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A Dance to the Music of Time, Complete Set: 1st Movement, 2nd Movement, 3rd Movement, 4th Movement

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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, busi 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, Jenkins—a 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 "Anthony Powell is the best living English novelist by far. Hisadmirers 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, New Yorker


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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, busi 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, Jenkins—a 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 "Anthony Powell is the best living English novelist by far. Hisadmirers 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, New Yorker

30 review for A Dance to the Music of Time, Complete Set: 1st Movement, 2nd Movement, 3rd Movement, 4th Movement

  1. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Proust vs. Powell: "A Dance to the Music of Time, Complete Set: 1st Movement, 2nd Movement, 3rd Movement, 4th Movement" by Anthony Powell I was lucky enough to start reading the books, each one as they were showing up from about the fourth at the British Council Library. Imagine how this added to the enjoyment as you could rush to the library to book your turn, the anticipation and I was never disappointed. Except perhaps the last one. If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Proust vs. Powell: "A Dance to the Music of Time, Complete Set: 1st Movement, 2nd Movement, 3rd Movement, 4th Movement" by Anthony Powell I was lucky enough to start reading the books, each one as they were showing up from about the fourth at the British Council Library. Imagine how this added to the enjoyment as you could rush to the library to book your turn, the anticipation and I was never disappointed. Except perhaps the last one. I didn't feel he had got the comeuppance of Widmerpool quite right. That is the delight; the books are so readable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    The men at work at the corner of the street had made a kind of camp for themselves, where, marked out by tripods hung with red hurricane-lamps, an abyss in the road led down to a network of subterranean drain-pipes. Gathered round the bucket of coke that burned in front of the shelter, several figures were swinging arms against bodies and rubbing hands together with large, pantomimic gestures; like comedians giving formal expression to the concept of extreme cold. So begins the series of twelve The men at work at the corner of the street had made a kind of camp for themselves, where, marked out by tripods hung with red hurricane-lamps, an abyss in the road led down to a network of subterranean drain-pipes. Gathered round the bucket of coke that burned in front of the shelter, several figures were swinging arms against bodies and rubbing hands together with large, pantomimic gestures; like comedians giving formal expression to the concept of extreme cold. So begins the series of twelve novels by Anthony Powell (1905-2000), collectively called A Dance to the Music of Time, published between the years 1951 and 1975. A Dance to the Music of Time, Nicolas Poussin, ~1635 I generally don’t go in for reading series of novels. Sometimes, if one does hooked, they seem to go on as long as the writer does, and after a while one gets the impression that it has become a cash cow for a writer who has run out of the desire, or ability, to be newly creative. (See The Wheel of Time.) Of course that’s not a problem if one begins the read when the series is complete, and especially if the author is dead. No sequels will be forthcoming. Powell refrained from continuing the Dance for a quarter century, with each passing year demonstrating more persuasively that he was finished with it. This is only the second long series of novels I have completely read. The first was Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels (named such after the two main characters) - nautical historical fiction set during the Napoleonic wars (the first being Master and Commander.) I enjoyed each series enormously. Usually when I started reading a book I read little else till I was finished, which is very unusual for me. Both series involve wonderful characters, and are frequently humorous; but there are some significant differences between them. First, it must be said that though O’Brian is a wonderful story teller, he is not quite on the literary level that Powell is. Powell has a magical way of expressing very normal observations in a unique grammar which I found a constant joy. The Aubrey-Maturin novels tell the reader, in a third person narrative, about a time, and a very particular slice of that time, the British Navy in the age of fighting sail. Powell’s series concerns of course a different time. But far beyond that, his “subject” is not such a narrow slice. Powell’s first person narrative is set in the British upper-middle (or lower-upper?) class, people who go to the British “public” schools, graduate college, and set about a life certainly not as a blue collar worker - a life is often concerned with the “arts” (writing, music, painting) or with politics in one of its many facets. So that is a narrow slice, like O’Brian’s. But Powell has a much wider interest. His narrator, Nick Jenkins, expresses observations which pertain to human beings in general, not specifically those of his own class; and in particular, insights about a person’s path through life, the changing perspectives one obtains about other people known, and the way these change as we dance to time’s music. Here’s a list of reviews I’ve written on parts of the series. On the first three novels Spring (I hope to review these three separately this year.) A Dance … #4 At Lady Molly’s A Dance … #5 Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant A Dance … #6 The Kindly Ones A Dance … #7 The Valley of Bones A Dance … #8 The Soldier’s Art A Dance … #9 The Military Philosophers A Dance … #10 Books Do Furnish a Room A Dance … #11 Temporary Kings A Dance … #12 Hearing Secret Harmonies and a great guide to the series Invitation to the Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: Summer of '49 baseball Random review: King John Shakespeare Next review: The Really Big One public service announcement

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    It is hard to explain the appeal and rational for reading this book to friends. I like big books (I cannot lie). But it isn't just that. Powell's motivation for writing this novel is similar to my desire to read it. Powell wanted to capture the changes that happened in England from the period right after WWI through the 1960s. He wanted to deal with big themes (class, love, duty, death)* I've been super impressed with Powell's execution and talent. He is able to keep 300 characters over 40 years It is hard to explain the appeal and rational for reading this book to friends. I like big books (I cannot lie). But it isn't just that. Powell's motivation for writing this novel is similar to my desire to read it. Powell wanted to capture the changes that happened in England from the period right after WWI through the 1960s. He wanted to deal with big themes (class, love, duty, death)* I've been super impressed with Powell's execution and talent. He is able to keep 300 characters over 40 years. He was able to weave together a narrative that was coherent over 12 novels, but each also seemed to exist, artistically, in its own space. * Stole this from Manny.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mikela

    Have you ever taken a long road trip, one where you marveled at the diverse scenery that you passed along the way, crossed the desert, maybe even stopped long enough to explore a cave, a quaint little shop, or for a swim in the ocean? Perhaps you stopped long enough to meet new and interesting people, tried different foods and took in that open air concert at the town square. You've had wonderful experiences and enjoyed the trip immensely, but oh the relief to have the trip over, to put your fee Have you ever taken a long road trip, one where you marveled at the diverse scenery that you passed along the way, crossed the desert, maybe even stopped long enough to explore a cave, a quaint little shop, or for a swim in the ocean? Perhaps you stopped long enough to meet new and interesting people, tried different foods and took in that open air concert at the town square. You've had wonderful experiences and enjoyed the trip immensely, but oh the relief to have the trip over, to put your feet up and give a sigh of contentment that you are back home to once again sleep in your own bed that fits your body perfectly amidst all your belongings that make it your home. That is how I feel now that my journey through this novel and its 2,940+ pages is over. It was a memorable trip with Jenkins and his friends, watching them as they grew from schoolboys to young men just stepping into that half-way stage between teenagers and adults then on to the beginnings of their careers and adult relationships. A side trip, called the war, derailed their lives for six long years but we met more people on this path, people not normally to be met during peacetime, and most soon out of their lives again. To give a detailed description of a book of this length with the number of characters introduced is a task far beyond the capabilities of this reader so what I'll present are my highly condensed thoughts. The entire 12 novel sequence, primarily set in England between the two wars, was narrated in the first person by Nicholas Jenkins who drew detailed pictures of his friends, Stringham, Templer, Moreland, Widmerpool and others, their triumphs, their joys, their personalities, and their troubles, so well that we could relate them to people and events we have known in our own lives. We were taken into the world of the arts, literature and fine art with writers, artists, actors, composers, film makers, publishers and politicians and saw their struggles for acceptance and financial success in England, France and Venice as we also watched the overall changing societal culture of the time. Jenkins proved to be a reliable yet dispassionate narrator and a keen observer of events and those people around him. At the same time, other than his career path Jenkins was strangely reticent about his own personal life. Except for his Uncle Giles, we were told little to give us a picture of his own parents and family or his life with them. We know he married a woman named Isobel Tolland but in addition to the name we know nothing of her as a person except as an extension of himself. He spoke often about her aunts, uncles and siblings and their doings but seldom of Isobel herself. Of his offspring we know even less. He mentions a child but never gives its name and except for a few brief references to a son he almost totally ignores his existence. I finished the book learning very little about the man Jenkins himself so was unable to form any emotional attachment to him. This whole saga was written with such seeming dispassion that this reader also felt detached from emotion. The last two books of the sequence brought a close to the stories of the main characters with happy outcomes for some, less happy for others and truly sad endings for still others. Here Jenkins did also introduce a whole new generation of young adults with their happenings but a whole new novel will have to be written to take us further. According to Wikipedia, Powell is reputed to have taken inspiration for his sequence and the name A Dance to The Music of Time from the painting of the same title by Nicolas Poissin c 1636 and based many of his characters on actual people of his time including Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley and John Galsworthy. I have read that Powell introduced about 300 characters into the novel and I can readily believe it. Some we grew to know well, others we met with a handshake or a nod of the head, others were brief acquaintances, in and out of Jenkins life rapidly, but each leaving his footprints behind. It is to Powell's credit that he maintained the flavor of his characters as well as the tone of the sequence throughout which was no mean feat considering the time span taken to write the book from the first to the last. Some books I enjoyed more than others with Jenkins war-time life being my least favorite but my interest never waned throughout. Although the quality and enjoyment of each book varied individually, when taken as a whole the novel shines. Rather than a plot there is a gentle movement of events and people advancing through the years. If you are more interested in good characterization than reading a fast action plot, if you can invest the time required to complete the series then I do recommend it. As each of the 12 books builds upon previous books with no conclusion in each but merely picking up where the last book left off, you might find yourself unsatisfied if you abandon it before completing the sequence. This doesn't mean that it should be read in one fell swoop as I basically did, it would work equally as well if broken up into the various books or movements and read over a longer period of time as it was first published. Myself, I just had to go directly on to the next to find out what was happening to those people I'd grown to know and care for. I'm very glad that I read it, truly enjoyed every page to a greater or lesser degree with my only regret being that I won't be able to experience this book again for the first time. I highly recommend this book !!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    UPDATE: I just finished reading Proust's fourth volume of "In Search of Lost Time" in which the merits of the artist, Poussin, are discussed. Anthony Powell, no doubt inspired by Proust, uses Poussin's "Dance to the Music of Time" painting for the cover artwork of the edition I read, and was no doubt also inspired by the painting itself. And, Powell picks up, time wise, where Proust ends his work. One can argue that Proust and Powell effectively cover the first 50 years of Europe in the 20th cen UPDATE: I just finished reading Proust's fourth volume of "In Search of Lost Time" in which the merits of the artist, Poussin, are discussed. Anthony Powell, no doubt inspired by Proust, uses Poussin's "Dance to the Music of Time" painting for the cover artwork of the edition I read, and was no doubt also inspired by the painting itself. And, Powell picks up, time wise, where Proust ends his work. One can argue that Proust and Powell effectively cover the first 50 years of Europe in the 20th century. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I spent most of 2014 with a bookmark somewhere within these 4 volumes, these good-to-great 12 novels. Powell's writing is usually beautiful with passages worth several reads. It's so hard to think of these stories as fiction as they feel so true. My favorite segment is the middle portion of the 4th Movement, the beautiful set piece with most of the characters staring at, and discussing, a mural on a ceiling in a Venetian palace. But for me the stories slip a bit here and there, and I believe it would be easy to read the first novel (or a portion thereof) and just put the entire set back on a shelf. I can't see that any of these 12 novels would be successful alone. But together, they represent quite a literary achievement.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Finished today after reading this series during 2016 with the group 2016:A Dance to the Music of Time. This was a wonderful reading experience with the whole being greater than the individual parts. To write a series over the course of 24 years and have 300-400 characters and keep consistent and tie up all loose ends while keeping the reader entertained for almost 3000 pages is no mean achievement. In many of the reviews for the individual books I have read comments that people did not like the Finished today after reading this series during 2016 with the group 2016:A Dance to the Music of Time. This was a wonderful reading experience with the whole being greater than the individual parts. To write a series over the course of 24 years and have 300-400 characters and keep consistent and tie up all loose ends while keeping the reader entertained for almost 3000 pages is no mean achievement. In many of the reviews for the individual books I have read comments that people did not like the fact that the personality and life of the narrator, Nick Jenkins, was not more fleshed out. I am somewhat in disagreement with that. Although we did not learn a lot about his wife or kids they were not what the story was about. I think we learned more about Nick in what he chose to tell us and in his interactions with other characters than some of these other reviewers seem to think. I will miss him.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    *** 1st Movement (★★★☆☆) Book 1: A Question of Upbringing (★★★☆☆) Book 2: A Buyer's Market (★★★☆☆) Book 3: The Acceptance World (★★★☆☆) *** 2nd Movement (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 4 At Lady Molly's (★★★★☆) Book 5 Casanova's Chinese Restaurant (★★★★☆) Book 6 The Kindly Ones (☆☆☆☆☆) *** 3rd Movement (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 7 The Valley of Bones (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 8 The Soldier's Art (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 9 The Military Philosophers (☆☆☆☆☆) *** 4th Movement (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 10 Books Do Furnish a Room (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 11 Temporary Kings (☆☆☆☆☆) Book *** 1st Movement (★★★☆☆) Book 1: A Question of Upbringing (★★★☆☆) Book 2: A Buyer's Market (★★★☆☆) Book 3: The Acceptance World (★★★☆☆) *** 2nd Movement (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 4 At Lady Molly's (★★★★☆) Book 5 Casanova's Chinese Restaurant (★★★★☆) Book 6 The Kindly Ones (☆☆☆☆☆) *** 3rd Movement (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 7 The Valley of Bones (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 8 The Soldier's Art (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 9 The Military Philosophers (☆☆☆☆☆) *** 4th Movement (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 10 Books Do Furnish a Room (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 11 Temporary Kings (☆☆☆☆☆) Book 12 Hearing Secret Harmonies (☆☆☆☆☆)

  8. 5 out of 5

    David

    A Dance to the Music of Time Anthony Powell (1951-1975) #43 November 27, 2012 How do you review someone’s life work in a few paragraphs? At 12 books totaling 2948 pages (and several book read in between), the task, especially trying to summarize, seems impossible. So I guess all I will say is that to keep me reading and interested in a book so long seems no small feat. To span so many years in writing and keep the story cohesive seems like an uncommon accomplishment. To write a good story to b A Dance to the Music of Time Anthony Powell (1951-1975) #43 November 27, 2012 How do you review someone’s life work in a few paragraphs? At 12 books totaling 2948 pages (and several book read in between), the task, especially trying to summarize, seems impossible. So I guess all I will say is that to keep me reading and interested in a book so long seems no small feat. To span so many years in writing and keep the story cohesive seems like an uncommon accomplishment. To write a good story to boot; one that kept me up way past my bedtime reading the last 100 pages because the story was so damn engrossing seems like a minor miracle. This story covered so many aspects of life and had so many subplots it was crazy. The fact that almost every loose end in the book was resolved (some taking all 12 book to do so) proves to me literary genius. This (these) book(s) well deserved to be on the list, and not just for the gimmick of being the one of the (if not the) longest works of literature ever written. Whole college courses could be dedicated to the study of this work. 9

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sierra

    I'm changing my position on abandoning books, even fairly good (but not great) ones, even after 3,000 pages. No more staying in something for too long trying to make it work despite ambivalence, waffling, not enough in common. Life is potentially short. There are too many other good books out there that want the same things that I want.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Realini

    A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell Majestic, grandiose, epic, monumental…for another look at this and other spectacular chef d’oeuvres you could go to: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... With twelve volumes you cannot get better, more meaningful and yet jocular entertainment than this… - Except perhaps for Marcel Proust The spectacular Anthony Powell has been compared with Proust, albeit some found him superficial and criticized him. To my surprise and displeasure, V.S. Naipaul, who A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell Majestic, grandiose, epic, monumental…for another look at this and other spectacular chef d’oeuvres you could go to: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... With twelve volumes you cannot get better, more meaningful and yet jocular entertainment than this… - Except perhaps for Marcel Proust The spectacular Anthony Powell has been compared with Proust, albeit some found him superficial and criticized him. To my surprise and displeasure, V.S. Naipaul, whose Bend in the river and House for Mr. Biswas I loved, said something like this: - “It is good that I had not studied the work of Anthony Powell - This way we stayed friends- he did look it over, after the death of the miraculous-for me- master” This epic, phenomenal work was so mesmerizing that I spaced it out over the years, to have a “delayed gratification”. I rather have a few years embellished with twelve chef d’oeuvres than a few months with a short, sensational peak experience. So I have read the first tome as early as 2012 and only finished Hearing Secret Harmonies a few weeks ago. For the past few days, I amused myself with a dramatized version produced for the BBC, which keeps my mornings occupied. There is a quandary here: - The adaptation may be right and that would put me in the wrong - Windmerpool, admittedly a crucial player is made into an extremely important personage, way beyond what I feel, perhaps falsely, is his proper standing In the view of Michael Butt, Nick Jenkins- based on the author- is obsessed with his nemesis that is actually turned into a…good friend. Nick Jenkins keeps saying to Ken Windmerpool that he wants to be his friend, when what I recall is rather the opposite. The adapter has studied this titanic masterpiece much better and might have gained insight into the psychology of characters… - And yet, to me Lord W is blown totally out of proportion and cherry on top, he is not the villain I knew, but some old boy who is not responsible for the two deaths of Charles Stringham and Peter Temple, because it all happened on account of him being bullied in school and having a disadvantaged background, coming from a lower class family, his father operating a horse manure joint making liquefied fertilizer or something of the sort…give me a break, will you! Yes, he is the epitome of evil and appears whenever we expect him the least- from Venice to the last ball aka wedding party. But the transformation into a tragic, not totally unlikeable personage turns the story upside down- for me that is. As stated, it is likely that I took the wrong view and then again, the voluminous chef d’oeuvre had to be cut from more than sixty hours of reading to a six hour part broadcast by the BBC Radio, in a special format. The division of the novel into chapters entitled Marriage, War, Peace, Last Dance does not appeal to me either. But there are other challenges- I guess handicap might soon be eliminated from vocabularies- that the adaptation faces. One would be the need to eliminate some of the –granted many- characters and transfer some of their attributes to those remaining. - Delavaquerie is gone and his lines and actions are now in the domain of Nick Jenkins A modern touch was wanted, if you ask me and that did not agree with conservative, maybe old fashioned fellows like myself. The stink bomb becomes an explosive device and the cult of Scorpio does not have the amusing tones from the original and then there is a rock band, or anyway music that did not go in harmony with the messages of the sometimes hilarious groupies of Murtlock - “The Essence of the All is the Godhead of the True” TIME and The Modern Library have included this fantastic masterpiece on their lists of - The Best 100 Novels

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    I read these in their incarnation as twelve separate volumes, but they really constitute one epic novel. (I'm glad Goodreads has an option to enter it once, because the individual books vary in quality and I'd have a hard time rating them individually.) The rating I gave here is actually kind of high given the limitations of the work. Powell conveys exposition almost exclusively through conversations among the characters. This becomes somewhat tiresome over the course of twelve volumes. Also, the I read these in their incarnation as twelve separate volumes, but they really constitute one epic novel. (I'm glad Goodreads has an option to enter it once, because the individual books vary in quality and I'd have a hard time rating them individually.) The rating I gave here is actually kind of high given the limitations of the work. Powell conveys exposition almost exclusively through conversations among the characters. This becomes somewhat tiresome over the course of twelve volumes. Also, the characters miraculously keep colliding over the course of their lives, which also would be tedious if the reader is feeling ungenerous. Also, as an analysis of British upper class living during this time period, I kept comparing it unfavorably in my mind with Brideshead Revisited, which is kind of unfair. Nevetheless, I gave it four stars because it was undeniably entertaining and engrossing. While I was reading them I was obsessed with them. And because I've never come across a character anywhere else that was quite like Widemerpool.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gary Rowlands

    Started volume 1 in December 2011 - finished volume 12 Dec 2014. A brilliant survey of British manners, art, literature, friendship, and changing morality spanning much of the 20th Century. Dozens of fascinating characters, especially Kenneth Widmerpool, one of the most loathsome characters in literature.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ed Shreeves

    I read this 12 volume set over a couple of years--my wife reading it at the same time--more than 20 years ago, but count it among my favorite reading experiences. Individual volumes vary some in quality, but I can't rate the entirety at less than wonderful. I'm envious of people who've yet to savor its delights.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I listened to these books. Originally published as 12 novels, the audio books are arranged into 4 collections. Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators. After 64 hours of audio, covering a story from just after WW1 to the early 1960s, I'm going to miss Nick Jenkins and associates.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ch J Loveall

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Well worth watching. I don't know that I would have read as they are romance-heavy but it told a great World War IIish story. The movies addressed the "Music of Time" on many different levels: the boys, romances, jobs, what each sought at different periods. . .

  16. 4 out of 5

    Geert

    I bought and read the set twice, having lost the first one somewhere in my life. I didn't like part 4 the first time, and I had the same experience this time. I didn't even got through the first book of the 4th movement. But the rest is brilliant!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Kozeniewski

    Check out my video review here! Check out my video review here!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I read these books many years ago, but they have stayed with me, and I'm planning a re-read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    Got through the first book and started slogging through the second. Just decided it wasn't worth it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristel

    okay story, covers several years, looks at charaters over time covering from before the War to the seventies.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  22. 4 out of 5

    James Frawley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate Long

  25. 5 out of 5

    Max

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bluecatblues

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Bell

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie Kent

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dancomfort

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Dojny

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