Angels on Toast

Angels on Toast Two dubious businessmen attempt to outwit their wives mistresses and hangers on

  • Title: Angels on Toast
  • Author: Dawn Powell
  • ISBN: 9780679726869
  • Page: 377
  • Format: Paperback
  • Two dubious businessmen attempt to outwit their wives, mistresses, and hangers on.

    One thought on “Angels on Toast”

    1. Dawn Powell said she started writing as a youngster because "there was no one to talk to." Arriving in NYC from Ohio in 1918 she continued writing -- 15 novels and plays -- until her death in 1965. A worldling who scorned notions of Love, Marriage, the Family, she dissects Manhattan in a whizzy, plotless Altmanesque manner : hers is a bruising comedy of infidelities and double-dealing. "Never do anything you can't deny," announces a social-climbing sport. This sets the tone for a tough but vulne [...]

    2. Gore Vidal just couldn't believe how funny Dawn Powell was, how witty her writing; after reading her entire oeuvre, after knowing her personally in the 50's while still lingering in his 20’s, Gore Vidal couldn't quite believe how one woman could have contained all that wit. He decided it must have something to do with the fact Dawn spent most of her early life singing for her supper while being shuffled in between mid-western boarding houses until she landed in New York. But boy, once she land [...]

    3. It's uncanny when you read a novel that transcends its plot and becomes something else, all in the space of just a handful of pages. "Angels on Toast" is just that kind of literary sustenance, much more a meal than, say, what seems in comparison to be a vapid moment-in-time book, the current social novels I've read recently like "The Emporer's Children" or "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything," novels that offer crumbs of insight and only scant entertainment. I've heard of but had never read any o [...]

    4. Strongly recommended as a first book if you are looking for a gateway drug into the cult of Dawn Powell (which you should be if you haven't already been inducted into it). I deeply respected the other Dawn Powell novels I've read, but I didn't love them: her surgically cruel view of humanity felt too cruel, too relentless after a while; there was neither enough wit to lighten the mood nor enough heart to deepen it and give it stakes that felt worth reading. This book finally changed that for me. [...]

    5. I read Angels on Toast en route to Barcelona on a plane. At first I considered this an okay read, but it grew on me the more and more I realized how deftly and brutally Dawn Powell elaborates on the lives of people whose business savviness and corporate ambition often leave a string of romantic failures. She makes the case that the drive it takes to conquer the former will devastate the latter if applied to love and sex. That the book closes on Lou downgrading his class status in response to the [...]

    6. Among Dawn Powell's best -- chapter five alone reads like the best short story written about a certain kind of life in New York City; up there with Breakfast at Tiffany's. A ranging cast of characters, perfectly described and deployed.

    7. A Satire Of BusinessDawn Powell published "Angels on Toast" in 1940 to generally favorable reviews but poor sales. She rewrote the book, shortening and softening its satire, in 1956 under the title "A Man's Affair". She also wrote a TV script based on the book called "You should have brought your mink". The book has been reissued several times, all in the original 1940 version.When the book first appeared, the critic Diana Trilling wrote a negative review. She observed that Powell was a writer o [...]

    8. This novel by Dawn Powell was very well done. Set in NYC, Chicago and a few other places in the USA during the Spanish Civil War it tracks the comings and goings of two hard boiled, hard drinking, womanizing businessman as they try to make money and pick up women, while keeping their wives at bay. Powell is brutal in her assessment of the character flaws of all her creations but the book crackles with sharp dialogue and great set pieces. One feels that you are actually in the gin mills, and nigh [...]

    9. Young businessmen on the make don't change much over the decades, so this entertaining and insightful novel hasn't loss a bit of its relevance - it's "period" and evergreen at the same time. Aficionados of menswear will have a grand time reading this book, from the very first page where the guys are discussing clocked socks and pink shirts with detachable white collars.

    10. A delicious little read. Why? Because these two salesmen think they're such Casanovas That they can get away with treating their wives any old way they want, and you're just biding your time, enjoying this crafting of lousy characters and waiting for them to get enough rope to hang themselves.

    11. Angels on Toast: 3,5 estrellas.Lou Donnovan y Jay Oliver son dos hombres de negocios, y cuentan con lo que ellos considerarían una buena vida. Tienen dinero, tienen emprendimientos, familias y amigos, y también tienen algunos secretos. Ambos engañan a sus mujeres, pero claro que Lou siempre está un paso más adelante. A diferencia de Jay, él nunca se enreda con una misma chica, sino que lo mantiene casual. Así, no hay ninguna posibilidad de ser atrapado. Aunque no parezca, respeta mucho a [...]

    12. Jay Oliver and Lou Donovan are friends. They like making money, getting drunk and cheating on their wives.Lou married above his station. He loathes and wants to impress his wife's family with his ambition and acquired wealth. They aren't impressed by that sort of thing or his sort of people. We follow these two, along with spouses, friends and lovers as they partake in cheap thrills, instant gratification and live lives of mutual envy. We go along for the ride on their sordid benders, loveless a [...]

    13. Dawn Powell is one of America's great, forgotten authors, but, unlike many others, she has been resurrected and reprinted thanks to efforts by Gore Vidal and, her biographer, Tim Page. Powell presents a social satire or pre-World War II America in "Angels on Toast". While she flips between Chicago and New York, this is really a New York novel. We have promoters, eccentrics, wives, and lovers all out to get what they want, for better or worse. Powell's insight and wit make for an entertaining rea [...]

    14. Angels on Toast was fun to read - a lot of Dorothy Parker worthy zingers and observations. The essential conceit of the characters is that they are never satisfied with what they have and when they get what they want - they find it isn't what they wanted. This is an old plot device (see Arabian Nights among others) but what saves it are the characters. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote "The Beautiful and Damned", his contemporary Dawn Powell could have subtitled this one "The Wacky and Sordid"!

    15. Is this Powell's best novel? Hard to say, but in any case it's marvelous. She is uniquely perceptive, and details all the ways in which human beings can deceive themselves while simultaneously failing to deceive others. And, she's hilarious. The drollest prose this side of Raymond Chandler, each page is stuffed with the sort of witticisms that have you laughing out loud.

    16. Sharp social satire from a forgotten novelist with a cult following. New York society on the eve of World War II, businessmen on the make and their wives, mistresses, rivalries, shenanigans, disasters Funny and merciless.

    17. Powell's eighth novel, and first published by Scribner's, is kind of a letdown from the terrific _Turn, Magic Wheel_. There are complex subtleties at work in the prose and the plot, and several moments are quite funny, but overall it seems a less satisfying novel than Powell's other works.

    18. Dawn Powell is an author I really enjoy reading but this is the least of her books in my opinion.I didn't like, or hate, anyone in the story. I just didn't care. They seemed to deserve any misery that befell them and maybe miseries that they dodged.

    19. This book is a great look into the late 20's world of NYC advertising and business. I learned a lot about how life worked back then, the trials and tribulations unmarried women past a 'certain age.' The style is very flip by today's standards, but very readable.

    20. I enjoyed the writing at first but it just went on with the same thing over and over - got boring. It is set in the 1920's or so - big shot men their wives, their mistresses, their business in Chicago and New York.

    21. Am fast becoming a Dawn Powell cult member. This one was funnier and ultimately sadder than LOCUSTS. More tightly woven but less romantic. Loved the focus on Chicago and places other than NYC. Highly recommended.

    22. I haven't actually finished it, because really I couldn't care less. I kept going for 218 pages and again, I couldn't care less. Bye.

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