Hotel Folding Star

I’ve started a Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst back when I was at Amherst, but I wasn’t able to finish before the book was due back at Frost. So last week, I went to the Brooklyn Public Library to finish what I started. Unfortunately, Swimming Pool wasn’t there, but Hollinghurst’s The Folding Star was.

It isn’t a perfect novel; I hated the way everything got resolved, and I was not particularly fond the protagonist’s object of affection. But I grew very comfortable with living in this obsessive little Flemish town. Now I feel as if I’ve been evicted. The writing was so enviably beautiful and lofty, yet very warm and engaging. And the sex scenes are incredible! After attempting to write some sex scenes this year, I’ve gained a new found respect for well written sex scenes. Even a painful unsexy yet well written scene is very hard to do. (See the sex scene in On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Yijks.)

I’ve started Slow Man by Coetzee, but it’s so stipped down and sharply written compared to Folding Star. It’s like leaving a luxurious Carribbean resort to go on a hike in a beautiful yet remote part of Iceland. Their both worth the visit, yet the drop in temperature can be startling.

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