Capital

Capital

3.5 8
by John Lanchester
     
 

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From the best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure, a sweeping social novel set at the height of the financial crisis.
Celebrated novelist John Lanchester (“an elegant and wonderfully witty writer”—New York Times) returns with an epic novel that captures the obsessions of our time. It’s 2008 and things are falling apart: Bear Stearns

Overview

From the best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure, a sweeping social novel set at the height of the financial crisis.
Celebrated novelist John Lanchester (“an elegant and wonderfully witty writer”—New York Times) returns with an epic novel that captures the obsessions of our time. It’s 2008 and things are falling apart: Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers are going under, and the residents of Pepys Road, London—a banker and his shopaholic wife, an old woman dying of a brain tumor and her graffiti-artist grandson, Pakistani shop owners and a shadowy refugee who works as the meter maid, the young soccer star from Senegal and his minder—are receiving anonymous postcards reading “We Want What You Have.” Who is behind it? What do they want? Epic in scope yet intimate, capturing the ordinary dramas of very different lives, this is a novel of love and suspicion, of financial collapse and terrorist threat, of property values going up and fortunes going down, and of a city at a moment of extraordinary tension.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Lanchester's assured, detailed overview of today's Britain recalls…Private Eye, the satirical publication that has taken the pulse of the country's body politic for half a century…Its regular features carve British behavior into attackable, overlapping compartments: real estate…banking…politics…journalism…and so on. Lanchester's novel integrates all these spheres and more. Reading Capital is like getting a crash course in the transformation of British mores and class distinctions, which otherwise might require a decade of remedial Private Eye-reading to decode.
—Liesl Schillinger
Booklist
An exceptionally capacious and involving tale about disparate lives in turmoil on London’s Pepys Road…. Lanchester makes us care deeply about his imperiled characters and their struggles, traumatic and ludicrous, as he astutely illuminates the paradoxes embedded in generosity and greed, age and illness, financial crime and religious fanaticism, immigration, exile, and terror. A remarkably vibrant and engrossing novel about what we truly value.— Donna Seaman
Observer (UK)
“Effortlessly brilliant—gripping for its entire duration, hugely moving and outrageously funny.”
Bookpage
“As enrapturing as it is psychologically acute… Capital portrays an authentic slice of contemporary life on the eve of change in a way that recalls Franzen—with a welcome touch of wry humor.”
Times on Sunday (UK)
“Brimming with perception, humane empathy and relish, its portrayal of this metropolitan miscellany is, in every sense, a capital achievement.”
Evening Standard (UK)
“It is Lanchester’s gifts for observation and description that make Capital such a riveting read. It is a novel in which every few chapters a sentence will provoke an "I wish I had said that" reaction or, when it is a familiar thought, an: "I wish I had said that so well." … Above all, Lanchester should be applauded for a novel that is as readable as it is clever. He never attempts to prove his own intelligence, yet it oozes from every page.”
The Guardian (UK)
“The book John Lanchester was born to write.”
Donna Seaman - Booklist
“An exceptionally capacious and involving tale about disparate lives in turmoil on London’s Pepys Road…. Lanchester makes us care deeply about his imperiled characters and their struggles, traumatic and ludicrous, as he astutely illuminates the paradoxes embedded in generosity and greed, age and illness, financial crime and religious fanaticism, immigration, exile, and terror. A remarkably vibrant and engrossing novel about what we truly value.”
Joseph O’Neill
“Searching,
expert, on the money. I loved it.”
Cólm Toibín
“Capital comes in a great tradition of novels which are filled with the news of now, in which the intricacies of the present moment are noticed with clarity and relish and then brilliantly dramatized. It is clear that its characters, its wisdom, and the scope and range of its sympathy, will fascinate readers into the far future.”
Claire Messud
“Precise, humane and often hilarious, John Lanchester’s Capital teems with life. Its Dickensian sweep and its clear-eyed portrayal of the end of a strange era make this novel not only immensely enjoyable, but important, too.”
Library Journal
It's 2008, and even as the economy shudders and falls, something sinister is happening on Pepys Road, London. The residents are all getting postcards reading "We Want What You Have." What that is, no one knows, but the ominousness fits perfectly with the anxiety of society at large, even as the novel chronicles the small, personal dramas of each household. Award winner Lanchester is always good to read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780571234608
Publisher:
Faber and Faber
Publication date:
03/28/2012

Meet the Author

John Lanchester is the author of Capital, a novel, and I.O.U., a New York Times best-selling book on the financial crisis. A regular contributor to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, he lives in London.

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Capital: A Novel 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down. Characters you care about, with some very unsympathetic but interesting none the less. Very strong parallel stories without a hard-to-believe coming together where everyone's in the same room or something. I feel the author did a great job of understanding the souls of people from very different walks of life. Higly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down, literally. I got up in the middle of the night because I just had to finish it. Characters were amazingly real, and I found myself rooting for them. I work in the financial sector in NY rather than London, but it's the same, it seems, because he captured it exactly right.
MWgal More than 1 year ago
A worthwhile read; a good snapshot of greed and materialism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and easy read. One of the best books I read in 2013.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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LAWonder More than 1 year ago
I think CAPITAL was lacking in most areas - adventure, mystery, intrigue, drama. The language was crude. Suspense was simply not there. There were too many characters involved for just one book. That said, the characters were, however, very well defined and separated so it was not that hard to recount who was being discussed. The author has talent but needs to add a smooth flow and energy to his writing. Many of us would appreciate 'cleaner' language. It can be accomplished by tactfully alluding to the words and crses without actually using them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(((& g