Alan Hollinghurst's new novel is a comedy of sexual manners that follows the interlocking affairs of four men: Robin Woodfield, an architect in his late forties, who is trying to build an idyllic life in Dorset with his younger lover, Justin, a would-be actor increasingly disenchanted with the countryside; Robin's 22-year-old son Danny, a volatile beauty who lives for clubbing and casual sex; and the shy Alex, whose life is transformed by house music and a tab of ecstasy. As each in turn falls under the spell of romance or drugs, country living or rough trade, a richly ironic picture emerges of the clashing imperatives of modern gay life, the hunger for contact and the fear of commitment, the need for permanence and the continual disruptions of sex. At once lyrical and farcical, sceptical and romantic, "The Spell" confirms Alan Hollinghurst as one of Britain's most important novelists.
'A sparkling celebration of sexual intrigue... stylish, original, bizarrely beautiful' Francis Wyndham, Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year 20050324
Alan Hollinghurst was born in 1954. He is the author of one of the most highly praised first novels to appear in the 1980s, The Swimming-Pool Library (1988), and was selected as one of the Best Young British Novelists 1993. His second novel, The Folding Star, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize. He has since written The Spell. He was on the staff of the Times Literary Supplement from 1982 to 1995.