The Way We Live Now

The Way We Live Now

by Anthony Trollope

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 is a classic in the literature of money and a ripping good read as well.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Classics
  • Rating: 4.05
  • Pages: 776
  • Publish Date: June 5th 1995 by Wordsworth Classics
  • Isbn10: 1853262552
  • Isbn13: 9781853262555

What People Think about "The Way We Live Now"

His character Augustus Melmotte, a man of uncertain religious affiliation, and even more uncertain nationality arrives in London. The Lords and Baronets of London are in need of some cash and when Melmotte sets up a company selling shares in a railroad to be built across Mexico they feel this is an opportunity for them to reach solvency. After all Melmotte seems to understand these financial matters and the Lords are only interested in profit not in comprehending exactly how something as vulgar as commerce works. Lord Nidderdale, one of those caught in the Melmotte web, knows all is not what it seems, but he cant quite believe that such a thing could really be happening in his world. Melmotte finds that London is full of desperate Lords who have mortgaged their estates to keep up appearances and that ready cash is becoming as precious to them as their titles. She doesnt want to marry a Lord, but a Baronet, specifically Sir Felix Carbury. Marie wants her father to buy the pretty one. The problem is the lovely Ruby is betrothed to a young man named John Crumb. Roger is in love with Felixs sister Hetta. She is in love with Rogers best friend Paul Montague. She was engaged to Paul Montague and just because he has supposedly found the love of his life that doesnt mean she is prepared to just pack her bags and go back to San Francisco. Roger is a true gentleman and though Hetta values his character she does not see him as a potential husband. Another richly drawn character is the enigmatic Lady Carbury, mother of Felix and Hetta. He has leased the place to Melmotte and with the thought of making his life more peaceful agrees to allow Georgiana to go stay with them. The problem is, yes she is in London, but the Melmottes are not invited the places she wants to go. She agrees to an engagement with a merchant (gasp), a man old enough to be her father (gasp), and he is Jewish (her mother just fainted). I found myself despising Felix, rooting for Roger, shivering over the dastardly deeds of Melmotte, and wishing I could take Mrs. Hurtle out on the town just once. Trollope brilliantly brings these people to life, so much so, that even those characters I really didnt like I developed an understanding of them, and dare I say a feeling of sympathy. So read about The Way We Live Now and see if you know Ruby Ruggles, Felix Carbury, Paul Montague, Hetta Carbury, Winifred Hurtle, Roger Carbury, Georgiana Longestaffe or Augustus Melmotte.

Virginia Woolf called Middlemarch "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people," one of my favorite things anyone's ever said about a book. Middlemarch Here's another book for grown-up people. Dickens does not write novels for grown-up people (I know, you're about to make an argument for Bleak House, and you might have something there) but Trollope shares with him a bottomless sympathy for humans.

There are a lot of characters in this novel, and almost every one of them views money as the summum bonum. At the center of the novel is Augustus Melmotte, an ill-mannered foreigner of undetermined background, with whom in better times, Trollope believes, no honorable person would have had anything to do. As Trollope says in many of his novels, paraphrasing Shakespeare, they think they can touch pitch and not be defiled -- although it may be more accurate to say that many of the characters in The Way We Live Now think that if they touch pitch, they won't care very much that they are defiled.

Is reading a BIG ASS book such as The Way We Live Now, really worth my time and attention? I believe that a book such as TWWLN is worth the time and effort. We read these old BIG ASS books because they take us to a long bygone time free from reality television, iPhones, and emails. How does this book, Trollopes most famous novel, stand out as an absorbing read in its own right? Obviously, this book, written as a social commentary, dwelled upon these themes because they were the concerns of the time. Regardless of some of the flaws of this novel, I believe that TWWLN was a thoroughly enjoyable read and contained some of the most interesting and lifelike characters in all of literature.

With a satirical wit, Anthony Trollope creates in The Way We Live Now a fantastic melodrama with a large and rich cast of characters that together depict a scene of greed as corruption abounds; while plots of marital intrigue thrive, as pretty much everyone is trying to get married. Reading The Way We Live Now, I realized that what makes this book great are its amazing characters, its dozen subplots, and a biting satirical wit.

Everything I read about Wall Street firms reminds me of the 4 guys gambling in their private club, the "Beargarden" -- crazy web of credits and worthless IOUs, all the players betting money they don't have, each one making his bets based on what the others owe him, and no prospect of them ever being sufficiently sober and "in funds" to settle up. perhaps even Trollope would be surprised to see how our venerable and allegedly regulated banks and financial institutions have turned into a global Beargarden, gambling with the wealth of the entire country.

The same humor repeated umpteen times just isn't funny any more. Let me be clear, read one Trollope and you'll laugh. Read more and you will start to be bored. 3 stars Phineas Finn 4 stars Stand-alone: Sir Harry Hotspur Of Humblethwaite 2 stars ********************************* This is the Daily Deal today - Sept 4, 2016! I am thinking "Another book about money?!" It is just that every time I read Trollope he never fails to make me laugh.

Young men make engagements with various young women based on speculations of future income, then freely break said engagements and move on if the money seems doubtful. These same young men go to a club and gamble using each other's IOUs. The goal of investing is not to disclose what is being done with the money.

Anthony Trollope became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era.