Oy. Two facts emerge as, upon reflection, very telling about this "novel". #1: After three degrees in English, I had never heard of this author or novel series, until when searching for a new Simon Vance narration, I stumbled upon this new release. #2: When doing a superficial search before purchase, wikipedia spit up an entry on the longest (ie: wordiest) works of literature in the history of the written word. Ugh. I like long, rambling narrations as much as (MORE) than the next person, but this one lacks warmth, substance, humor (though the author tries to be funny), and plot. I'm midway through book two (of 3) of the first "movement" (of 12!), and honestly, even Vance's truly incredible narration can't make me continue. Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull. (get it?) Dull Dull Dull Dull.......Though the phrase in the novel: "earmarking duchesses" is awesome - described as (in my words) the hungry look of someone scanning a room (at a dinner party for ex) for important people who can be of use.
Great stories, smashing first chapter. Although coloured by the line which may be the author's philosophy: life is lived at the surface (i.e superficially).
Please do listen!
Everyone is a story . .. I wish I had time to read or hear them all ! English teacher. Goodreads : On The Southern Literary Traill, WWI
This is one of the most unique and incredibly entertaining series of books I feel an author has ever created to my knowledge ! It is all the things that life are made of without taking life to terribly serious . The books are a good analogy for life in expressing lifef's ups and downs and comings and goings with the emotions and moods that reflect each occassion . There are so many people in the stories and yet Powell finds a way for his readers to remember and become involved with each of them . This is only halfway through the volumes and I can't wait to move on . Let the dance continue !
A wonderfully full and loving look at an entire era and way of life. While it may start out a little slow, it soon wraps you up in all of its fascinating characters and connections.
Julian Fellows, please take note. Nick Jenkins and his world need you! The characters are unforgettable and the period touches impeccably precise.
Having reached my 60s and listened to Proust and James Joyce and Waugh among many others, I came to Powell not knowing what to expect. Some have said there is no plot, but I find it contains the plot of human existence particularly the relationship between men and women. Whereas Proust writes introspectively of himself. Powell writes as an observer of others. This book may not make much sense to anyone under 40 or 50. Only after you have lived through several decades might one appreciate the genius of this work. The first volume seems slow because it contains the "early" years, but I encourage folks to listen on.
This is great literature.
Retired dentist after 37 yrs & with strong artistic interests left intensive reading until my latter years and am having a ball!
I found this "First Movement" at times to be so snobbish that I cringed at being British ! However the quality of writing and descriptive gift that Anthony Powell is well worth pursuing and although disappointing even slightly boring, as a story,the autobiographical quality of the book really is a fascinating "painting" of life between the First and Second World Wars, in Britain. If one wants to get lost in someone else's life and time which is not too far away from almost memorable glimpses of Old England with the emphasis on entertaining listening, then this is a book, the first of four movements which is worth the literary effort, and will certainly will not fail to be enjoyed.
Dull as dishwater. I couldn't find anything compelling in this story, and did something I very rarely do: stopped halfway through.
I've done a bit of research about this series, and I realize this is considered high literature, and that the characters are based on people that Powell knew or who were notable at the time this was written. Maybe it was interesting to those people who were in the know about these characters, but for me, this book was a bust. I just didn't care a whit about any of them.
I suspect real editors will blanche as I compare this to the Ladies #1 Detective Agency. However, as in the L#1DA, the plot is secondary to the character development. In fact there is no plot. You simply get a picture of life in England during a particular period. It is indeed slow listening and that is the point. Before listening, download the Exclusive Interview with James Atlas and Charles McGrath on Anthony Powell. It will set the stage. Anyone hooked on the period pieces of the BBC or PBS should enjoy this book.
Avid "reader" of history - military and with a more British slant the past few years. Rarely read novels but Anthony Powell's DTMoTime zomg
I concur with all the glowing reviews of this audio book....the whole series.
Undoubtedly, Simon Vance's, always sterling several other audio books I have, is totally in the zone with this one.
The author's description of the mostly banal, prosaic events and interactions of the multitude of characters over the span of years, decades is quietly yet deeply fascinating.
Though weeks since finishing the final volume, I frequently listen again to various chapters. Powell puts highly descriptive words and phrases to elemental human events that I can so much identify but never the depth nor capacity of nuance to articulate.