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The Way We Live Now Paperback – Aug 14 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; New edition edition (Aug. 14 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375757317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375757310
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 694 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #754,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 14 2012
Format: Paperback
Much has been said about how nothing changes in business and finance. That the same lessons are painfully relearned with echoing outrage from previous events of a similar nature. The Way We Live Now holds parallels to the financial crisis of 2008 as it has with the dot com bubble, the Great Depression and all other such events and their greedy machinations. But what this book actually showcases are the foibles of people in pursuit of wealth. The stinging indictment being we people cannot outgrow our base behaviours. And in that comparison we can match the novel's characters with people we ourselves know, others we learn of in the news and, in fact, ourselves.

This is Trollope's longest novel ... his Bleak House. And like that Dickens novel it requires patience but there is reward. This is a stunning satire replete with rich messages. Trollope's characters tend to be a little less full than Dickens but his contribution are never-ending bon mots of observations and critiques. Consider these lines:

- "He kept his head above water, and was regarded by those who knew about him, but did not know him, a successful man." In one sentence the author captures how society ascribes a pedigree to someone without the requisite facts to do so

- "And her face was a true index of her character." A terrific brief line which is at once detailed but puts the effort back on the reader to envision the character in full

My favourite aspect of the novel was the subplot damning the publishing industry. Many of the observations could apply to today's bloggers and self-publishers...those who deliver no new content but get "puffed" or promoted. This is the Lady Carbury plot line which is deliciously vacuous ...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a nineteenth century period piece with the usual dated cliches, etc. etc. but worth reading because of that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. C Clark on April 16 2002
Format: Paperback
... Too many plots, characters not given enough space to breathe, and way too much wrap-up yields a less than satisfying experience. But Trollope is a great writer, and when he's on top, as he is often throughout this book, he is untouchable. The Beargarden is astonishing, and has anyone ever written about so many different wastrels and made them all unique? Georgina and her brother Dolly could make a novel themselves. Poor Marie....desperate to be loved. Very touching stuff.
But the main story gets lost under so much weight that the overall novel loses its focus and just stunbles to a number of unconvincing conclusions. My favorite book is He Knew He Was Right. The sub-plots there enhance the story, and the characters are more vivid and less simplistic.
If you're here after the PBS series, note please...that series is adapted from this novel. There is a lot missing and a lot changed (all to the worse, I would argue). If you are new to Trollope, I would suggest The Palliser series or HKHWR. This is much less worth the time, though still a sparkling read with brilliant flashes.
Anti-Semitism? People are too touchy. The characters are certainly narrow-minded bigots, but Trollope himself is clear and potent. The "old, fat Jew" is among the most noble, most intelligent, and touching characters in Trollope. A gentleman, a sincere man, and one touched by the ugliness of his world but rising majestically above it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Esmond V. Harmsworth on Nov. 23 1998
Format: Hardcover
A brilliant satire of Victorian society, The Way We Live Now reads today as a strikingly modern novel. Almost all of the characters are horrible: Mrs. Carbury, a witless writer of romance novels; her wastrel gambler of a son; and the ruthless, vicious businessman Melmotte, a precursor of Rupert Murdoch. An indictment of his times that still holds power today, and a brilliant, hilarious satire.
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Format: Paperback
The Enron collapse shows that, as long as we continue to enjoy the benefits of capitalism in the West, Trollope's most famous novel will continue to be timely. This has often been called Trollope's best novel: while it does not contain his best writing (which would be found in individual chapters of PHINEAS FINN and THE LAST CHRONICLER OF BARSET), nor is it his funniest (BARCHESTER TOWERS), it is his most consistently engaging in its details of a railway bubble in mid-Victorian London. The great financier at the center of it, Augustus Melmotte, rises from obscurity to be asked to host a dinner for the visiting emperor of China (which forms a splendid setpiece for the novel) on the eve of his financial ruin. The novel is very exciting and enjoyable, and shows Trollope straining the hardest to meet the standards set by his admitted hero, Thackeray; although this certainly doesn't meet the level of VANITY FAIR, it's still pretty good. There is a bit of a trouble that Trollope has too many subplots going and winds up spending hundreds of pages at the end (long after the work's main action is over) having to resolve them. One of the very best of these ongoing stories, the desperate attempts of the contemptibly snobbish (but still oddly sympathetic) Georgiana Longstaffe to find a husband, is as a result resolved much too suddenly and unsatisfactorily. I would still recommend THE WAY WE LIVE NOW as a fine read--and as a very splendid introduction to Trollope.
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