Through much of the beginning of this book, I kept thinking of Proust and his introverted, neurotic narrator. I think that is because it is hard to get a good handle on Powell's narrator, Jenkins - and his naivete in viewing the rest of the characters and musings on the ways of the world are so much like Proust's narrator, whose name escapes me at the moment. This book though, had a lot more action to it (not hard), and the narrator was MUCH less depressing.
The story begins in a boys preparatory school in England, where four teenage boys are in a loosely-formed friendship based on circumstance. Upon graduating and entering the literary world (as novelists, critics, politicians, etc) the four let go of their friendship only encountering eachother in the small world that is London's literary sphere.
Taking place between the two World Wars, much of the focus of this book is on relationships (not just romantic) and their tenuousness as well as their significance in how we mark the passing of time.
It took me a long time to read this book, but I finished the last quarter of it in two days. It gave me a great picture of England in the 1920s.