Each character, including the most seemingly despicable--abusive father, fag-bashing
brother, border-guard cousin--emerges as deeply human.
In short order, Alan gets ditched by his flaky New Age girlfriend (Sirena Irwin), comes out of the closet, buries a fag-bashing
book he secretly wrote, and moves in with Tommy.
Tobacco Control, an US fag-bashing
journal, claims cigarette firms have been pushing product placement in movies, persuading film-makers to stick a ciggy between their actors' lips just in time for the big close-up.
Having run out of options, we're left to conclude that it is what it appears to be on the literal surface: a series of fag-bashing
, woman-hating rants.
Yet Hollinghurst succeeds, as each of his episodes--black-tie nights at the opera; fag-bashing
punks in East London council housing; a scene at Heaven, the London gay nightclub of the moment where stars flame and gutter; and cruising, in both senses, on the Nile--is a finely etched Hogarth sketch for our times, these sketches building on one another to form a powerful, unexpectedly moving narrative.
"Andy and I are really strongly against fag-bashing