The Military Philosophers Paperback
The ninth novel in Anthony Powell's brilliant twelve-novel sequence, A Dance to the Music of Time
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 05/05/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099472483
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by Eyejaybee
Another dose of magic from the Master. This ninth volume of the "Dance to the Music of Time" canon, opens in 1942 with Nicholas Jenkins working in Whitehall on liaison duty with the Free Poles. All of the surviving principals are here, not least Widmerpool who is now carving a significant niche for himself in the Cabinet Office.Although Jenkins does not get to see any action in the traditional sense, his military career is far from incident free, and he has to trace a carefully-plotted path to avoid inflaming the delicate sensitivities if the various Allied or Neutral Powers with whom he has to deal.There are fascinating cameo appearances by Field Marshall Montgomery, and Allanbrooke, and finely drawn descriptions of the tedium of red-tape laden administration. Then, at the end of the novel is a beautiful narration of the victory ceremony at St. Paul's cathedral.For once the humour perhaps outshines the melancholia. This is perhaps my favourite volume of the whole sequence - certainly the three war novels ("The Valley of Bones", "the Soldier's Art" and this one) form the strongest grouping within the twelve (and are probably the finest war novels I have read, for all their lack of direct action).
Review by Eyejaybee
Another dose of magic from The Master!.This is the ninth volume of Anthony Powell's glorious largely autobiographical novel sequence 'A Dance to the Music of Time' and opens in 1942 with laid back narrator Nicholas Jenkins working as a caption in the army in Whitehall on liaison duty with the Free Poles. All of the surviving principal characters from the sequence are here on display, not least the monstrous Kenneth Widmerpool whose relentless machinations and tireless have ambitions have carried him to a significant niche in the convoluted hierarchies of Cabinet Office. Jenkins has escaped from Widmerpool's immediate circle, operating now among the immensely more civilised and sympathetic company of the intellectual David Pennistone who brings consideration of the history of philosophy to play in even the most straightforward of official transactions.Although Jenkins does not get to participate in any direct action in the traditional sense of the word, his military career is far from incident free, and he has to trace a carefully-plotted path to avoid inflaming the delicate sensitivities of the various Allied and Neutral Powers with whose representatives he has to deal.Powell also offers us fascinating cameo appearances from Field Marshall Montgomery and Allanbrokke, together with finely-drawn depictions of the tedium of red-tape laden administration. The final section of the novel includes a beautiful narration of the service at St Paul's Cathedral to commemorate the victory.This was the first volume in which the humour seems to outweigh the melancholia, which might explain why it is, I think, my favourite instalment in the whole sequence: there can be little dispute that the three war novels ('The Valley of Bones', 'The Soldier's Art' and this one) form the strongest group within the twelve. They also represent the finest war novels that I have read, for all their lack of direct military engagement.
Review by eadieburke
Book Description<br/>The ninth volume, The Military Philosophers (1968), takes the series through the end of the war. Nick has found a place, reasonably tolerable by army standards, as an assistant liaison with foreign governments in exile. But like the rest of his countrymen, he is weary of life in uniform and looking ahead to peacetime. Until then, however, the fortunes of war continue to be unpredictable: more names are cruelly added to the bill of mortality, while other old friends and foes prosper. Widmerpool becomes dangerously entranced by the beautiful, fascinating, and vicious Pamela Flitton; and Nick 19s old flame Jean Duport makes a surprising reappearance. Elegiac and moving, but never without wit and perception, this volume wraps up Powell 19s unsurpassed treatment of England 19s finest yet most costly hour.<br/><br/>My Review<br/>This 9th book of The Dance To The Music of Time tells us about some of the major characters that are lost in the war and Widmerpool is not looking too good by the end of this book. He has also met his match in Pamela, his new wife. Nick is looking forward to his return to civilian life as some characters from the past are once again re-appearing. I am really enjoying these books and looking forward to the final 3 installments.