Temporary Kings

Temporary Kings

4.2 (416 ratings by Goodreads)
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 157.5 x 236.2 x 30.5mm | 589.68g
  • ISIS Large Print Books
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large Print edition
  • 0753158248
  • 9780753158241

Review Text

This is the eleventh volume in twice as many years - the next to last one in the social reconnaissance which goes by the name of The Music of Time. And while time is running out, Powell's accomplishments show no slackening - indeed this is the strongest volume in the series. The overhang of melancholy and the cryptic premonitions of mortality are everywhere right from the start when a prominent French intellectual (who was to have presided at a conference in Venice - the occasion of this book) dies after a rendezvous with Pamela Widmerpool who has left her fatal imprint throughout. Even the cruel, seductive, eminently "bedworthy" Pamela (who parallels the myth of a fabulous Tiepolo ceiling in Venice) looks "frightening" at the close. Of course many of the others also appear in diminished states: particularly the outraged and humiliated Widmerpool, now a Life Peer; or Bagshaw who has transferred from journalism to television; and of course the everpresent recorder, Nicholas Jenkins. There's a new character of considerable interest - the American Gwinnett writing a book on the dead writer X. Trapnel whose manuscript, among other things, Pamela has destroyed. Eroticism, previously and rather primly averted, has a stronger thrust - after all le petit mort is all part of that larger one. But then one admires as always and in greater measure what Powell has succeeded in doing throughout the years - the elegant reticence which sets the tone; the stylish if incidental coffee-housing which informs on the many lives threaded throughout the continuity (however much your memory needs to be prodded); and the artful synchronization of all these connections and transitions, so imperceptibly effected. But there's a staying power this time - more than just the acknowledgement that it is late afternoon in this temporal world of which this is such a marvelous facsimile. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Rating details

416 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 41% (169)
4 43% (178)
3 14% (57)
2 2% (10)
1 0% (2)
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