Afternoon Men PDF/EPUB Ú Paperback

Afternoon Men PDF/EPUB Ú Paperback

Afternoon Men [Download] ➾ Afternoon Men ➹ Anthony Powell – Afternoon Men follows the trivial encounters and idle pastimes of the social set through William Atwater With a glee in upending pretense that rivals the works of Max Beerbohm and Evelyn Waugh Powell Afternoon Men follows the trivial encounters and idle pastimes of the social set through William Atwater With a glee in upending pretense that rivals the works of Max Beerbohm and Evelyn Waugh Powell attacks artistic pretension aristocratic jadedness and the dark side of the glamorous lifeAfternoon Men provides an important perspective on the development of one of this century's great satirists.

10 thoughts on “Afternoon Men

  1. Cera Cera says:

    A very funny book in which absolutely nothing happens I read some criticism of it while reading up on literature of the 1930s and thought it sounded unbelievably bleak but somehow I was amused rather than depressed The characters want very little do even less and even the climactic bits are entirely anti climactic very telling in a novel from 1931

  2. Matt Matt says:

    I first heard about Afternoon Men when I stumbled upon an online review that described the book as the funniest book you will ever read A few of my favorite books we pretty damn funny A Confederacy of Dunces Catch 22 most Vonnegut books so I figured this book was worth reading I picked up this book not really knowing what to expect other than it should be funny It was an engaging uick read despite the fact that nothing really happens for most of the book I finished the book liking it but not really knowing why I didn't find it particularly funny and it certainly wasn't the funniest book I have ever read but there was an element of ridiculousness new word alert to the superficial lives of the characters that is oddly entertaining and keeps you interested I would recommend this book to someone who isn't ready to start in a long heavy book War and Peace and wants to read something light The characters lives seem very pointless and I am sure someone with a sharp intellect could find some neat philosophical themebut I just read it for leisure

  3. Nigel Nigel says:

    Posh people do nothing very slowly So why do I love this book? I really don't know but it really is a gem Now I want to read everything else he wrote

  4. Jonathan Jonathan says:

    Afternoon Men was Anthony Powell's first novel and was published in 1931 when Powell was only 26 years old I found this copy in a secondhand bookshop when I was reading his twelve volume series of novels A Dance to the Music of Time It's a fun book and will certainly be of interest to anyone that has read Dance as the style and structure of the book is so similar to his later work The book has little plot and instead concentrates on characters and the dialogue between the many characters who are all from the same jaded semi aristocratic intellectual milieu as in Dance The main character is William Atwater who has an unsatisfying job at a museum The book opens with Atwater in a bar discussing with his friend Pringle Pringle's current medication regime We are then introduced to several other characters who enter the bar and are known to Atwater As is typical with Powell we get to know the characters from dialogue and short little character descriptions Here for example is his description of Atwater early on in the bookHe was a weedy looking young man with straw coloured hair and rather long legs who had failed twice for the Foreign Office He sometimes wore tortoiseshell rimmed spectacles to correct a slight suint and through influence he had recently got a job in a museum His father was a retired civil servant who lived in Essex where he and his wife kept a chicken farmThe group from the bar decide to go to a party where we are introduced to even characters Powell does a great job of showing a party in full swing with random conversations with random people the constant flux of partygoers and the general chaos involved with people getting drunk some passing out in the bathroom drinks getting spilt and so on Atwater meets a girl called Lola 'She had the look of a gnome or prematurely vicious child' whom he unsuccessfully tries to get to go home with him that is until he is obviously entranced with the appearance of the beautiful Susan Nunnery then Lola is eager to get Atwater away from the party Although most of the humour is in the dialogue and the character descriptions Powell occasionally gives us a bit of slapstick Mr Scheigan is an American publisher who was with Atwater at the party; he was drunk at the bar and then fell asleep on the floor at the party When they decide to leave they try to get Scheigan home in a taxi   They all went downstairs and lent a hand in getting Mr Scheigan into his taxi He got out once but they put him back in again and as the taxi drove off they saw him leaning through the window talking to the driver The taxi door came open as it turned the corner at the end of the street but as long as the vehicle remained in sight Mr Scheigan had still not fallen out Barlow said   He seemed uite unused to getting into taxisThe first section also contains a chapter where we see Atwater at work in the museum He's visited by an annoying member of the public called Dr Crutch who tries to get private access to some of the exhibits presumably exhibits of a sexual nature There's also an amusing paragraph where Atwater lists all the things he could and should do but instead he 'sat and thought about existence and its difficulties' We get to eavesdrop on lunches parties and chance meetings; the characters develop as we find out background information and gossip As Atwater pursues Susan Lola pursues Atwater Powell describes Atwater's seduction of Lola as 'mechanical' and can only lead to an anti climax but he appears to be making progress with Susan    Susan poured herself out some wine She said   You're nice You must come and see me some time I live miles away from anywhere with my father You'll like him   Tell me about him   He's a curious little man with a walrus moustache   What does he do?   He's a failure   Where does he fail?   Oh he doesn't any longer she said He's a retired failure you see You must meet him   I'd like toAtwater takes Susan to see some boxing but she warns him that she won't fall in love with him and she doesn't instead she plans to go away from London for an unspecified period of timeIn the final third of the book Atwater visits his friend Pringle in the country with some of his other friends Just when we think the novel is not going to go anywhere Powell threatens to give us a bit of drama only to pull back at the final moment—it works really well and is uite amusing And there's some great dialogue such as this   The barman came to the other side of the counter    Time please he said   Harriet said You mustn't hurry a lady drinking a pint of beer The effects might be fatal

  5. Keeley Keeley says:

    Powell's first novel differs in tone from his Dance cycle The social milieu is much the same; intellectuals and artists float about between depressing parties and country houses And the plot is again cyclical; while that character was created through metaphor and imagery in Dance here it is simply the fact that the first and last scenes occur in a private club and conclude with an invitation to a party The mood is much bleaker however The protagonist seems to have no purpose or real enjoyment to his life and the only change that occurs to him in the course of the novel is his loss of a couple of girlfriends to other men Despite the fact that I tend to dislike bleak novels I uite enjoyed reading this It felt much like Naipaul

  6. Paul Paul says:

    I found this book at a used book store in Minneapolis Anthony Powell is one of my favorite writers so I bought it I think it was one of his earlier books published in 1931 Just finished it I liked it of course The dry wit the recording of conversations you want to read and and if you do there's always his massive Dance to the Music of Time The protagonist's love affair reminded me of one I had in college where you couldn't seem to find a way to where you wanted to go

  7. David David says:

    The I re read Powell the I appreciate the subtlety of the humour A classic from this first of his novels is the comment that a man passed out drunk at a party doesn’t lower the tone of the party as much as he did while still conscious It is dry humour at its most Saharan but very enjoyable The boxing match in the middle section reminds one of Hemingway whose influence on Powell is probably most obvious in this debut novel One tends to forget that Powell was ever influenced by Hemingway

  8. Anthony Crupi Anthony Crupi says:

    Like other early novels about the Bright Young Things—Waugh's Vile Bodies Green's Party Going Connolly's The Rock Pool etc etc—Powell's first published book gives rise to a categorical I need to read pretty much everything by this author vibe Perhaps one of the most well wrought yet largely plotless debuts this side of The Moviegoer Speedboat A Confederacy of Dunces and Sleepless Nights

  9. William William says:

    Anthony Powell's first novel published within a year of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies and following much the same cast of Bright Young Things albeit in rather a different manner People fall in and out of love and clubs venture from Mayfair to the Country then beat a hasty retreat In his memoirs Powell makes a distinction between two kinds of novelist the Perfectionists like Flaubert or Henry James who write and re write making sure everything is just so and not a word is misplaced; and the Other Sort like Dickens and Balzac for whom no situation detail or character which enters their minds is superfluous He suggests that to be of the Other Sort reuires energy and creative vitality confidence that something good will always turn up if only one plods on This is certainly borne out in one's reading of Dickens and Balzac in which the polarities of brilliance and dreck sit comfortably side by side one never guaranteeing the other's absence However if the writer lacks this self confidence or innate ability they must be Perfectionists compensating perhaps for lack of raw material with scrupulous standards of editing I think it is obvious into which camp Powell would place himself Here we have a very slender plot rendered with the lightest of touches every effect understated and deliberate It is dialogue heavy often with multiple characters maintaining separate threads of conversation never uite weaving together producing a musical uality redolent of theatre Descriptions are pared themselves sometimes reading like stage directions Direct statements of character psychology are rare The elisions serve as punchlines All this makes for rather a self conscious read They style is always apparent much so than in A Dance to the Music of Time and the humour is caustic without the underlying affection present in his opus That is not so surprising Powell was only 26 when this was published Once or twice this tips over into a certain edginess or callow world weariness which youth is often guilty of 'Slowly but very deliberately the brooding edifice of seduction creaking and incongruous came into being a vast Heath Robinson mechanism dually controlled by them and lumbering gloomily down vistas of triteness With a sort of heavy fisted dexterity the mutually adapted emotions of each of them became synchronised until the unavoidable anti climax was at hand Later they dined at a restaurant uite near the flat'The last sentence almost saves it but probably it is always better to avoid writing about sex unless it is humorous I struggle to think of any sex scenes in Dance And I wonder also how much of his understated ness it is attributable to self awareness of artistic limitations not a bad thing the novel's weakest point is towards the end when the main character is feeling heartbroken and we get the single longest moment of 'interior reflection' which I thought a bit of a clunkerI compared this to Vile Bodies Powell is of a realist than Waugh The humour is observational without much exaggeration of situation or character to create comic effect I wonder whether Waugh's approach works better there being something about these people which naturally invites caricature but then I don't much like that novel either Probably it is difficult to write a good novel about people one dislikes

  10. Realini Realini says:

    Afternoon Men by Anthony Powell10 out of 10Anthony Powell is the Literature God that has blessed humanity with the glorious divine series of twelve 12 masterpieces published under the acclaimed A Dance to the Music of Time title a writer that will belong to the same historical artistic circle as Marcel Proust Somerset Maugham Bernard Malamud Flannery O’Connor – Anthony Powell seems to have started off on the magical uest of A Dance to the Music of Time by creating the framework with Afternoon Men wherein we have William Atwater a museum clerk the figure that announces the procrastination meandering journey of the protagonist of A uestion of Upbringing and the other magnum opera a man in search of love if possible erudite entertainment but also prone to engage in less sophisticated antics near the sea or in London Raymond Pringle may be the ancestor of Widmerpool a fantastic somewhat grotesue character that appears in At Lady Molly’s and in other parts whether he has someone pour sugar over his head or doing something emphatic albeit Pringle is a painter and not an aspiring politician with an inflated ego he does have a manner that can be obnoxious – take the scene where a local comes to take back the clothes he has lent to the man that was naked in the sea thinking about suicide but not altogether decided to go all the way with it when the others are talking at length – and I mean uite at length – about how much money would be proper to give this visitor one arguing that ten shillings would do they had a different value then while another is inclined to say a pound would be appropriate for after all these fishermen have saved the life of the confused erratic artist who had left a note about his intentionsThat appears to be uite a climax in the story for it does not seem that this is about to happen when the main character William Atwater who does seem to be at sea most often Raymond Pringle as the one who has the use of the house near the sea must pay the woman helping the household with the meals and otherwise – and he would be uite miserly about it arguing over a proposed increase in payment considered necessary because of the volume of work and the gossip of the neighbors who are conservative and look with suspicion and predictions of gloom and doom on a house with these libertines visiting from London and some other guests share the abode that will be their shelter for some vacation daysHarriet Twinning is one of the guests at the house near the sea and she has a special status given that Raymond Pringle is very attached to her at least until he finds her with another man if not exactly having coitus then intimate enough for the painter to be seriously affected by this incident after which he comes without towels at the beach he walks naked into the water and then later the guests find when they look at what looks like an envelope with the bill for the butcher or some other shop that there is a note inside which says something along the lines of ‘I have failed at everything I did give five pounds for the help and the change to Harriet and the other five pounds which are in the top drawer send to my sister’ in what seems to be a suicide explanation although with hindsight he may have intended to ponder over the content the release so to say to the public of these intentions and after death indicationsThe dialogue interactions surrounding this highlight – if we can call it that – appear very enticing amusing and also insightful for the guests including another painter Barlow that would commiserate think himself to blame for growing too intimate with Harriet and criticizing some of the paintings of the now thought dead artist muse over what might have happened one Ms Race is very upset over the delay in serving lunch – though this annoyance is expressed before the fatidic note is found – in spite of the fact that she has been allowed to benefit from the granted austere hospitality of difficult outré often harsh and peculiar Pringle together with a dog that is not even house trained – we learn that the visitors will get adapted to this situation which must have been uite offensiveStill it is not clear what must have happened with the very late host speculation being that he will return uite soon there is a rain out there but when the paper with the reuest to give money due after the now almost certain death the guests proceed to execute the final wishes giving money to the help and Atwater writes a letter informing the sister of the deceased of what happened albeit without referring to the intentions and speaking of the accident that had taken place the result of which is the drowned painterthe sister appears to be married to an important director of a bank but they say that people are always happy to receive five pounds no matter how reach they are and then there is the kerfuffle surrounding the fishermanMaybe a spoiler alert should be included here in spite of the fact that it appears presumptuous in that it would assume that people read this and reach so far never mind the poignancy of a note that would be so convincing as to make one say óh but I need to read this too bad this fellow gave away some of the ending’for after they will have finished most of the reuirements made by the late host he shows up in one of the rooms wearing some trousers a jumper and heavy boots – remember he was naked and the guests went climbing the rocks to get the clothes back wet and soaking by the rain – and tired as he is there is confusion over the message he has written for he has not left it in an obvious place and thought the others might have missed itanyway he has gotten cold feetAs he was swimming in the water there have been a few boast around and some of the fishermen were not troubled by this strange apparition while others have been upset by his nakedness and one said he will report this affront to the authorities – he was taken in one of the boats which had two people on board and then given the clotheswhen the fisherman came to fetch the clothes a long winding comical discussion ensues for participants try to see what has happened who did what and how much is to be offered for services rendered – which is uite preposterous given that these two have saved the life of the would be suicidal artist as one does indeed point out – how many they were what exactly they did then one points out that the man has had to travel uite some way to have his belongings returnedthere is the issue of offering him a drink only he is a teetotaler and he would like a cocoa but since there is none available they make him and he drinks coffeeThe notes of the magnificent sublime volumes of A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell to be read Pole as I have just learned are here

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