A Buyer’s Market by Anthony Powell

The second book in the series called A Dance to the Music of Time. Beautifully written, in a style that is sinuous and very engaging. ‘Engaging’ is an overused word but I can’t think of another to describe a style that demands concentration, to follow the structure and texture of the sentences and their meaning. Creating and sustaining such a style is quite an achievement.

The story deals with the thoughts and perceptions of the featureless narrator, Nick, as he moves through upper class London society. It is a great evocation of the social milieu of London between the wars and is also very funny. It is a feature of the style to end a descriptive paragraph with an comically absurd metaphor. Speaking of a woman who makes a comment about a girl’s marriage prospects, he describes her as speaking “…as if she were descrying in the depths of the gas fire a vision invisible to the rest of us, revealing the unending cavalcade of Eleanor’s suitors”.

Very good indeed – looking forward to the next in the series.


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