A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement : Dance to the Music of Time

  • by Anthony Powell
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • Series: Dance to the Music of Time
  • 21 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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, Jenkinsa 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.
As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Anthony Powell's book, you'll also receive an exclusive Jim Atlas interview. This interview - where James Atlas interviews Charles McGrath about the life and work of Anthony Powell - begins as soon as the audiobook ends.


What the Critics Say

"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." (New York Times)
"Vance's narration captivates listeners throughout this outstanding examination of a life in progress." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The best way to enjoy this true classic

The written version of this book is rightly regarded as an English classic, but its size (4 volumes)can be off-putting but this unabridged audio version makes it more accessible taking some of the pressure off of your time being read to you whilst driving or working with your hands or when your eyes are 'tired'. This reading highlights the perfect way in which the English language is used throughout the book. Only an unabridged version can really do this book justice. You will find yourself becoming attached to a whole host of characters and following them through their lives and traumas and 4 volumes. And as for value for money... it makes membership even more attractive!!
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- Peter

Life in a past era in minute detail

I chose this audio book as I had enjoyed watching the Channel 4 dramatization. The whole audio version comprises three "Movements" and each movement is divided into three parts. It's a lot of listening: over 60 hours. It's ordered chronologically so needs to be listened in sequence as the characters back-stories are detailed in Movement One, part one and so on. It did find it helped that I'd seen the screen version so had a mind's eye view of the characters as there are so many of them. The main characters are a group of men whose lives are described from their school days onwards. It's an upper class life starting in the mid 1920s. It's not a riveting listen more an unfolding of their lives and interactions with other people and tangentially with historical events. I've read elsewhere that the author based many of the characters on real-people (see Wikipedia entry about the books). This first Movement takes the main players from school to early adulthood.
The writing is stylish and the narrator does a splendid job of bringing the characters to life.
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- Kirstine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-07-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios