The Swimming-Pool Library
By Alan Hollinghurst
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679722564, 352pp.)
Publication Date: September 19, 1989
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A literary sensation and bestseller both in England and America, The Swimming-Pool Library is an enthralling, darkly erotic novel of homosexuality before the scourge of AIDS; an elegy, possessed of chilling clarity, for ways of life that can no longer be lived with impunity. "Impeccably composed and meticulously particular in its observation of everything" (Harpers & Queen), it focuses on the friendship of two men: William Beckwith, a young gay aristocrat who leads a life of privilege and promiscuity, and the elderly Lord Nantwich, an old Africa hand, searching for someone to write his biography and inherit his traditions.
"Easily one of [1988's] most important debuts...A buoyant, smart, irrepressibly sexy book...that has the heft and resonance of a classic modernist novel, the sprawl and surprise of an intimate memoir." -- Village Voice Literary Supplement"The swimming-pool library beautifully welds the standard conventions of fiction to a tale of modern transgressions. It tells of impurities with shimmering elegance, of complexities with a camp-fired wit and of truths with a fiction's solid grace." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Absorbing and delightful...some of the brightest, smartest writing to come along in a long time." -- Houston Post