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A Buyer's Market

(A Dance to the Music of Time #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,077 ratings  ·  166 reviews
'He is, as Proust was before him, the great literary chronicler of his culture in his time.' GUARDIAN

A Dance to the Music of Time is universally acknowledged as one of the great works of English literature. Reissued now in this definitive edition, it stands ready to delight and entrance a new generation of readers.

In this second volume, Nick Jenkins is struggling to establ
Paperback, 274 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Arrow (first published 1952)
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 ·  1,077 ratings  ·  166 reviews

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Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


And so the Dance continues in its beginnings. The second period interval is still part of the dawn of times. The main contribution with this term is that the dancers begin to acquire shape. They also become much more numerous, and I now begin to fear a multitude, given how poor my memory for names is, when the do not have a face. Luckily I am accompanying my read with an audio version, which appropriately adds the musicality of the human voice to the dance. The brillian
Vit Babenco
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bohemians and freeloaders, socialites and beautiful people are all in a hurry to partake in the agitated stirrings at the bottom of high society…
The roaring twenties preside over the ball…
Although these relatively exotic embellishments to the scene occurred within a framework on the whole commonplace enough, the shifting groups of the party created, as a spectacle, illusion of moving within the actual confines of a picture or tapestry, into the depths of which the personality of each new arrival
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the second novel in the Dance to the Music of Time series, following on from A Question of Upbringing. It is set in 1928, when our narrator, Nick Jenkins, is twenty one or two. However, it begins with a flashback to Paris just after WWI, when Nick has a chance meeting with an artist, Mr Deacon, an acquaintance of his parents. This introduction serves the reader to understand the various relationships in Nick’s life, as he meets up with Mr Deacon again after a dinner party at the Walpole- ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016

The second part of the twelve-step dance around time and memory from Anthony Powell picks up the story of his alter-ego, Nicholas Jenkins, a few years after he finishes school and moves to London, probably around 1925. I am grateful to the group read of the Dance for motivating me to keep to the schedule of one book per month, thus keeping things fresh in my mind and offering bonus material in the discussion pages.

Being familiar with the style of presentation and with some of the characters hel
I've wondered from time to time what Max Pilgrim's smutty song Tess of Le Touquet actually sounded like. Yesterday, thanks to Yllacaspia, I was introduced to Fiji Fanny. I can't help feeling that there might be some connection here... what do other Dancers think? ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
"It is no good being a beauty alone on a desert island."
-- Anthony Powell, A Buyer's Market


"For reasons not always at the time explicable, there are specific occasions when events begin suddenly to take on a significance previously unsuspected; so that, before we really know where we are, life seems to have begun in earnest at last, and we, ourselves, scarcely aware that any change has taken place, are careering uncontrollably down the slippery avenues of eternity."
-- Anthony Powell, A Buyer's
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
"A Buyer's Market" is the second book in Anthony Powell's twelve novel sequence "A Dance To The Music of Time" and it picks up the narrative in 1928, via a flashback to Paris where narrator Nick Jenkins introduces us to an artist called Mr Deacon.

Nick is now in his early twenties and whilst more grown up, still uncertain of his place in the world. I assume this explains the book's title. Nick and his contemporaries are searching for money, jobs, sex, social status etc. and their search takes th
Connie G
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
"A Buyer's Market" takes the narrator, Nick Jenkins, to London in the late 1920s. Much of the novel is set at either upscale parties, or with a group of bohemians that revolve around the artist Mr Deacon.

The title of the book suggests that the parties are a kind of marketplace. People attend the parties to meet marriage prospects and sexual partners. The parties are also an opportunity to make business contacts, the 1920s version of networking. It was important to climb the social ladder by ming
Katie Lumsden
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
I adore this series so much, the 1920s setting, the characters, the parties, the hints at things to come. Brilliant and hilarious.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am quite mesmerised by Anthony Powell's style now that I have got used to it. The long rolling sentences remind me in a way of the themes in Rachmaninov's symphonies, which roll on and on and sweep the listener with them. The following description of one of the characters gives a flavour of Powell's style:

"She dressed usually in tones of brown and green, colours that gave her for some reason, possibly because her hats almost always conveyed the impression of being peaked, an air of belonging t
From Wiki:
A Buyer's Market is the second novel in Anthony Powell's twelve-novel series, A Dance to the Music of Time. Published in 1952, it continues the story of narrator Nick Jenkins with his introduction into society after boarding school and university.

The book presents new characters, notably the painter Mr. Deacon and his dubious female acquaintance Gypsy Jones, as well as reappearances by Jenkins' school friends Peter Templer, Charles Stringham and Kenneth Widmerpool. The action takes pla
Diane Barnes
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
In book 2, Nick and his school friends are in their 20's, and have entered the real world of work and pleasure. The excellent writing continues, with intimations of complications ahead.
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In this, the second novel in Powell’s twelve-volume series, A Dance to the Music of Time (and the books absolutely must be read sequentially!), new personages are introduced: Mr. Deacon, Barnby, Barbara Goring, the Walpole-Wilsons; and Widmerpool reappears. The events in the book occur four or five years following those in the previous book, A Question of Upbringing, during which interval Nick has not seen Charles Stringham. In chapter after chapter, indeed in novel after novel, characters and t ...more
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary-fiction
I found this more difficult than Book 1 and it's taken me several weeks to finish. I think I've had, at least, two problems. First, I've had great difficulty caring about Powell's characters. I don't need to like them. After all, sometimes the most compelling characters are unlikeable. But so far, I feel quite indifferent to them. (And there are dozens!) Their dialogue is opaque, their motivations murky and their stories meaningless to me. And perhaps that's because what I'm experiencing is cult ...more
Renee M
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting to see Nick Jenkins and the other young men from A Question of Upbringing in their 20s in the 20s. Some fascinating new characters emerge. Lots of art and social commentary. But mostly the deliciously wonderful writing that just rolls over the reader in a salty surf of words. :)
Still waiting for the plot to form, but that prose! How can someone weave such deliciously intricate sentences is beyond me.
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A BUYER'S MARKET, the second volume of Anthony Powell's 12-volume sequence "A Dance to the Music of Times" is a considerably more ambitious work than the first. While A QUESTION OF UPBRINGING was an enjoyable if something lightweight look back at narrator Nicholas Jenkins' days at school and university, now we see him entering the ballrooms of high society while also discovering the London demimonde of the late 1920s.

The novel is impressive in form also. Nearly the entire first half of the nove
Justin Evans
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Nothing in the first novel of ADMT really prepares you for this. There you get short introductions to characters, traditional plot movements, transparent prose and above all variety. With A Buyer's Market we're suddenly in the realm of Proust volume three, which is pretty much a party described over hundreds of pages. Say what you will about Powell. This is shorter than Le Côté de Guermantes. I wonder if Marias, anglophile that he is, took as much from Powell as from Proust to write Your Face To ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: group-read
It's the "Roaring '20s", a time of dances, dinner parties and late night gatherings for the fashionable London crowd that our narrator, Nick Jenkins, hangs with. There are ladies, some young, some not so young, whose charms, at first, infatuate and who eventually go on to disappoint the young Jenkins. Many memorable characters from "A Question of Upbringing" are here as well including schoolmates Widmerpool, Stringham and Peter Templer. All seemed to be gainfully employed and moving up in their ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Missing some of the humor of the first volume but still brilliant.
Life is a dance. It has no moral progress or spiritual goal. People come and go; their characters become clearer. It’s a fun enough pastime and spectacle.
OK so book 1 was uni, book 2 is knocking around parties trying out relationships/ideas for careers, all the while storing up little nuggets of plot that we keep getting told will be important later... Blimey, how much later!? I've read 2 books already! I'm sure Powell has done something very clever/impressive, and I will read book 3 (as I've already bought it), but I seriously doubt that the other 9 will work their way into my TBR pile any time soon...
Tom Ewing
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Each of the novels of ADTTMOT makes a claim - with varying degrees of conviction - to stand alone, with characters and plots resolved within a single volume. The intricate, lopsided, A Buyer's Market follows two such strands. First, the life of Edgar Deacon, a bad painter and family friend of narrator Nick Jenkins' whose reappearance helps put in motion his escape from the world of balls and debutantes the book opens in. Second, Nick's troubles with women, an overlapping series of largely passiv ...more
David Mcangus
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it

A logical continuation on from the first book, that sees Jenkins and friends flirt with society life and become rather self reflective because of it. While I'm not quite invested in the characters yet (the story needs come conflict) they are growing on me, but I think the plot needs to expand somewhat before their lives have some context.

It is a better book that the first though: Powell's prose remains a key attraction and I found London society life more interesting that the school days of the
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, extraordinary, sublime, lyrical ... and, well, more of the same....

I recently discovered and (somewhat skeptically) embarked upon Powell's epic series, A Dance to the Music of Time, and - frankly, not really knowing what I was getting into - was quite taken with the first installment.

For better or worse, the second installment - this "book" - was entirely consistent ... a seamless progression through the narrator/protagonist's life (and maturation? discovery? finding his way? disce
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: group
It is considered an axiom that a writer should have an exciting beginning to a novel to draw readers in and encourage them to continue. Anthony Powell starts with a discourse about a minor, unfashionable artist Nick's parents knew and he met a few times before mentioning Barbara Goring, Nick's first and possibly only serious love. We also know, quite early in the book, that Nick and Barbara's romance does not prosper to a happy conclusion because later he is no longer invited to dine with her un ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Second time round - still wonderful. Nick, Widmerpool, Stringham, Mr Deacon and the gang go round the merry go round of time again in a buyers market: for love, power and art. But don’t blink - the door is open for a moment and then shuts again - with some players off the Field and the stakes higher. Powell has been called the British Proust - and the subject is the passing of time and the life lived within. And Powell is so hilarious and entertaining - with set pieces of four parties in the 192 ...more
Michael Cayley
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
The second in Anthony Powell’s sequence of novels, A Dance to the Music of Time, introduces new characters and shows ones from the first novel in a new light and in new combinations, like changing partners in a dance. This is the 1920s, and much of the book is taken up with one evening consisting of an upper-class dinner party, chance encounters, and a party hosted by a woman who has been mistress of a royal personage. The narratpr, Nicholas Jenkins, remains his stiff-lipped rather pompous self, ...more
Volume 2 of 12 Dance to the Music of Time taking our characters out into the “real world”. The end sentence sums it up “life seems to have begun in earnest at last, and we ourselves, scarcely aware that any change has taken place, are careering uncountrollably down the slippery avenues of eternity”. Volume 3 awaits for me in March “The Acceptance World” and the completion of the 1st Movement of my 12 month project.
Ben Moore
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like the first book, strangely compelling. Full of rich and interesting characters. In particular we learn more about Widmerpool who is proving to be one of my favourites of the cast.

Feels a lot like people watching.
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Anthony Dymoke Powell 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".

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