The Way We Live Now [NOOK Book]

Overview

Augustus Melmotte is a foreign-born financier with a mysterious past (he is rumored to have Jewish origins, and it is later revealed that he owned a failed bank in Munich). When he moves his business and his family to London, the city's upper crust begins buzzing with rumors about him—and a host of characters ultimately find their lives changed because of him.

Melmotte sets up his office in the City of London and he purchases a fine house in ...
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The Way We Live Now

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Overview

Augustus Melmotte is a foreign-born financier with a mysterious past (he is rumored to have Jewish origins, and it is later revealed that he owned a failed bank in Munich). When he moves his business and his family to London, the city's upper crust begins buzzing with rumors about him—and a host of characters ultimately find their lives changed because of him.

Melmotte sets up his office in the City of London and he purchases a fine house in Grosvenor Square. He sets out to woo rich and powerful investors by hosting a lavish party, and finds an appropriate investment vehicle when he is approached by a young engineer, Paul Montague, and his American partner, Hamilton K. Fisker, to invest in the construction of a new railway line running from Salt Lake City to Veracruz, Mexico. Melmotte's goal is to ramp up the share price without paying out any actual money into the scheme itself, thereby increasing his own not-inconsiderable wealth.

Amongst the aristocratic investors on the railway scheme's board is Sir Felix Carbury, a young and dissolute baronet who is quickly running through his widowed mother's savings. In an attempt to restore their fortunes, as they are being beset by their creditors, his mother, Lady Matilda Carbury—who makes ends meet by writing historical potboilers with titles like Criminal Queens: Powerful Women as the Playthings of Love—endeavors to have him become engaged to Marie Melmotte, the Melmottes' only child and a considerable heiress in her own right. Sir Felix manages to win Marie's heart, but his schemes are blocked by Melmotte, who has no intention of allowing his daughter to marry a penniless aristocrat. Felix's situation is also complicated by his relationship with Ruby Ruggles, a buxom young farm girl living with her grandfather on the estate of Roger Carbury, his well-off cousin.

Whilst Melmotte is carrying out his financial shenanigans, Paul Montague is the one person who is a thorn in his side. In the South Central Pacific and Mexican Railway Board meetings, chaired and controlled by Melmotte, it is Paul who raises the difficult questions of when the money will actually be allocated to the railway line. Paul's personal life is also made complicated by his amorous affairs. He falls in love with Lady Carbury's young and beautiful daughter Hetta—much to her mother's fury—but has been followed to England by a former American fiancée, the dashing Mrs Winifred Hurtle. Mrs Hurtle is determined to make Paul marry her based on the fact that they had lived together in America, and that she offered him "all that a woman can give". It is Lady Carbury's plan, advised by her literary friend Mr Broune, a distinguished London publisher, for Hetta to marry her cousin Roger. Roger has been Paul's mentor and the two start to come into conflict over their attentions towards Hetta, who steadfastly refuses to marry her cousin, against her mother's wishes.

Events start to come to a head when Paul finally gets Mrs Hurtle's consent to free him of his obligations towards her, in exchange for agreeing to spend one final weekend with her on the coast. Whilst walking along the sands, they meet Roger Carbury, who, on seeing Paul with another woman, decides to break off all acquaintance with him, believing that Paul is simply playing with Hetta's affections. In the meantime, Felix Carbury is torn between his affection for Ruby and his financial need to pursue Marie Melmotte. Ruby, after being beaten by her grandfather for not marrying a respectable local miller, John Crumb, runs away to London and finds refuge in the boarding house owned by her aunt, Mrs Pipkin—where, as it happens, Mrs Hurtle is lodging. Felix learns from Ruby about Mrs Hurtle's relationship with Paul and, coming into conflict with Mrs Hurtle over his attentions to Ruby, reveals all his new-found knowledge to his mother and sister. Hetta is devastated and breaks off her engagement to Paul. Meanwhile, in order to get Paul out of London and away from the Board meetings, Melmotte attempts to send Paul off to Mexico on a nominal inspection trip of the railway line; but Paul declines to go.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014569828
  • Publisher: DB Publishing House
  • Publication date: 4/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,196,695
  • File size: 4 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Madoff of the 1800's

    I decided to pick this book up again and re-read it in light of the financial disaster, possibly the biggest fraud in history, perpetrated by Bernie Madoff (not sure of first name). The story takes place in the mid 1800's London & surround...several titled, but money-less gentry are all pursuing the fabulously wealthy yet vulgar Melmotte and his marriage age (but unattractive) daughter. Throughout the novel there are murmurings of Melmotte's swindling and fraud committed throughout Europe but people choose to be blinded by his seemingly endless wealth. The story explores and elucidates the social mores (or lack thereof) of the Victorian times (a favorite literary time for me). We see how the landed folk are willing to pander themselves for a stab at becoming fabulously wealthy (no matter how that wealth was acquired)--they will stop at nothing to gain wealth without working (something they consider to be a dirty thing). There is also an American female character, Mrs. Hurtle, divorced and aggressive pioneer (or buccaneer woman) who is an interesting character acting as a foil to the gentle upper crust English ladies. Mrs. Hurtle represents the wild, untamed American frontier where anyone can start out poor and end up rich without regrets (although she would like to find a man and settle down to share her riches).

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2012

    A must read for all Trollope fans

    The thing I like most about Trollope's work is the way he creates his characters and TWWLN was no different. They felt real right from the beginning. Trollope likes to control his characters' revelations through his narratives. He writes interesting histories about them that tells you the type of people they are and what to expect from them. As for the story, it's an intricately woven tale of people running after power and money and fortune. BBC has a mini series on this book but to understand the magnitude of the author's skills, one must read the book. For new Trollope readers, I would recommend reading some of his lighter books before picking this up. It is long and involved but definitely not boring. If you are already a Trollope fan, this should be your next book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Errors

    The samizdat version reads as if edited by non english speaker
    Errors on every page
    Novel is astonishing but this version a disaster

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    epic

    900 pages went by more quickly than i could have thought possible....great storytelling, impressive characters, and beautiful language.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2010

    Darn Good Read

    Do not be put off by the thick Victorian presentation! This book, although written in an old-fashioned style due to its age, nonetheless grasps unsavory elements of human nature and the beginnings of characters we recognize all too well today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    The Way We Live Now Really Is How We Live Now

    I had to laugh at how accurate the dipictions of human psychology and society in this novel. History does seem to repeat itself to a certain extent, and this book has much resonance with our current culture of greed. Also a joy just to read for the wit, solid writing and perfect structure. As a book doctor who edits wannabe novelists, I recommend this as a great model of how to assemble material into a fine book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    I like the Barnes & Noble classic NOOK BOOKS. I have the sam

    I like the Barnes & Noble classic NOOK BOOKS. I have the sample THE WAY WE LIVE NOW but I found it time consuming to find Page 1 of the novel. There were no page number listed with the chapters.
    However I do like all the information that precedes the story but I would like it at the end of the book. Sometimes I like to refer to the addendum as I read.
    Accessing this information was not easy. I have read many Jane
    Austen novels several times over the years so I enjoy reading the addendum. I will choose THE WAY WE LIVE NOW in a simpler format. Then if it is a "must read again" I will choose the classic edition.
    Since I haven't read the book yet I really can't rate it but it looks promising so I will say 3 star and get back to you when I have read it. Before this letter is accepted, I hope I may see it in it's entirety so that I can edit it
    . Wealthy 937

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 26, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

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