byatt's Possession.

Alan Hollinghurst is a seditious writer - he subverts the country house Brideshead genre, he undermines the reputation of Rupert Brooke, he exposes the myth-making surrounding the Great War.

The first section is slightly cloying (home life among the Honeychurches I thought), and I did not enjoy entering the soul of a bank clerk, but it is a fine book.

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