But that's just the surface. Look deeper, at the inner structure, the bones of the thing. His silly, hateful people fall into lovely patterns- as do Hollinghurst's.
Up and down- the switchback pattern of moods and epochs. Of the cocaine high. Of economies.
We're watching the 1980s pass from inside the household of a Thatcherite MP, through the eyes of a Jamesian outsider and aesthete- or parasite if you prefer. If you know your history you sort of know what's coming.
The upward curve, the downward curve.
So pretty, so graceful, so right.