The choice of book – Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty – was not a great success if counting the number of people who enjoyed it, but the members of Mayfair Library Reading Group nonetheless had a good discussion about it over a glass or two of wine!
It was thought to be quite well written, but no one felt any empathy towards any of the characters (except perhaps Catherine), it was felt to be essentially lacking in anything new to say about the 1980s and Thatcher’s era, with far too much to say about gay sexual acts.
“Boring and repetitious” seemed to sum it up for some, while others found it funny, well observed and interesting in its depiction of the upper classes and the London gay scene in the pre- or early Aids era. The all-women group did wonder if men would have enjoyed the book more – after all they are meant to think about sex a little more often than women (19 times a day rather than 10 for women, apparently). We thought about having a meeting just to discuss erotic literature but no one was very keen – we all had our hair to wash that evening…