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. In the background of this second volume of A Dance to the Music of Time, the rumble of distant events in Germany and Spain presages the storm of World War II. In England, even as the whirl of marriages and adulteries, fashions and frivolities, personal triumphs and failures gathers speed, men and women find themselves on the brink of fateful choices. Includes the novels: At Lady Molly's, Casanova's Chinese Restaurant, and The Kindly Ones
As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Anthony Powell's book, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview added to your library.
This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.
©1962 Anthony Powell (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"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." (Elizabeth Janeway, New York Times)
"One of the most important works of fiction since the Second World War.... The novel looked, as it began, something like a comedy of manners; then, for a while, like a tragedy of manners; now like a vastly entertaining, deeply melancholy, yet somehow courageous statement about human experience." (Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker)
"Simon Vance is a master of differentiating characters and conveying a complexity of emotions while allowing listeners room to experience their own reactions. Vance skillfully guides us through Nick's London of artists, musicians, and writers; the several faces of marriage; and the odd mix of hope and fear as the world slips once again into a nightmare." (AudioFile)
Narrative makes the world go round.
Unfortunately we can't hyperlink in these reviews, but even Ian Rankin testifies to the enjoyableness of this series. When replying to a question something like, "best gift book ever' he wrote in The Guardian: "I started reading the first book, thinking: not sure I'm going to like this. All snobby privilege and a world I won't be interested in. By volume two, I was hooked. Widmerpool and the others were such good company, and the writing was elegant and concise, so I bought the rest of the books in the series."
No matter if you are an Oxbridge or a Rebus type, a Brit, a Yankee or a Commonwealther, give Powell a chance, and your mind will dance with delight: elegant, concise, good company -- what more can we ask of a novel? Maybe that it's beautifully read to you - and Vance does just that.
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