The Way We Live Now

The Way We Live Now

by Anthony Trollope

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Overview

This edition of Anthony Trollope's biting satire on the Victorian culture contains all of the original illustrations.

Written as a withering response to the damage suffered to various economies in the 1870s as a number of financial scandals came out into the open, The Way We Live Now is Trollope's attack upon a society he considered to be ostensibly moral, but in reality dishonest and greedy.

The protagonist is Augustus Melmotte, whose past is ambiguous - however his manner and guile assist in his travelling among high society. Hosting a lavish party in which the major investors of London are invited, Melmotte stirs up a good deal of local gossip and establishes a reputation for himself in spite of rumours about his past failed business ventures.

It is soon revealed that Melmotte is running an elaborate 'pump and dump' scheme involving the construction of railways from the USA into Mexico. By wooing and impressing investors with his apparent success and considerable largesse, Melmotte hopes to attract substantial investment in a company which in fact does not intend to build any such rail line.

Meanwhile we find subplots between members of society arranging marriages in order to strengthen their influence and finances. Other members however are more occupied with frittering away their inheritances - the vice-ridden baronet Sir Felix Carbury the most given to such reckless behaviour. Melmotte's wider family, and a cunning American lady known as Mrs Hurtle, also play their parts.

At length - the book contains 100 substantial chapters - we witness Melmotte connive and con his way to the top of British society. He is elected to Parliament, having successfully presented himself as a figure of rectitude and great charm, while in actuality he is anything but.

Notable for being among the last Victorian novels to be published entirely in serial format, The Way We Live Now ambitiously attempts to exposes the core elements of the Victorian establishment as a sham and front for various sins. Trollope himself would later concede that while certain characters are dull, the novel's best parts lay among its 'wicked and foolish' characters.

Adapted for television multiple times, and for radio in the United States, The Way We Live Now remains an abiding classic.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157419165
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/17/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 12 MB
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About the Author

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was one of the most successful, prolific, and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of his best-known books collectively comprise the Chronicles of Barsetshire series, which revolves around the imaginary county of Barsetshire and includes the books The Warden, Barchester Towers, Doctor Thorne, and others. Trollope wrote nearly 50 novels in all, in addition to short stories, essays, and plays.

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The Way We Live Now 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THE WAY WE LIVE NOW is is a dark and witty commentary upon a society that has just-discovered capitalist manipulation of wealth. The author's maidens who can't make up their minds are not in this masterpiece. All the characters are out for themselves in a detailed scramble for money. The central character of Augustus Melmotte is the greatest figure of imagination created in the last century. Like Gatsby, he is ourselves had we been asked to be a character in the novel. Both the movie Wall Street and the book Bonfire of Vanities could never have been had not Trollope shown the way. There are a dozen or so wonderful characters in this story, not the least Melmotte's daughter, who is far from a blushing maiden in money matters. The TV version of this story goes one better than the novel by introducing details that Trollope would have omitted from a sense of delicacy; the script, casting and acting in the TV version (available from barnes and noble.com)are twice as enjoyable when you have read the novel.
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alison_jayne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great, sweeping yarn that draws you in and is reluctant to let you go. The characters are vivid and memorable, but unlike Dickens they do not drift into caricature. This was my first Trollope novel and I shall certainly be going back for more!
nog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Most of these Victorian novels are badly in need of an editor, and this one is no exception. It's repetitive, and a bit on the soap opera side. Austenesque in its subject matter, but without the lively banter. Instead, what humor there is is dry; one might find the foolishness of multiple characters entertaining, if it were not for the xenophobic and anti-Semitic tendencies so often found in English literature of this era. Too much is made of its continuing relevance regarding financial misbehavior; it does not redeem the book so much, and in fact it's very much a period piece. The language is formal, stilted, and carefully crafted -- a product of its day.
littlegeek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well, it's Trollope, so it's great in many ways. I have to say I didn't enjoy it as much as say, the Barcester novels. Perhaps it's just that there are no really sympathetic characters, and those who are portrayed as slightly better people, Roger Carbury, Mrs. Hurtle, Mr. Brehgert, are thwarted completely from any satisfactory conclusions.I get that it's a social satire, but must it really be so relentlessly negative?Anyhoo, it's got those great Trollopian characterizations, although some of those sweet young heiresses, and unscrupulous young gentlemen seem interchangeable. There's also those great little asides and commentaries that just nail human nature down pat. I enjoyed it for these reasons more than any other.I wonder also *SPOILER* whether someone like Melmotte would actually have committed suicide. He'd been in hot water before, why take it so hard this time? I'm not sure that rang true.
cdeuker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Trollope's analysis of greed in Victorian England. A wise author in the old-fashioned sense of the word. Melmotte, the villain, could be drawn from Bernie Madoff. Life definitely imitates art. Trollope lacks the social outrage of Dickens, but he doesn't fall nearly so much into the stereotyped characters. Both great
madamepince on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books. Ever.
Maura49 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is without doubt the most readable book by Anthony Trollope that I have yet come across and I found it really enjoyable. I had read the Barchester Chronicles and some of the Pallisers series, but the difference here was that I was not constantly being tripped up by my lack of knowledge of Anglican Church affairs or the inner workings of the Houses of Parliament. Politics do feature in the book but not in any dominant way.The Way We Live Now is very much a character driven book and Trollope has created some very strong individuals including some splendidly well drawn women. I loved the bold American, Mrs Hurtle, who is inexplicably attached to the rather weak Paul Montague and then there is Marie Melmotte, helpless pawn of her father's matchmaking plans, but with a mind of her own. We meet Mrs Carbury, forced to scratch a living by her pen and desperate to establish her children in the world. The men are less vivid with the exception of Mr Melmotte whose dilemmas have elements of almost Shakespearean tragedy .Trollopes themes of corporate greed and corruption in high places speak very strongly to the modern reader and the ambition and range of the book mark it out as one of his best, and well deserving of it's high reputation. On the plot level, characters' financial affairs and various romances keep the reader on tenterhooks about the outcomes until the very end of the novel. Something of a sour note is struck by a level of anti-semitism expressed by some people , perhaps reflecting the time at which the book was written, but unpleasant to read. However it must be said that Trollope deals fairly with Ezekiel Brehgert, a Jewish banker who is by far the most honourable character in the book (with the exception of the old-fashioned Roger Carbury) and who deals with people in a dignified and level headed way. Of those books by Trollope that I have read, this is the one that I would recommend to someone coming fresh to his work, quite definitely a good read.
herschelian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Possibly my favourite book by Trollope. It has everything, politics, social climbing, gambling, sex, finance, aristocracy. There are bribes, vendettas, swindles and suicide...in fact much like our own times! Melmotte is the Robert Maxwell character who dominates the book. A masterpiece.
mattmcg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best book ever about getting rich on the empty promises of a foolish business plan. Should be required reading before you buy stock in fur-bearing-trout farms or internet companies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago