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The Acceptance World (A Dance to the Music of Time #3)

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  489 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Set in the Great Depression of 1931-32. The Acceptance World invites us once again to join Nicholas Jenkins and his friends in their dance to the music of time.
214 pages
Published 1955 by Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy
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With the third period of the Dance, we track the configuration of stronger connections. The complex web formed by love affairs, marriages, work associations and cousin-ships continues to spin itself—along time. Just as it happens in life. Fittingly, Powell writes:

..nothing in life is planned—or everything is—because in the dance every step is ultimately the corollary of the step before; the consequence of being the kind of person one chances to be.

If on the second pe
Feb 09, 2016 Darwin8u rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
The spring of love becomes hidden and soon filled up.
-- Max Muller


"Emotional crises always promote the urgent need for executive action, so that the times when we most hope to be free from the practical administration of life are always those when the need to cope with the concrete world is more than ever necessary"
-- Anthony Powell, The Acceptance World

There is something amazing about Powell's attempt to gather the passage of time, the progression of life, the dynamic of relationships over 12 n
Feb 27, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is the third volume in the twelve novel, “Dance to the Music of Time.” The books are organised in terms of the seasons and so the first three novels are the Spring of our narrator’s life, consisting of A Question of Upbringing, A Buyer’s Market and The Acceptance World. This novel is set in 1931 and follows many of the characters we have already become fond of, as well as some new introductions.

At the end of A Buyer’s Market, we found Nick Jenkins feeling slightly dissatisfied with his lif
Mar 28, 2016 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

... But what is the Acceptance World?
If you have goods to sell to a firm in Bolivia, you probably do not touch your money in the ordinary way until the stuff arrives there. Certain houses, therefore, are prepared to 'accept' the debt. They will advance you the money on the strength of your reputation. It is all right when the going is good, but sooner or later you are tempted to plunge. Then there is an alteration in the value of the Bolivian exchange, or a revolution, or perhaps the firm
Anthony Powell's third book in his lovely "A Dance to the Music of Time" series is set in Great Britain in the early 1930s. Below the surface the Great Depression looms, and some of the characters are involved in leftist organizations and workers' marches. Nick, who works for a publisher of art books, drops names of artists into conversations and the Impressionists are being mentioned more now. The introduction of the fortune teller Myra Erdleigh, and a seance using a planchette adds an interest ...more
Mar 02, 2016 Nigeyb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A Dance to the Music of Time" is a twelve-volume cycle of novels by Anthony Powell, and "The Acceptance World" is the third of the twelve volumes.

The twelve books of "A Dance to the Music of Time" are available individually or as four volumes.

A Question of Upbringing – (1951)
A Buyer's Market – (1952)
The Acceptance World – (1955)

At Lady Molly's – (1957)
Casanova's Chinese Restaurant – (1960)
The Kindly Ones – (1962)

The Valley of Bones – (1964)
The Soldier's Art – (1966)
The Militar
Diane Barnes
Mar 07, 2016 Diane Barnes rated it really liked it
I'll give this third book in the 12 part series another 4 stars, but the entire 3 books in this volume would rate a 5. It takes us from school days and through their twenties of Nick Jenkins and his school mates. I feel as if I know them all quite well now, and care about the rest of their lives. This finishes the Spring portion of The Dance of Time.
Vit Babenco
Mar 03, 2015 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Occult sciences unexpectedly work, all the commotion round about arts is mostly futile and politics is a sheer caricature…
And only love reigns over everybody – a whole lot of love that is somewhat on the bittersweet side.
“There is always a real and an imaginary person you are in love with; sometimes you love one best, sometimes the other.”
This is book 3 of 12 in the "A Dance to the Music of Time series", written in the period of 1951-1975. Nick Jenkins continues the narration of his life and encounters with friends and acquaintances in London, between 1931 and 1933.

This third book was written in 1955.

4* A Question of Upbringing (A Dance to the Music of Time, #1)
4* A Buyer's Market (A Dance to the Music of Time #2)
4* The Acceptance World (A Dance to the Music of Time, #3)
TR At Lady Molly's (A Dance to the Music of Time, #4)
Jan 02, 2015 Eleanor rated it really liked it
Anthony Powell changed his writing style between books 2 and 3 of "A Dance to the Music of Time". Having got used to those long and convoluted sentences to be found in the first two books, I found they had shortened somewhat in the third volume, "The Acceptance World". Whether this is because he was writing about the thirties and felt the need to pare things down a bit, or because his editor told him to do so, I must admit that this volume was easier to read.

Curiously, there were only a couple
Aug 05, 2009 Bruce rated it it was amazing
In this third novel in his twelve novel series, A Dance to the Music of Time, Anthony Powell says, “People can only be themselves. If they possessed the qualities you desire in them, they would be different people.”

And, “The illusion that anyone can escape from the marks of his vocation is an aspect of romanticism common to every profession.”

And, reflecting on the series as a whole and his intent, “…that dinner…seemed to partake of the nature of a ritual feast, a rite from which the four of us e
Aug 07, 2015 Paola rated it really liked it
Here we find Nicholas starting to blossom as a writer and as an employee of a publishing firm, and also as a person, with his first full blown love story. What has struck me so far is what to me comes across as Nicholas' detachment from most of what is happening around him. Even in his love affair I could not detect much tension between him and his beau. But maybe one should not get too hang up on this, after all Nicholas is a mouthpiece for the times he is living through - indeed there is scarc ...more
Cynthia Dunn
My favorite of the first three.
Mar 04, 2016 Janet rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable. More a 4.5 star book. After book 3 in the series, I am starting to feel like I am with old friends and acquaintances. Just as in life, I enjoy some of them and get very frustrated with others. My guess is that I am going to get more and more involved and care more about the characters as I continue the series.
Justin Evans
May 30, 2014 Justin Evans rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Not quite as good as the earlier novels in the first movement, but that's like saying a particular chapter in a novel isn't as good as the earlier chapters. They can't all be gold. There are nice reflections here, but the whole is dragged down by too little Widmerpool, and far too much expository dialogue. Most of this volume is people telling our narrator about events that have happened to third parties. This can be enjoyable in short bursts; but here it's pushed to an extreme that shows precis ...more
Mar 03, 2014 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third instalment of Anthony Powell’s epic sequence sees Nick Jenkins struggling over the publication of an art book for which he is awaiting an introduction, due to be written by a well-known novelist St. John Clarke. As the novel opens Nick meets his Uncle Giles for tea –at the Ufford; a private hotel in Bayswater, whilst they take tea in the deserted lounge they are joined by an acquaintance of Uncle Giles, Mrs Myra Erdleigh who is persuaded to’ get out her cards’ and proceeds to tell thei ...more
Jan 29, 2010 g rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just love this series so far--the characters, the wry sense of humor, how the writing just sweeps you along. It's all oh-so-British, and I love the pervasive fascination with human behavior, how people change over time. The first three books are all structured around a handful of social gatherings, where incongruous personalities interact in surprising and illuminating ways. It's like that Sharon Olds poem, "I Go Back to May 1937," where the speaker imagines her parents paper dolls whom she ba ...more
David Mcangus
Jan 11, 2013 David Mcangus rated it really liked it
Perhaps it's because I'm in my mid twenties (though at the opposite end of the social spectrum) but I'm starting to feel an affinity towards these young men and women. After two books of character establishment, it seems Powell is now starting to peak into each consciousness and see what they are made of. Through doing this it's now clear that each has their own conflicts brewing, and while they may now be part of "The Acceptance World". This acceptance brings with it responsibility and therefor ...more
Marius van Blerck
Feb 05, 2011 Marius van Blerck rated it it was amazing
This is the third book in Anthony Powell's extraordinary 12-volume series, A Dance to the Music of Time.

In each of my reviews of this series, I repeat the following two paragraphs. If you wish, simply skip ahead to the last.

If you enjoy Marcel Proust, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, you'll take to this like a Duke to Porter. But if you aren't really into them, but simply like a long drawn out yarn, beautifully written, spanning a large part of the 20th century, this series will entrance you.

Sep 01, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lars Guthrie
Apr 15, 2009 Lars Guthrie rated it it was amazing
Three from one fourth into 'A Dance to the Music of Time," Powell's multi-novel saga. The experience grows richer as we follow Powell's characters as they establish careers and relationships. Stringham, who was peripheral in 'A Buyer's Market,' reappears, sadly dissolute and with his marriage failed. Templer, although successful financially, also sees his wife leave, and Nick, surprisingly, takes up with Templer's sister, Jean. And there is the rather startling ascendance of Widmerp ...more
Renee M
Mar 27, 2016 Renee M rated it really liked it
I'm having such a wonderful time on this journey through the Dance series. Having finished the third book, I feel thoroughly drawn into Nick's world; happy to visit with friends and acquaintances as they whirl in and out of his immediate experience. Although, I suspect I'm going to reread the whole thing again in order to truly appreciate not only the characters, but the commentary on the times in which they live. There's just so much to take in! Not that I'm complaining. I definitely feel immer ...more
Meron Axos
Jun 22, 2014 Meron Axos rated it it was ok
Half way through The Acceptance World, after reading the previous two volumes, I realized that I just don't care about any of these characters. None of them, really. Not Stringham nor Templar nor Jean nor Sillery nor Barnby nor Members nor Quiggen nor even the narrator, who has really not made himself completely open to us.

I find it pleasing to read such literary English. But I also find this view of upper crust English society between the wars to be somewhat superficial. If the idea is that we
Oct 17, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Comme d'autres lecteurs l'ont noté, je pense entre autres à Eleonor, M. Powell délaisse quelque peu le style des deux premiers volumes caractérisé par des longues phrases en arabesque dans lesquelles un lecteur distrait peut se perdre facilement. Si son narrateur, Jenkins, demeure toujours conscient de l'importance de la précision et de la nuance, il semble avoir davantage confiance en son jugement et s'exprime avec moins d'hésitation. Certes, il continue de peser le pour et le contre, mais il l ...more
Travelling Sunny
May 11, 2016 Travelling Sunny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook
I recommend brushing up on a synopsis of this book's background and setting before reading it. There are a number of dialogues and/or comments that reference political events occurring at the time that I was unfamiliar with. So, I spent a lot of time looking information up to better understand what they were talking about.

Otherwise, this was an enjoyable book. I am enjoying reading about Nick and his friends as they evolve from boyhood to young adulthood.
Geoff Wooldridge
Jun 14, 2015 Geoff Wooldridge rated it really liked it
Book 3 of the 12 part series, A Dance to the Music of Time, this was the most enjoyable yet. This completes the first trilogy, collectively known as "Spring".

The lads are getting older, moving through their twenties and into their early 30s. Jenkins, our narrator, is moving forward in the publishing world and has released his first novel, the ubiquitous Widmerpool progresses in business, Stringham has become and alcoholic and Templer has married and lost his model wife.

It is also now the 1930s,
May 12, 2014 max rated it it was ok
While thematically stronger than a Buyer's Market, the body of the book dealt with a professional rivalry between Quiggin and Members that held little interest to me. (view spoiler) ...more
Glen Engel-Cox
Dec 04, 2014 Glen Engel-Cox rated it liked it
Recommended to Glen by: Rich
This is number three of twelve in the 12-part "A Dance to the Music of Time" series. I found the first two volumes a little dull and slow, but I am continuing to read this series mainly due to Rich Horton's exhortations. With this book, I finally got a sense of why Rich keeps urging me along; something finally clicked. As characters reappeared, I welcomed them back as old friends, and didn't need to flip back to find where they had entered the story before. Jenkins, the narrator, started doing s ...more
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.
Ian Brydon
Nov 21, 2015 Ian Brydon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 obser ...more
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2016: A Dance to ...: {March} The Acceptance World 39 39 Apr 20, 2016 10:23AM  
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Anthony Dymoke Powel CH, CBE was an English novelist best known for his twelve-volume work A Dance to the Music of Time, published between 1951 and 1975.
Powell's major work has remained in print continuously and has been the subject of TV and radio dramatisations. In 2008, The Times newspaper named Powell among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
More about Anthony Powell...

Other Books in the Series

A Dance to the Music of Time (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • A Question of Upbringing (A Dance to the Music of Time, #1)
  • A Buyer's Market (A Dance to the Music of Time #2)
  • At Lady Molly's (A Dance to the Music of Time, #4)
  • Casanova's Chinese Restaurant (A Dance to the Music of Time, #5)
  • The Kindly Ones (A Dance to the Music of Time, #6)
  • The Valley of Bones (A Dance to the Music of Time, #7)
  • The Soldier's Art (A Dance to the Music of Time, #8)
  • The Military Philosophers (A Dance to the Music of Time, #9)
  • Books Do Furnish a Room (A Dance to the Music of Time, #10)
  • Temporary Kings (A Dance to the Music of Time, #11)

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