The Way We Live Now Paperback – Nov 9 2008
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Trollope's 1875 tale of a great financier's fraudulent machinations in the railway business, and his daughter's ill-use at the hands of a grasping lover (for whom she steals funds in order to elope) is a classic in the literature of money and a ripping good read as well. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"The Way We Live Now is the essence of Trollope. If he had written no other novel, it would have ensured his immortality." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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 ...Read more ›
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.
Readers following the recent stock market slide and the collapse of Enron will find parallels here, both disturbing and amusing. Mr. Melmotte and his phony railroad joining San Francisco to Vera Cruz have strong links to real-life characters and scams like the criminal financiers responsible for the savings and loan debacle of the '80s and the guys at Enron who are currently facing Congressional investigation.
In addition to the financial shenanigans, there is of course a wonderful cast of characters, including Sir Felix Carbury, a wastrel who would rob his own mother (and does), Mr. Roger Carbury, a fine, upstanding man (who always has to deliver -- and receive -- bad news), and Mrs. Hurtle, an American "widow" who knows a thing or two about masculine psychology.
Great literature speaks to us across the ages, and The Way We Live Now might tell us something about keeping an eye on our portfolios -- and our ethics.
Most recent customer reviews
This work of literature encompassing life among the upper-crust of society in Victorian England is by far the best fictional representation I have ever read. Read morePublished on Dec 25 2001 by M. S. Tucker
It is most when reading (or re-reading) Trollope that I realize how much recent novels suck. Trollope, who regarded novel-writing as a learned trade, shows wider understanding of... Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2001 by Gleeb
This is the fifth of Trollope's novels I have read and easily the best so far. It does not fall within any of his series but a few familiar characters breeze in and out if you are... Read morePublished on July 15 2000 by Peter Leech
I consider it to be a tragedy that Anthony Trollope's works are largely forgotten and overlooked by the reading public. Read morePublished on Dec 3 1999 by Mollie O.
The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope shows how people react to money. Even though it was written in eighteen-seventy-four, people can still react to the characters because... Read morePublished on June 1 1999