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Summary

In October 1940, the handsome young David Sparsholt arrives in Oxford. A keen athlete and oarsman, he at first seems unaware of the effect he has on others - particularly on the lonely and romantic Evert Dax, son of a celebrated novelist and destined to become a writer himself. While the Blitz rages in London, Oxford exists at a strange remove: an ephemeral, uncertain place in which nightly blackouts conceal secret liaisons. Over the course of one momentous term, David and Evert forge an unlikely friendship that will colour their lives for decades to come....

Alan Hollinghurst's masterly new novel evokes the intimate relationships of a group of friends bound together by art, literature and love across three generations. It explores the social and sexual revolutions of the most pivotal years of the past century, whose life-changing consequences are still being played out to this day. Richly observed, disarmingly witty and emotionally charged, The Sparsholt Affair is an unmissable achievement from one of our finest writers.

©2017 Alan Hollinghurst (P)2017 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

What listeners say about The Sparsholt Affair

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good - not extraordinary

A very reliably good story with some wonderful characters, cleverness of plot, carried along by the beauty of the English language. Beautifully crafted, heart breaking story that leaves you with that familiar Hollinghurst-iesq sense of loss, emptiness, desperate love, quest for beauty, and the ultimate frustration of having lost the battle with time.

7 people found this helpful

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A triumph, Hollinghurst had me from begging to end

A stark and and reviving story of one family name through the generations. An intimate touch on a lifestyle many gay men will understand.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Life among the gay arty literati .

Winds and wends its way through lives. At times deliciously entertaining, at times not. Became a little bored with the people though, and after a while wasn't that curious to find out what was going to happen to anyone of them.



10 people found this helpful

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Truly Beautiful

Probably the finest book I have ever read. Incredibly poignant and written with such beautiful stylistic flair that the book becomes a joy to read not just for the story but for the sheer quality of the prose itself. A feat very few authors ever accomplish and speaks volumes of Hollinghurst's command of the English language.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

The peripheral characters added nothing to what could have been rich and colourful if only he had stuck to the original four.too long by about ten chapters.

2 people found this helpful

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Terrific

Memorable, well drawn characters. The skips in time done with ease and interest. Beautiful writing.

1 person found this helpful

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Thought provoking

What an incredible story of intertwining generations and the attitude of society on the lives of lgbtq people. This book is a study in emotion; joy, acceptance, loss, grief, hate, lust. .. but above all love. Gripping and marvellous with a wonderful narrator. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 11-10-18

Evocative of the periods covered...

I found the story absorbing, although occasional jumps in time were sometimes frustrating, they soon made sense.
The quality of Alan Hollinghurst's descriptions are wonderful and really conjure vision of the times, places and events described.
David Dawson's narration is the final cherry, wandering through believable regional accents with ease. I will be making sure to find other titles that utilise his narratory skills.

1 person found this helpful

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Long Slog But Worth It

Well that was a very long slog. But very, very worth it. Looking forward to reading another of his books.

1 person found this helpful

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Superb

A story which spans several decades and is told in five separate points in time. A consummate novel full of beauty, perceptive and insight. Splendidly narrated too. Exquisite.

1 person found this helpful