Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. Alan Hollinghurst is a genius with character and theme. I could touch, smell, hear these people, even though upper-class Londoners are not really people I know a lot about. The main character is touching, self-aware, slightly deluded and entirely human. He lusts and crushes and settles in love. He lies to himself, but less frequently to others. And he is used and taken advantage of as only those who feel entirely superior can manage.
And those others? Those "entirely superior" friends. They too are flawed and human and touching. Closeted rich-boys, manic-depressive unloved girls. Blind wives. Philandering husbands. The characters are all recognizable without ever being tropes.