A Dance to the Music of Time (A Dance to the Music of Time, #4-6) by Anthony Powell

A Dance to the Music of Time (A Dance to the Music of Time, #4-6)

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 marri...

Details A Dance to the Music of Time (A Dance to the Music of Time, #4-6)

TitleA Dance to the Music of Time (A Dance to the Music of Time, #4-6)
Release DateJun 15th, 1995
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
GenreFiction, Classics, Historical, Historical Fiction, European Literature, British Literature

Reviews A Dance to the Music of Time (A Dance to the Music of Time, #4-6)

  • Vit Babenco
    Summer is a season when the nature is at its prime, it is a time of ripening fruits…The main characters of the book are at their prime too and they continue to look for the better place in the world and search for the truer love…Love is at once always absurd and never absurd; the more grotesque its form, the more love itself confers a certain dignity on the circumstances of those it torments.We don’t choose our love, love chooses us.Anthony...
  • Manny
    I know I'm in a minority when I say that A Dance to the Music of Time is the greatest novel in the English language, but what the hell. I've read the whole thing rather more than twice, and I think it's a masterpiece: basically, what Proust would have written if he'd been English and done anything with his life apart from going to fancy parties and creating A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu. Anyway, I argue for the series as a whole in my review of t...
  • Sue
    While I enjoyed the 1st Movement of this adventuresome work, I found that Powell's writing truly came into its own more fully in this volume. Here the humor is more full, the language more consistent, the characters seem more clearly written (even when they may be somewhat unclear in their peculiarities). The eccentricities revealed among our narrator's acquaintances are so well fleshed out and characters introduced early on now become full devel...
  • Teresa
    While I enjoyed the prelude (A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement) to this overall series, I found this second movement to be truly fine. While the intrusions of the bombastic Widmerpool into the narrative continue to seem important -- as the composer Moreland says: Does he always haunt my worst moments? -- it is the narrator Nick's interactions with others, such as the writer Quiggin and the morose Maclintick, that I found most entertainin...
  • Darwin8u
    "Marriage, as I have said, is a form of action, of violence almost; an assertion of the will. Its orbit is not to be chartered with precision, if misrepresentation and contrivance are to be avoided. Its facts can perhaps only be known by implication. It is a state from which all objectivity has been removed."― Anthony Powell, At Lady Molly's“Wisdom is the power to admit that you cannot understand and judge the people in their entirety.” ―...
  • Mikela
    Completing The 2nd Movement brings me to the half way point in Powell’s epic 12-book novel, A Dance to The Music of Time, and I find that I’m growing more and more enthralled with this novel the more I read of it. While the first 3 books, which make up the 1st Movement, deal with our narrator’s early life at school and young adulthood the 2nd Movement deals more with the various characters as they mature, their careers, marriages, infidelit...
  • Kim
    Since listening to the the First Movement of A Dance to the Music of Time a couple of months ago, I've been looking forward to returning to Nick Jenkins' world in London between the wars. I wasn't disappointed. In this Movement, Powell concentrates on relationships. He portrays relationships between siblings, marriages, love affairs, friendships: relationships that last and relationships that fracture. What with the lives of all the characters fr...
  • David
    Outside the moon had gone behind a bank of cloud. I went home through the gloom, exhilarated, at the same time rather afraid. Ahead lay the region beyond the white-currant bushes, where the wild country began, where armies for ever campaigned, where the Rules and Disciplines of War prevailed. Another stage of life was passed, just as finally, just as irrevocably, as on that day when childhood had come so abruptly to an end at Stonehurst.Anthony P...
  • Renee M
    The series is just fascinating. Both for the characters which whirl in and out of the narrator's life and for the glimpse it gives into a world which no longer exists. This movement takes Nick into adulthood as he navigates life post academia in the world prior to WW I until the brink of WW II. In some ways "nothing" happens. In other ways it's the story of everything. It's at once a foreign world to my experience and a reflection of the kind of ...
  • David M
    Pleased to say things are moving along quite nicely. After finishing this today I had to immediately run out and get the final two volumes. After wandering indecisively through the first thousand or so pages of this opus, I now feel firmly committed.The looming catastrophe of war gives shape to this volume, particularly in Casanova's Chinese Restaurant and the Kindly Ones. Powell's style is generally quite conservative, but here he takes to scram...
  • Alisa
    I read the first 23 pages of "At Lady Molly's" 3 times before I got on - and then I couldn't stop. The secret, as has been the secret to every one of these, was....if only I had known, Widmerpool was only 4 or 5 pages beyond my stumbling point. Widmerpool, Widmerpool, he totally deserves a song, a tribute of some kind. It makes me wonder...who is the Widmerpool of my life? Does everyone have one? Or only the blessed?The rest of this went by in a ...
  • Ruthiella
    And so the Dance continues as Nick moves in to his 30’s, meets his wife and adds her large family to his ever orbiting friends and acquaintances while Europe edges ever closer to world war. This volume also provides an interesting glimpse of Nick’s parents and his childhood and introduces composer Hugh Moreland who briefly supplants Barnaby, the painter, as Nick’s companion about town. There is quite a bit of musing about “Will” and act...
  • J M
    Undoubtedly reading Anthony Powell is a guilty pleasure. Many people find the world he describes - of the white male elite of London in the interwar years - deeply unattractive. Who would want to spend time with these immensely privileged, yet small-minded and xenophobic people? And who could put up for long with the formal, precise to the point of finicky, prose-style they cultivated and which the first person narrator, Nick, book critic and wou...
  • Dara Salley
    I took a significant (years long) break between reading the first and second volumes of this four-book series. This leisurely pace kind of fits the novel, which deals with the passage to time through the life of the protagonist, Jenkins. The downside was that I forgot many of the multitudes of characters that populate the book. The key to the enjoyment of this lengthy series is to immerse yourself in the characters. Powell does an incredible job ...
  • Susan
    he meets his future wife and marries but doesn't say much about her though has a great passage about marriage on page 97 of the first book; WWII is on the horizon, ominous...
  • Brenda Cregor
    Since this book is the second in a series of four novels (actually twelve...but...), it is difficult to entirely know how to review it.Does it stand on its own merits?Yes.Anthony Powell is no doubt one of England's most accomplished and "British" authors. This is apparent in this work, with Powell's vivid, eloquent sense of humor and absolute joy of using language to depict the dealings of mankind. After reading this "movement", I did some resear...
  • Michael Battaglia
    Stories set just before WWII are almost automatically interesting, especially when the story is written some time after the events depicted, thus allowing the author to indulge in delightful bits of foreshadowing, giving the whole affair an atmosphere of impending doom the likes of which the characters simply cannot conceive. It'd be like watching footage of a town going about its business right before a tornado hits. You know something bad is go...
  • Lisa
    I enjoyed this, but wasn't utterly captivated as I was with the First Movement. And I found it harder to keep track of what was going on. So apologies for all the spoilers, but I need to note plot points here as a reference for the next two volumes. (And I wish I'd done it with Volume 1). The burlesque tone of Book 4 is signalled by the title, At Lady Molly's, since the name Molly is more often associated with servants than with the aristocracy. ...
  • Gary Lee
    Novels 4-6 of Powell's overall twelveAt Lady Molly's -- 3/5The growing pains of adulthood are over, and the characters have settled into life a bit more comfortably. Templer and Stringham have been reduced to occasional cameos and background figures; Members and Quiggin have taken their respective places as sidekicks. And Widmerpool has evolved in Jenkins' thematic counterpoint -- fate vs. will.This one started out sloooooooowly. Drawing room dis...
  • Rick
    “My father,” says Nick Jenkins, the narrator of Anthony Powell’s four movement, twelve novel, social epic, “really hated clarity.” To a certain degree Nick shares this quality. He is a close observer of others but a reserved, even evasive chronicler of events where he is not a witness but the subject. It is frustrating, intentionally so, but revealing in its own way. In this movement we learn in what appears to be a transitional sentenc...
  • Christopher
    "A Dance to the Music of Time" is Anthony Powell's sequences of twelve novels which follow the narrator Nicholas Jenkins and his social circle from youth in the period following World War I to old age and death in the 1970s. Jenkins' reminisces are inspired by Poussin's classic painting where the four Seasons dance with arms linked, and this second trio of novels do represent the summer of life. AT LADY MOLLY'S, CASANOVA'S CHINESE RESTAURANT and ...
  • Simon Mcleish
    Originally published on my blog here in September 1999.The sixth volume of Powell's Dance to the Music of Time concludes the second trilogy within the series, Summer. Judging solely from internal evidence, this would be hard to see. The first two books deal with the second half of the thirties, the events in the back ground forming the lead-in to the Second World War. In The Kindly Ones, war breaks out, though remaining comparatively distant from...
  • Ronald Wise
    A well-written story which follows a group of school boys through the two great wars of the 20th century and, for those who survived World War II, their integration into British society following that war. One of their classmates, Widmerpool, seems to pop up everywhere during the narrator's life, and to serve as a topic of humor. Widmerpool, despite his untiring efforts to be a respected member of British society, usually ends up being a type of ...
  • Amanda
    As befits the turbulent and increasingly ominous decade in which this sequence of novels is set (the 1930's), the "second movement" of Dance to the Music of Time has darker, more complex shadings than the first. The volume begins with Nick Jenkins's recollection of childhood events, weird and interesting in themselves, which turn out to precede the beginning of World War I; it ends with the onset of World War II. In between there are marriages, m...
  • carl theaker
    The mix of relationships and entanglements continues 'At Lady Mollys' wherethings are hopping. Worn out by it all, Jenkins is feeling old and ready to settledown. 'Days of Our Lives' meets Masterpiece theater.'Casanova's Chinese Restaurant' could well be called Powell's introspection onmarriage. Jenkins marries, but this is mentioned as almost an aside. Wemeet Moreland, a composer who drags Jenkins over to the Maclinticks, the Mr.a music critic. ...
  • Lisa
    Brilliant. This sequence of books is one of the masterworks of the 20th century. Utterly addictive reading
  • Edmund Pickett
    see comments on first movement
  • Levi
    My favorite novel.
  • Kirsten
    This is an incredible achievement by the author. The central character (Nick Jenkins) is the observer and our guide to this world of middle class and upper class Brits from the pre-World War II period and (apparently) all the way to the 1960s by the last volume. A 12-volume set, I have finally hit the halfway mark. According to the audio extra at the end of this section (movement) states that there are actually over 300 (!!) characters in this se...