The second novel in Anthony Powell's brilliant twelve-novel sequence, A Dance to the Music of Time
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 06/01/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099472391
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.
Review by jmoncton
Book 2 of 12 in Anthony Powell's epic <i>A Dance to the Music of Time</i> classic. The story continues as Jenkins, now out of school, negotiates the complexities of the social world. Widmerpool plays a pretty large role in this story - mostly as an example of what not to do when invited to a party. Similar to the way the characters in this novel seem connect and then disconnect with each other, I find my interest waxes and wanes as I listen to this story. There are parts that I find amazingly funny, descriptive and vivid and then there are times when I find my mind has wandered in a direction other than this novel. Although the narration is excellent (Simon Vance - how could it be anything but perfect?), I am curious if this story requires more concentration than I am giving it in audio. Maybe I should read book 3 in print or follow along?
Review by stillatim
Nothing in the first novel of ADMT really prepares you for this. There you get short introductions to characters, traditional plot movements, transparent prose and above all variety. With A Buyer's Market we're suddenly in the realm of Proust volume three, which is pretty much a party described over hundreds of pages. Say what you will about Powell. This is shorter than Le Côté de Guermantes. I wonder if Marias, anglophile that he is, took as much from Powell as from Proust to write Your Face Tomorrow? <br/><br/>Anyway, as in Proust (and Marias), we're pretty much without plot, something of which I often disapprove. Things happen, but they're reported in dialogue rather than narrated, and the things that happen are, unsurprisingly given that the narrator is in his mid twenties, mostly sex and drinking and the results of sex and drinking, until Mr. Deacon dies, probably due to drinking. There's no grit here, just humor. It could easily be Wodehouse, with less plot. <br/><br/>But the form of the novel is breath-taking. We begin, for no obvious reason, with Mr. Deacon, his late-decadent, Alma-Tadema-esque painting, and his antique shop. We conclude with his death, which is followed, uncomfortably, by the narrator fucking Mr. Deacon's young lady friend (who, uncomfortably, has fooled Widmerpool into paying for an abortion, probably by promising him her favors, and then not actually given him any favors) in Deacon's antique shop.<br/><br/>So the narrator's generation takes over from that of their parents: Deacon dies, Uncle Giles is rendered more and more silly, and even the high and mighty end up looking much more down to earth. Characters from 'A Question of Upbringing' have attained some notoriety in their fields. The musical analogy starts to make sense, too, both with the 'return' of Deacon at the end, and with motifs from AQU showing up again (notably the car accident). <br/><br/>In short, ABM is funnier than AQU, but not as entertaining. As an artifact to think about, though, it's much more impressive. Also, Powell's prose becomes more Jamesian here. I can't remember if that keeps up through the other volumes, or not.
Review by isabelx
Review by Kristelh
The second book of Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time has the young Jenkins entering life as a young adult, starting in business, entering society and surveying the available girls. This is a time where there is a shortage of men following WW2. Jenkins feels he is starting to live life.
Review by eadieburke
I enjoyed this 2nd book as much as the 1st book. It was interesting to see how the characters are progressing in their life and also the introduction of new characters. Powell's writing is engaging and very poetic. It's best to read these books in order as the story builds upon the last book. I'm looking forward to reading book 3 next. <br/>