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To Keep the Ball Rolling: The Memoirs of Anthony Powell Hardcover – Abridged, 17 Apr 2001
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"Among portraits of twentieth-century British literary life this is perhaps the wittiest and most keenly observed--and certainly the finest written."--Atlantic Monthly
"Powell can offer many of the rewards of comic creation we find in a Dickens or a Jane Austen, coupled with the ultimate gift of such creations."--Times Literary Supplement
This is an abridged version of Powell's four volumes memoirs, which were published between 1976 and 1982. Anthony Powell earnt the reputation of being a literary giant within the generation of Waugh, Orwell and Greene. He is probably best known for his 12 volume work "A Dance to the Music of Time". These memoirs reveal Powell the man and author, and also provide an inside view of the British literary scene and social elite, from the 1920's to the 1980s. Powell observes the obsenity trial sparked by "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and Shirley Temple's libel suit after Graham Greene reviewed "Wee Willie Winkie" with "more than his usual verve". He also paints vivid portraits of other authors, such as Kingsley Amis, V.S. Naipaul, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Powell is dismissed as a minor talent and worse (a snob, probably the most disparaging epithet), but who writing today is his equal? He's not as great a stylist as Waugh and his yarns aren't as gripping as Graham Greene (to mention two of his major contemporaries), but Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, and D.J. Taylor wish they could write as well as Powell did.
His memoirs are as readable as DANCE and the early novels, and for those who can't get enough, I highly recommend his three volume "Journals".
A major writer of his time and place.
Anyone with an interest in the book trade and art of writing, or in English writers of the past century, should certainly be urged to read these memoirs.
I especially liked Mr. Powell's close of life lessons, advice drawn from a small incident involving Michaelangelo.