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THE ACCEPTANCE WORLD: Third in the 12 book…

THE ACCEPTANCE WORLD: Third in the 12 book series. (original 1955; edition 1955)

by Anthony. Powell

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3941427,176 (3.77)1 / 58
Title:THE ACCEPTANCE WORLD: Third in the 12 book series.
Authors:Anthony. Powell
Info:Farrar, Straus and Cudahy (1955), Edition: Fifth or Later Edition, Hardcover
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The Acceptance World by Anthony Powell (1955)


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This was the 3rd installment of Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time. The theme of this volume is the uneven pace at which characters mature. I loved this quote from the book, "People can only be themselves, if they possessed the qualities you desire in them, they would be different people." I found this novel very entertaining and look forward to reading the next installment. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
The Acceptance World Anthony Powell

Book 3 of the music of time

This is my favourite book so far as the characters develop and new characters are introduce especially Myra Erdleigh the psychic who provides some colour to the males around her

This book largely deals with marriage and relationships, several marriages and relationships are failing and Nick finds love with Jean however I am not convince by her feelings
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
I'm not as interested as I was for the first two volumes. Hoping the next resparks my Interest. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
This is the third volume in Powell's immense roman fleuve,"A Dance to The Music of Time" and we have moved on to the early 1930s. (Though never explicitly stated, I assume that this volume is set around 1932 or 1933, based upon the oblique references to Mussolini and the hunger marches to London.) As always with "A Dance to the Music of Time" there is relatively little action but through Powell's customary delicate admixture, a few social set pieces are worked up to a potent melange of wry observation, outright humour and the odd undercurrent of melancholia.

The book opens with Nicholas Jenkins (about whom we learn as little in this book as we have managed to eke from the previous two volumes) visiting the Ufford Hotel in Bayswater for tea with his Uncle Giles, always rather a lost soul meandering through life with no aim or hope. As they finish their tea they are joined by one of Giles's fellow guests at the hotel, the esoteric-looking Myra Erdleigh. She is certainly more flamboyant that most of Uncle Giles's acquaintances, and Jenkins is initially drawn to her. It turns out that she has rather a reputation as a fortune teller, and is persuaded to "put out the cards" for both Nick and his uncle. She seems to divine some aspects of Jenkins's life including the fact that he had recently had a novel published. This is news to the reader - although the novel is often described as an autobiographical sequence, and is narrated by the character of Jenkins, we learn next to nothing about him. Mrs Erdleigh mentions a woman with whom Jenkins will become close, and also refers to a struggle involving one old man and two younger ones which will cause Jenkins himself considerable angst. This sets the scene for much of what will follow throughout the rest of the book.

We are then treated to description of a dinner at the Ritz, a weekend away in the country and then an Old Etonians' reunion dinner, also at the Ritz. At the latter event we are treated to the re-emergence of both Widmerpool, absent for the rest of the book, and Charles Stringham.

Widmerpool may have been absent for the greater part of the book but he makes up for this when he does finally appear. His intervention in the final chapter is characteristically bizarre, and provokes considerable mirth among many of his fellow guests, but the thirst for power and advancement is still as pressing as ever.

"Wryly observed and beautifully written" is starting to sound like a bit of a mantra when it comes to Powell, but the reason phrases become clichés is because they are true. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Nov 21, 2015 |
I felt this was the strongest volume so far of Powell’s 12-volume Dance to the Music of Time. Things seemed to have bedded into a nice rhythm as the characters reach maturity and start to develop their own adult approaches to life.

Widmerpool becomes even more enigmatic and is the centre of a quite bizarre episode at a school reunion. Stringham seems to have let himself go a bit… I’m not sure now that he’s going to last the entire novel. But in terms of plot, the key episode centres around Nick finding his feet in a relationship that the observant would have seen coming from volume 1.

It wasn’t only the characters that I found more mature; Powell seems to have hit his literary stride as the writing reaches a tempo evenly balanced between plot and reflection. This book served up more quotes that I thought were memorable (below) than the first two volumes combined. And look at this for a description of, not the Great Depression, but the current economic crisis:

I put it to you that certain persons, who should perhaps have known better, have been responsible for unhappy, indeed catastrophic capital movements through a reckless and inadmissible lending policy.’


I’m very much looking forward to getting into volume 4 in April. ( )
  arukiyomi | Jun 14, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Powell, Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Broom-Lynne, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ekholm, RaunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leistra, AukeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Once in a way, perhaps as often as every eighteen months, an invitation to Sunday afternoon tea at the Ufford would arrive on a postcard addressed in Uncle Giles's neat, constricted handwriting.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099472422, Paperback)

A Dance to the Music of Time – his brilliant 12-novel sequence, which chronicles the lives of over three hundred characters, is a unique evocation of life in twentieth-century England.

The novels follow Nicholas Jenkins, Kenneth Widmerpool and others, as they negotiate the intellectual, cultural and social hurdles that stand between them and the “Acceptance World.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Set in the 'Great Depression' of 1931-2, The acceptance world invites us once again to join Nicholas Jenkins and his friends in their dance to the music of time. It is against this background that Jenkins enacts a daring love affair with Templer's married sister, Jean. The ineffable Widmerpool has a new job in the City, in a financial house that 'accepts' debts. However, the phrase also implies how the main characters, now in their middle or late twenties, find themselves 'accepting' what life offers people of their particular character and circumstances.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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