Tuesday, June 9, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: Turn, Magic Wheel by Dawn Powell


Happy Tuesday! I'm taking part in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where bloggers share a bit about a book they are reading or planning to read soon. My selection is Turn, Magic Wheel by Dawn Powell (1896-1965), a writer well known by the Algonquin Round Table. 

The novel was originally published in 1936. Powell was a prolific writer, but by the time she died, her books were out of print. Thanks to interest in her work, it's possible to find her books again. 

From the back cover:

"Dennis Orphen, in writing a novel has stolen the life story of his friend, Effie Callingham, the former wife of a famous Hemingway-like novelist, Andrew Callingham. Orphen's betrayal is not the only one or the worst one, in this hilarious satire of the New York literary scene, a novel Dawn Powell regarded to be her "best, simplest, most original book." In Turn, Magic Wheel, Powell takes revenge on all publishers; her buffoonish MacTweed is a comic invention worthy of Dickens. And, as always in Powell's New York City novels, the city itself becomes a central character: "On the glittering black pavement, legs hurried by with umbrella tops, taxis skidded along the curb, their wheels swishing through the puddles, raindrops bounced like dice in the gutter." Powell's famous wit was never sharper than here, but Turn, Magic Wheel is also one of the most poignant and heart wrenching of her novels."

The first paragraph:

"Some fine day I'll have to pay, Dennis thought, you can't sacrifice everything in life to curiosity. For that was the demon behind his every deed, the reason for his kindness to beggars, organ-grinders, old ladies, and little children, his urgent need to know what they were knowing, see, hear, feel what they were sensing, for a brief moment to be them. It was the motivating vice of his career, the whole horrid reason for his writing, and some day, he warned himself, he must pay for this barter in souls."

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


14 comments:

  1. The author's bio piqued my curiosity, so I'd definitely give this one a try. Hope you enjoy it.

    My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/06/first-chapter-first-paragraph-109.html

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  2. Hmmm...well, probably not for me. Although, the whole Algonquin Round Table connection is interesting. Hope it works well for you!

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  3. Oh, I am definitely intrigued by these snippets...and want to know more. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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  4. I love the blurb of this book, it sounds like so much fun and really clever at the same time! The sound of the opening is also great, especially the last line! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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  5. Yes, I'd keep reading ... very intriguing.

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  6. I am intrigued as well. Not only by the intro but by what you shared about the author too. I am glad to hear her books are being noticed again.

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  7. Well it has piqued my interest really liked the opening and learning a little bit more about this author. Thanks for visiting my blog

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  8. Sounds like a nice read, but probably not something I would pick up. Girl Who Reads

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  9. The premise sounds really fun, but I didn't really like the intro. I'd keep reading for a bit, though, because of the intro.

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  10. Interesting! I'm not familiar with this author, but would love to know more.

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  11. This sounds like an excellent story. The writing in the first paragraph appeals to me a lot. I'll read this book.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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  12. Glad her books are available again. Enjoy.

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  13. I am fascinated by this book. I am starting back at the beginning again for a closer reading because there are so many characters; it is very densely populated.

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