The Kindly Ones
Book 6 of A Dance to the Music of Time
Anthony Powell’s universally acclaimed epic A Dance to the Music of Time offers a matchless panorama of twentieth-century London. Now, for the first time in decades, readers in the United States can read the books of Dance as they were originally published—as twelve individual novels—but with a twenty-first-century twist: they’re available only as e-books.
As volume six, The Kindly Ones (1962), opens, rumblings from Germany recall memories of Nick Jenkins’s boyhood and his father’s service in World War I; it seems clear that all too soon, uniforms will be back in fashion. The looming threat throws the ordinary doings of life into stark relief, as Nick and his friends continue to negotiate the pitfalls of adult life. Moreland’s marriage founders, Peter Templer’s wife—his second—is clearly going mad, and Widmerpool is, disturbingly, gaining prominence in the business world even as he angles for power in the coming conflict. War, with all its deaths and disruptions, is on the way.
"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."--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
“The most brilliant and penetrating novelist we have.”--Kingsley Amis