G. F. H. Shadbold, a lifelong poseur and literary manqué lives, for the most part, in fear of discovery. A friend, Cedric Winterwade, whom he evidently seduced in his college days, writes a novel almost as insignificant and badly written as Shadbold's own literary output. As time passes, however, and the friend is killed in the army, Winterwade's novel begins to be rediscovered, creating panic in Shadbold and a hilarious series of events in which Powell pokes fun at the writing community, academic life, and a whole generation of memoir-toting literati.
Anthony Powell, who recently died, is one of the great comic writers of Britian in the 20th century.
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Anthony Powell (1905−2000) was an English novelist best known for A Dance to the Music of Time, which was published in twelve volumes between 1951 and 1975. He also wrote seven other novels, a biography of John Aubrey, two plays, and three volumes of collected reviews and essays, as well as a four-volume autobiography, an abridged version of which, To Keep the Ball Rolling, is available from the University of Chicago Press.Review:
“A superlative new short novel, a satirical zinger. . . . O, How the Wheel Becomes It! is a distillation of all that is inimitable about its author—deflation of high seriousness and the pursuit of esteem at the expense of others, achieved with rigorous understatement; a wryness that is never mocking or arch; and a sense of pathos just offstage.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Powell has always dealt beautifully with the vagaries of the sexual imagination. . . . A treat for the many Powell addicts.” (Allan Massie Scotsman (UK))
“Powell’s observations of human behavior are as sharp, his ear for conversation as devastatingly accurate, his wit as trenchant, as they ever were.” (Susan Hill Daily Telegraph (UK))
“The unmatched serenity of Powell’s humor is the product of a classical perspective: confident that the more obvious verities of life do not change much, he refuses to wring his hands at the decadence of the age, contenting himself with the sheer spectacle of human excess.” (David Heim New Republic)
“There is no other . . . British novelist whose sense of social nuance is so delicate or so subtle, or whose comic range is so wide. . . . And there is certainly no other novelist whose work gives so much or such consistent pleasure.” (Times Literary Supplement (UK))
“One of his cleverest, funniest, and most delightful books.” (A. N. Wilson)
“Powell excels at the long arc. . . . For those not yet ready to tackle Dance, Wheel is a work of the mature Powell, very sensitive to those unforeseen changes in fortune or circumstance that occur throughout life and which give the book its title.” (Gerald J. Russello The Millions)
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Book Description Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1983. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0030639999