Nick's millionaire Lebanese-born lover, Wani, is hooked on extreme porn and takes bucketloads of cocaine. One reviewer called Wani depraved, an odd remark to make about Hollinghurst's morally neutral fiction. "I don't make moral judgments," he says. "I prefer to let things reverberate with their own ironies and implications. That was one of the interests of writing this book from the inside and not just writing something that broadly satirised or bashed up the 80s. To tell it from the point of view of someone who was very seduced by it." Nick is as morally compromised as the rest. Or not, depending on your point of view.
Judgments are easy. Every person has them. Insights are rarer.