“The Sparsholt Affair”

I tried to plug on to the end of Alan Hollinghurst’s “The Sparsholt Affair” to see if anything happened. It didn’t. Just page after page of young men lusting after other young men, interspersed with middle-aged men disappearing stage left with other middle-aged men.

You get the picture… I gave up after 180 pages.

Was it just the subject matter I struggled with? I hope not. I didn’t care for the characters; they felt too much like caricatures to be real. And the situations contrived. However, I find myself wondering how much that is true in any book. I worry about my own…

The first section – set in the 1940’s – has a style to match. It’s a little heavy and ponderous – but that’s clearly intentional, as the second section (set years later) has a far more modern tone and feel. Someone coming cold to the book might easily abandon it early on if they struggle with that initial style. At least I got to part two…

Sorry if you read it and really liked it; it just wasn’t for me.