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Download The Swimming Pool Library Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Swimming Pool Library (Unabridged), by Alan Hollinghurst
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,789 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Hollinghurst Narrator: Samuel West Publisher: AudioGO Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN:
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This novel centres on the friendship of William Beckwith, a young gay aristocrat who leads a life of privilege and promiscuity, and the elderly Lord Nantwich, who is searching for someone to write his biography. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David | 2/16/2014

    " I have one word that instantly springs to mind after reading this: tedious. I have an aversion to giving up on a book and never picking it up again but I'm pretty sure, had this not been required reading for University, that this novel would have suffered that rare fate. As a writer, one of the most obvious and basic factors I've learnt to take into consideration is the importance of creating characters that provoke the audience to have feelings, one way or another. The main issue I had with this text was that I had no interest in any of the characters involved whatsoever. The protagonist was shallow and superficial. He lacked any appealing qualities and with little absorption to his character, I didn't find the first person story at all engaging. What bothered me most was the constant feeling that Hollinghurst actually wanted me to like this character, as if he empathised with his traits. I wasn't convinced. In addition to this, another issue that I had with 'The Swimming Pool Library' was that it seemed to have two parallel stories taking place at once, of equal importance. The problem was that both stories weren't exactly interesting and perhaps suffered from the fact that neither were given precedence. Clutching at straws, the only positive thing I have to say about this text at all is that it is well written. Aside from the odd brave (borderline pretentious) sentences, it's very easy to follow. It's just a shame that it was painfully dull. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 2/16/2014

    " I read this book every few years. Such a wonderful evocation of the final moments before the AIDS explosion "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luke | 2/8/2014

    " A very good and shocking read. That is all "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ella Roby | 2/7/2014

    " Who would have thought that reading about gay sex could be so tedious? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 2/6/2014

    " I understand that the story is meant to portray a particular point of time in history, but I was still not drawn into the life of the hedonistic protagonist. All other characters seemed way more interesting, I would have preferred more focus on them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Iva | 2/5/2014

    " Issues of wealth, race, class and underground gay life in pre-AIDS London permeate this first person novel, a perfect pick for Pride Week (or any week, actually.) Hollinghurst's language is descriptive and transportive. There is a diary of an officer in Sudan in the 1920's juxtaposed with 80's London's club and gym scene. He does a heartbreaking prison scene. He creates a sort of Harriet the Spy 6-year old nephew. His characters are not to be forgotten. Hollinghurst creates scenes of heartbreak and passion and I can't think of any other writer to compare him with. Maybe Edmund White or Michael Cunningham. Remarkable book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 1/10/2014

    " This was a book that took a few times for me to pick and read. Once I settled in, I found the story gripping g. Worth sticking with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 1/10/2014

    " Good read with lots of gay sex. But what does it say? Not really sure and not sure if I agree with what I think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth Shields-Szostak | 8/11/2013

    " 1st edition, with add'l loosely inserted page signed & inscribed by author "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Florebunda | 7/18/2013

    " A good one to listen to; I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much had I read the novel. The narrator (Samuel West) did a terrific job. Fascinating insight to early 80s London. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamsin | 7/5/2013

    " This was on the recommended shelf at the library and I think that it is only the tiny font size that has stopped a lot of heartatacks happening in little old ladies! So well written and great creation of the story, if you can stomach the sex. In the line of beauty has nothing on this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/4/2013

    " This might be my favorite novel. Hollinghurst is just such a marvelously talented writer, and this story is so layered and textured. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Garland | 11/21/2012

    " It took so long to read for so little pay off. I enjoyed it, the language of it, but a lot of questions were unresolved for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc | 7/18/2012

    " A masterpiece. Funny how reading it at age 45 differs from my first time around, 11 years ago. There are not enough superlatives. Eager to re-read the other four. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 12/15/2011

    " I think that was the first gay book that i read! I do remember being swept away by the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erika | 10/27/2011

    " this read had me walking around town looking through the lens of a gay man. i could not identify one female character in the book, except women by association (sister, wife, etc.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Yi-Sheng | 7/18/2011

    " Has its literary and historical merit as a document of gay Britain, I'm sure, but its protagonist was just such a narcissistic asshole that I got quite turned off the entire business. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosa | 5/9/2011

    " too much sex, not enough plot ... but beautiful language
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erika | 1/12/2011

    " this read had me walking around town looking through the lens of a gay man. i could not identify one female character in the book, except women by association (sister, wife, etc.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ira | 10/31/2010

    " Really taken surprise by this one and was unable to put it down. Interesting characters and complex plot. Enjoyed the descriptions of every detail that surrounds the protagonist. Really captures the essence of the 80's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 9/3/2010

    " Alan Hollinghurst's riveting/haunting/beautiful (Henry Jamesian) depiction of 20th-century gay London (through the 80s) is perfect. Required reading for anyone interested in postwar nonheterosexual literary fiction. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kate | 8/1/2010

    " Quite over the top and on the whole...not worth making it all the way through. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Annette | 4/13/2010

    " Couldn't finish this one, got half way and gave up, too much like a chore. "

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