The Guardian writes, "The chairman of judges, the former arts minister Chris Smith, said: "This was an incredibly difficult and close decision. It has resulted in a winning novel that is exciting, brilliantly written and gets deep under the skin of the Thatcherite 80s. The search for love, sex and beauty is rarely so exquisitely done".
The result was a split vote, with Hollinghurst, Mitchell and Colm Tóibin's The Master, a fictional portrait of the author Henry James, "all very close".
The Line of Beauty is a sumptuously written parable of the well-upholstered rise, decline and disgraceful fall of Nick Guest, an Oxford postgraduate who is a proud, detached connoisseur of literature, music and style. "
Here is a good source of information on Alan Hollinghurst.