This story is set in the summer of 1983, where young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens'. Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. Nick had idolized Toby at Oxford, but in his London life, it will be the troubled Catherine who becomes his friend and his uneasy responsibility. At the boom years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick becomes caught up in the Feddens' world. In an era of endless possibility, Nick finds himself able to pursue his own private obsession, with beauty - a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends. 'Luminous ...[an] astonishingly Jamesian novel, a crafty, glittering, sidelong bid by a contemporary master of English prose to be considered heir to James himself. For a novel that spans only four years, 1983 to 1987, it seems to encompass a world as capacious as any in a James novel' - "The Times". 'There is something memorable on every page...there is much to savour in "The Line of Beauty", not least its humour, a shivering yet morally exacting satire that leaves no character untouched' - "Times Literary Supplement". 'Superb...Alan Hollinghurst is in the prime of his writing life, and the immaculate rolling cadences of his new novel are right now the keenest pleasure English prose has to offer' - "Daily Telegraph". 'Quite simply a joy to read. It is solid and traditional, beautifully crafted. A quiet masterpiece' - "Scotland on Sunday."--This text refers to the Paperback edition.