This second novel in Anthony Powell's series, A Dance to the Music of Time, A Buyer's Market (1952), follows the characters to whom we were introduced in the first volume, A Question of Upbringing, as they leave school or university and begin looking for careers - or in some cases just jobs of any kind in the buyer's market of the title. Only so many plum spots are available and competition for attention and accomplishment ensues.
Widmerpool has settled into a job with Sir Magnus Donners that he sees as a stepping stone to a bigger future. He won't go far, however, if he keeps knocking over the statuary at Sir Magnus' estate. Jenkins, the narrator, is working as an editor at a small London publisher. Templer is making lots of money but we aren't entirely sure how, and Stringer, who also works for Sir Magnus, doesn't do much work and drinks too much.
We meet Mr Deacon, a painter, and his girlfriend, Gypsy Jones and we attend balls and house parties where the major characters keep running into one another. Jenkins again meets Templer's sister, Jean, a meeting that will be important in the future of the series.