The Way We Live Now (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #76]

The Way We Live Now (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #76]

by Anthony Trollope, Centaur Classics

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Overview

"Trollope did not write for posterity. He wrote for the day, the moment; but these are just the writers whom posterity is apt to put into its pocket." —Henry James
"A wise man told me I would learn more about life from a great novelist than from any other source. I did not believe him. Now I wouldn’t dream of going on holiday without a Trollope. He has enlarged my world." —Sir Alec Guinness
"Trollope kills me, kills me with his excellence!" —Leo Tolstoy
"[Trollope’s novels] are filled with belief in goodness without the slightest tinge of maudlin." —George Eliot

Considered by contemporary critics to be Trollope’s greatest novel, The Way We Live Now is a satire of the literary world of London in the 1870s and a bold indictment of the new power of speculative finance in English life. “I was instigated by what I conceived to be the commercial profligacy of the age,” Trollope said. His story concerns Augustus Melmotte, a French swindler and scoundrel, and his daughter, to whom Felix Carbury, adored son of the authoress Lady Carbury, is induced to propose marriage for the sake of securing a fortune. Trollope knew well the difficulties of dealing with editors, publishers, reviewers, and the public; his portrait of Lady Carbury, impetuous, unprincipled, and unswervingly devoted to her own self-promotion, is one of his finest satirical achievements.
His picture of late nineteenth century England is of a society on the verge of moral bankruptcy, where the traditional virtues of Tory squirearchy, represented by Roger Carbury, prove to be no match for the financial genius of Augustus Melmotte. In The Way We Live Now Trollope combines his talents as a portraitist and his skills as a storyteller to give us life as it was lived more than a hundred years ago.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788892561649
Publisher: Anthony Trollope
Publication date: 03/04/2016
Sold by: StreetLib SRL
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 366,938
File size: 3 MB

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