I adore British literature from the Victorian Age through World war II, primarily, and fantasy, but also enjoy mysteries once in a while.
I own and have read the paperback volumes of this richly detailed classic gem from British literature, and then discovered the cassettes at my library...those are long since removed from the shelves, so I was thrilled to find Anthony Powell's Dance series available through Audible. They grow on you. At first I compared them to The Forsyte Saga, less favorably, but the subtlety is like the aftermath of a long embrace, and the characters stay with you even when the narration ends. I strongly recommend all three trilogy sets to get the full impact of Anthony Powell's masterpiece. Warmly recommended!
I agree with the review written by Lucinda the book is "Boring". I also LOVE long audiobooks but there was just so much filler that it was very distracting from what was happening. Every time it would start to get interesting, the author would go off on tangent analyzing every thought and emotion. I would lose my train of thought and have to rewind it to get back to the meat of the conversation. I forced myself to finish the book hoping that SOMETHING would happen but it never did.
Simon Vance did his usual SUPERB job narrating this book--he was the only saving grace!
The other reviews were so positive, I was excited for this title. I also love this narrator. Unfortunately this is incredibly boring. I routinely listen to very long audio books (20-40 hours), and have a good attention span, but I can't make myself go any further with this one. It's the first read dud that I've gotten in my 30 or so Audible purchases. Maybe if you are particularly interested in this time period, and like a very slow story, you'll enjoy it. I'm only half way through, but I think that I'm throwing in the towel.
I really don't know why this book has received so many good reviews. The main character is nothing but a cypher. The surrounding characters fade in and out without having impacted much of anything. And it goes on and on.
I'm a fan of long books, I'm a fan of period books, I don't need major catastrophes, crime, danger, or any of those things to enjoy a book. But this book is like eating cardboard. Dry, tasteless, and doesn't go down easy.
After having read a few negative reviews calling it boring and claiming there is no plot I was a little wary. However I definitely do not hear a boring word in there. I'm truly looking forward to the next parts of the first movement and all the rest. I listen while I work as I am an artist and this one is so engrossing that the hours melt away. A good story helps me to be productive and keeps me at my bench even when things are difficult and I might otherwise walk away in frustration.
Simon Vance is one of those masters who can convey every nuance. I'll be looking for more from him.
For those who think it is boring and are dismayed at the lack of plot. I totally disagree but I guess we all have different reasons for listening.
As another reviewer described this novel is about the "minutiae of life in England at a particular point in time." It was boring and even a good performance would not have given it much life. However, the reviews were ordered so that I had to scroll many pages to get to a negative review. Therefore, I figure that my review will be buried at the end like all the other negative ones. I persevered to the end but it was painful. I encourage those that read reviews to read all of those, not just the first ones that say this is an epic series.
Not in this genre, but certainly in this series even if you paid me to read them.
You can't judge the performance when reading this material.
Audible, please do a better less biased jobs of sorting the reviews so that contrasting opinions are highlighted.
Kathleen de la Pena McCook
They are different experiences. Readers should read and listen.They enhance each other.
Mr. Deacon and Gypsy Jones selling War Never Pays.
It was a river and a stream but seldom a torrent.
"My Linda" by Michael Whalen from the album, Dancing In Black & White,:provides the haunting introductory music for each volume.
Who are these people who reviewed this book and liked it? In the first 20 minutes you will realize what a mistake it was to purchase this book. Wait a bit and a story emerges for awhile and you think maybe it isn't so bad after all.
Having finished book one, and moved into a couple of hours of book two, I asked myself why on earth I would waste my time trying to prove that a mistake wasn't a mistake. Like I've said about a few other sleepers - there are just way too many really good books out there to waste one's precious time on books like this where one must sort out the story from all the boring waste of time diatribes.
Please - what was the point of this book?
As others have said, this is an excruciatingly SLOW book with names that sound similar and personalities that are difficult to single out and keep straight. I thought of stopping several times but I already have the rest of the volumes so I figured I'd better stick it out. I do love long books....won't usually buy one less than 10 hrs and prefer 20+ hrs.....and I like detailed descriptions of the scene but the sentence structure of each of the persons speaking was so convoluted and wordy that it seemed as if the characters just liked hearing themselves talk without regard to any possible content of meaning. I honestly don't know if I liked the book or not. Loved the narrator. I found the story more understandable once I realized that it had many characteristics of the British movie "4 Weddings and a Funeral" and I could then identify with some of the characters. Prior to that, the characters just were not "real" to me. I'm hoping the 2nd movement will be more engaging.
I was eagerly awaiting a chance to start listening to this audiobook. The reviews had been very positive and it sounded like a simply wonderful series of novels within which to become immersed. Alas! After listening to CD1 I have had to abandon the whole enterprise. The first book opens with an account of life in an English public school where the boys are insufferably arrogant and boring. At times there is inadvertent humour for example when one boy reveals that he has visited the room of a young lady the other boy inquires about whether the rooms were well appointed. I always had an accident I laughed so hard at this piece of dialogue which left me simply incredulous. Vance sounds like a very old man and completely fails to capture he inflection of schoolboy speech. In fact his reading of this section is downright creepy.
It may be that this book would improve but I have given it sufficient time and have developed so little interest that I intend to abandon it.
Life is too short to keep going..and there are so many good novels out there.
If you like very precise, prissily fussy dialogue stuffed with a lot of facts about the minutiae of life in England at a particular point in time then this novel is for you.
Almost anyone. He reads too fast and fails to capture the requisite nuances of speech