Judi Moore's Reviews > The Military Philosophers

The Military Philosophers by Anthony Powell
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's review
Apr 07, 11

it was amazing
Read from March 29 to April 06, 2011 — I own a copy

Anthony Powell's monster sequence of novels continues to impress. I wrote about an earlier one that they are autobiographical. But I'm not sure that's true now. Certainly he also wrote several volumes of memoirs (which I haven't read). But the level of detail is astonishing. And certainly the main events really occured, and a number of the characters really existed.

The books are 'simply' anecdotes and gossip strung together. There's no plot per se. And yet despite (or, perhaps, because of) this I find them unputdownable. This one deals with most of the war; the Blitz, military attaches, deaths of friends from domestic bombing, military campaigns and secret ops. The awful Widmerpool meets his match. Life continues.

The climax is the Victory service in St Pauls cathedral (which I hadn't heard about before). And Nick, the narrator, suddenly finds himself overcome by the thought that, finally, the wretched war is over; now he has to find something to do in the peace (that'll be volume 10). It kept me up until 0330 yesterday morning. 'A Dance to the Music of Time' (vols 1 - 12) is definitely something to take to that desert island.

For something completely different why not try my novel 'Is death really necessary?' an eco-thriller set in the future. Be interested to know what you think.


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