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0456 | ADMT VI: The Kindly Ones | Anthony Powell

0456 | ADMT VI: The Kindly Ones | Anthony Powell post image

Context: The best World Cup we’ve ever seen distracted me while I was reading this.

Ah…now here’s a volume that can completely stand alone and is, I feel, by far the best so far in Powell’s 12-volume epic A Dance to the Music of Time.

The novel flashes back to Nick’s childhood and memories of the build-up to the First World War. It then moves back to the period just before the Second World War and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything where these two periods are juxtaposed like this. I found the characters introduced here, primarily from Nick’s younger days, to be very memorable both in themselves and also for what they get up to.

But there’s plenty of action among Nick’s adult set too though as they prepare for what looks like the inevitable European conflict. There are a couple of notable deaths and on the whole there’s a better balance between conversation and events than in the previous volumes.

However, there’s no change in the style. Powell still writes with great insight into the human condition and his genius continues with the further development of his vast array of characters. Although I’m only halfway through the novel, I already have a feeling I’m going to miss quite a few of these come December when I plan to finish off the twelfth episode.


Albert, fleshy, sallow, blue chinned, breathing hard, sweating a little, fitted an iron bar into sockets on either side of the wooden shutters he had just closed across the final window of the stable block.


“Is it better to love somebody and not have them, or have somebody and not love them?”

“Love means such different things to different people.”


This might reveal the ending. If you want to see the quote, click show

PROGRESS kindlyp

No individual ratings for each book in the 12-volume A Dance to the Music of Time. Instead, I’ll rate the entire novel when I’ve finished it.


2 comments… add one
  • Irina 13 July, 2014, 2:03 am

    I keep glancing at this book on the shelves of our local bookstore and can’t master the courage to get it – it looks so big and serious!

    • Arukiyomi 3 August, 2014, 7:01 pm

      oh do get it… yes it is big. But it’s not really that serious. In fact, it’s a pretty easy read.

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