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Re: where to enjoy AR


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Posted by Peter Ceresole on October 02, 2016 at 03:07:17 user PeterC.

In Reply to: where to enjoy AR posted by Tiss Flower on September 23, 2016 at 01:13:50:

How do others read the series? In bulk? Bite-size chunks?

68 years after first having Swallowdale read to me in a freezing cold (they all were) Victorian house, I "carry" them on an iPad Mini, that lives permanently in my pocket, and read them in bursts, favourite bits. PM tops, followed by WH and parts of WD. This is interspersed with my favourite "grown up" books, Anthony Powell's "Dance to the music of time".
Fascinating contrast in styles; Powell excessively florid, never use five words when ten will do, AR spare and elegant. But both powerfully evocative with vividly drawn characters. AR's best moment the revealing of the kinship of Nancy and the GA, Powell's characters working their way into real life in an extraordinary way- they really are people you've known and tendrils of that experience follow me throughout my otherwise totally non-mystic life (*). But then of course, I have always been in love with Dorothea. Really.
(*)AR exclusivists please skip this bit- it's about Powell.
The other day I went to Kensal Green crematorium, for the funeral of the partner of my rock'n roll Muso friend, a woman known internationally for her hedonism, who died asking for cognac. Afterwards he emailed me to recall a moment in Powell when the narrator encounters Sunny Farebrother, a "downy bird", on the Bakerloo, on the way back from Kensal Green, where he's been attending the funeral service for another character with a complicated part in the "Dance". They talk reflectively about him, and then the narrator gets off and as the train pulls away he sees, though the window, that Sunny has started to smile again. All fine and typical, but the "Powellite" syndrome manifested itself in our wondering, in emails, where Sunny would have got off the train. Sunny being a wealthy widower, we finally settled on Piccadilly, where he would be living in a set at the Albany. The Bakerloo stops there. A life experience confirmed- my friend and I both "know" Sunny Farebrother.
With AR, the "character" I feel I know best is AR himself.


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