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A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement Audiobook

A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

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Publisher's Summary

Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.

In the second volume they move to London in a whirl of marriage and adulteries, fashions and frivolities, personal triumphs and failures. These books "provide an unsurpassed picture, at once gay and melancholy, of social and artistic life in Britain between the wars" (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.).

The third volume follows Nick into army life and evokes London during the blitz. In the climactic final volume, England has won the war and must now count the losses. Four very different young men on the threshold of manhood dominate this opening volume of A Dance to the Music of Time. The narrator, Jenkinsa budding writer shares a room with Templer, already a passionate womanizer, and Stringham, aristocratic and reckless. Widermerpool, as hopelessly awkward as he is intensely ambitious, lurks on the periphery of their world. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, these four gain their initiations into sex, society, business, and art. Considered a masterpiece of modern fiction, Powell's epic creates a rich panorama of life in England between the wars. Includes these novels: A Question of Upbringing, A Buyer's Market, The Acceptance World.

As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Anthony Powell's book, you'll also receive an exclusive Jim Atlas interview. This interview – where James Atlas interviews Charles McGrath about the life and work of Anthony Powell – begins as soon as the audiobook ends.

This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.

©1951 Anthony Powell (P)2010 Audible, inc.

What the Critics Say

"Anthony Powell is the best living English novelist by far. His admirers are addicts, let us face it, held in thrall by a magician." (Chicago Tribune)

"A book which creates a world and explores it in depth, which ponders changing relationships and values, which creates brilliantly living and diverse characters and then watches them grow and change in their milieu. . . . Powell's world is as large and as complex as Proust's." (New York Times)

"Vance's narration captivates listeners throughout this outstanding examination of a life in progress." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (596 )
5 star
 (177)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (92)
Overall
3.4 (378 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (385 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (26)
Performance
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  •  
    Tracey Schaumburg, IL, United States 09-19-11
    Tracey Schaumburg, IL, United States 09-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Please do yourself a favor and skip this book!"
    What disappointed you about A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement?

    There is no plot and by no plot I mean NOTHING. I listened and restarted this book 5 times.
    There was nothing to keep my interest, no story line to follow. I tried so hard to find anything. It was literally a young gentleman and who he encounters, a short description of this person and some interaction. Then on to the next person/place. There was no one character that was fully developed. Nothing to relate to. I gave up before I even got to part 2 and I have only done that once before and I've listened audible stories for years.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Anthony Powell again?

    Never


    Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Vance’s performances?

    Uncertain


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement?

    I would not have approved it in the first place.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Clayton, NC, United States 08-05-11
    Robert Clayton, NC, United States 08-05-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "who cares?"

    To be honest, I'm floored by the positive reviews for this book. I have a pretty high tolerance for "slow" and for books without action. But if this book is a crashing bore, it's not because it's slow or without action, although it is. The book is a bore because we never learn enough about any one character--the narrator included--to care about him or her. The writing is good, but unexceptional. I was left in the final analysis to say, "Who cares about any of this?" Especially coming off Galsworthy's riveting Forsyte Saga, this was a big disappointment.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jana 02-10-11
    Jana 02-10-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    191
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    266
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    2
    Overall
    "A Wasted Credit - This is Unlistenable!"

    I don't know what I was thinking when I chose this book, because many reviews are bad and boy are they right, now that I look at them more closely after my bad experience starting this book. I am only 1 hour into this and know that I will never pick it up again. Even Simon Vance can't make this an enjoyable listen. Dull, set in a time and place that is not identified and the author writes in a way that seems meant to obfiscate for no good reason. And did I mention dull? Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne 09-15-13
    Jeanne 09-15-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly boring"
    Would you try another book from Anthony Powell and/or Simon Vance?

    NO! This is a book about the vapid lives of the rich need-do-wells. I've listened for 2.5 hours and am bored, bored, bored. And Simon Vance's prissy, arrogant voice makes it even more tiresome.


    What could Anthony Powell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    write a compelling story


    What didn’t you like about Simon Vance’s performance?

    His oh-so prissy voice


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Montpelier, VA, United States 02-11-13
    Vicki Montpelier, VA, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    474
    77
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "DULL"
    Would you try another book from Anthony Powell and/or Simon Vance?

    I tried this book twice but found it incredibly dull. There isn't one character that inspires empathy or is even the slightest bit interesting.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richmond Rabinowitz 04-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    9
    Overall
    "too slow"

    I almost never give up on books but I just couldn't do this one. Simon Vance does a good job but this is way to pointless.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LS Encino, CA, US 04-14-11
    LS Encino, CA, US 04-14-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Pretentious boring and plotless"

    How I wish I had read ALL the reviews instead of the first few - this is one of the most awful audio books - pretentious, plot-less, devoid of any characters worth connecting to - and after a few hours of struggling to find some value - I gave up. What a waste of money. And after I had just listened to Ken Follett's and Nelson De Mille's amazing books, the let-down was even worse. Not only was the book itself pointless, but the reader had this dreadful nasal snobbish upper class British accent that was hard to listen to. Sigh. What a disappointment.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Jacksonville, FL, United States 03-19-11
    Barbara Jacksonville, FL, United States 03-19-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    252
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Dissapointed"

    I love a long listen and was excited about this book. I have never downloaded a book and then not finished it but this was the exception. I gave it 6 hours and wanted to stick a fork in my eye.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 01-28-11
    Elizabeth 01-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    432
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    937
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    0
    Overall
    "Devoid of life, plotless, pointless...."

    I'll make this short: After trying repeatedly to "get into" the story and even skipping around in search of even the slightest trace of a plot or "hook" into this this book, I've officially given up. Good for insomnia, but little else.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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