Celebrate! The Dance Is Halfway Finished!
Today, I celebrate.
Because, today, I am halfway finished with A Dance To The Music Of Time, perhaps the most lengthy and tedious piece of literature I have ever read. That means “The Year of The Dance” is 50% complete.
So what’s it like to read A Dance To The Music Of Time? The following paragraph, taken from Book 6, The Kindly Ones, will give you an idea:
For some reason there was a great deal of fuss about moving the marquetry cabinet from Hyde Park Gardens to South Kensington. The reason for these difficulties was obscure, although it was true that not an inch remained in the Jeavons house for the accommodation of an additional piece of furniture.
You just read a paragraph about the obscure difficulties of moving a piece of furniture. This is riveting drama.
Where does A Dance go from here? Well, World War 2 has started and is now a part of the novel’s plot background. Maybe, just maybe, this will help the story pick up and become more interesting.
To be fair, I will give you an example of a paragraph I liked from the book. If you’ve been out of high school for awhile, and maybe even been to a high school reunion or two, you’ll see how dead on this paragraph is:
There was, of course, absolutely no reason why Templer should adopt a satirical tone towards Widmerpool, who had as much right as anyone else to make friends with–if necessary, even to dominate–persons like Templer, who had made fun of him as a schoolboy. It was the juxtaposition of his complete acceptance of Widmerpool with Templer’s equally complete indifference to his old crony, Stringham, that gave the two things an emphasis that certainly jarred a little.
So the novel isn’t without its strengths. Powell makes plenty of powerful insights. But the story itself? Meh. It’s killing me. Never has so little happened in 1,500 pages of a novel.
Yet, I continue on. I begin Book 7, The Valley Of Bones, in July.
Have I sold you on this novel yet?
Check out my previous posts about A Dance To The Music Of Time.