Editorial Reviews. Review. “An exceptionally capacious and involving tale about disparate lives Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Literature & Fiction. Buy the eBook Capital by John Lanchester online from Australia's leading online eBook store. Download eBooks from Booktopia today. Read "Capital" by John Lanchester available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 How to Speak Money ebook by John Lanchester. How to Speak.
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Read "Capital: A Novel" by John Lanchester with Rakuten Kobo. "A vibrant piece of fiction, pulsating with events and emotions Seems destined to be read a. Download and Read Free Online Capital: A Novel By John Lanchester cheap books, good books, online books, books online, book reviews epub, read books. John Lanchester is the author of five novels, including The Wall, the best-selling Debt to Pleasure and Capital, as well as several works of nonfiction, including.
Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay, about the global financial crisis. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He is married, has two children and lives in London. Settings Tips on technique 3: Point of view Tips on technique 4: Dialogue Tips on technique 5: Plot Tips on technique 6:
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An annual bonus of a million might seem excessive, but with second homes and nannies to maintain, he's not sure he can get by without it. Elsewhere in the Capital, Zbigniew has come from Warsaw to indulge the super-rich in their interior decoration whims. Freddy Kano, teenage football sensation, has left a two-room shack in Senegal to follow his dream. Traffic warden Quentina has exchanged the violence of the police in Zimbabwe for the violence of the enraged middle classes.
For them all, this city offers the chance of a different kind of life. Capital is a post-crash state-of-the nation novel told with compassion and humour, featuring a cast of characters that you will be sad to leave behind. General Format: English Number Of Pages: Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Capital By: John Lanchester. Be the first to write a review. Share This eBook:. Add to Wishlist.
Here we have the modern state of the nation epic novel. Yes, London is the capital in which the action takes place, but more specifically Pepys Road in the affluent South West of the city.
Here we follow various characters, either living or visiting: The narrative follows their lives and their fortunes through the and financial crash, putting human faces to the stark black and white headlines. However despite some fine passages and some excellent stretches, it seems that the state of the play novel is harder to pull off than it used to be.
Firstly a Dickens or a Trollope or a Gissing, for that matter had far greater success in making their characters interact. There is no forum in which everybody in a community would come together and chat and get to know each other.
No local factory where everybody works. No regularly thrown street parties.
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No local pub which everybody goes to. You are portraying an absolute fiction. As such some outside element has to be introduced. It works to give a connection to the characters, the same concern they all have in the back of their minds and for one chapter does serve to bring everybody together in a big community meeting.
It should have been a cornerstone of the book, with the invisible lines between these characters breaking apart momentarily — perhaps fleeting friendships would flare up, perhaps even some innocent flirting. There might even have been a connection made which lasted beyond the meeting, a chance for two characters, who hitherto barely knew each other, to stand chatting on the street. Instead the friendly policeman not a Pepys Road resident doing most of the talking.
So okay, the interaction between characters is not overly satisfying, but then the more of the book I read and it is a long book I wondered about the reality of the characters chosen. Were they characters, or were they merely symbols? Can a banker introduced in act one, not have suffered a humiliating fall by act three? Similarly the Muslim family in the corner-shop. Can a young Muslim man be introduced in a twenty first century novel and not be arrested on terrorism offences by act three?
These are interesting characters, I liked them, but clearly they have their own dramatic rules to follow and so lose their free wills — becoming obvious symbols in a greater thematic plan. Other strands are less successful. Following a Zimbabwean traffic warden trudge around the streets just feels a bit of a, well, trudge.
See also the Premiership footballer, who barely makes it above the level of a cypher. As you may have guessed, this is a very cosmopolitan novel. In a Britain where the right wing press will regularly hark on about illegal immigrants and British jobs for British people both things which I know are touched upon in the sections concerning the Zimbabwean traffic warden , it does feel odd that no one makes any overt comments.
They would not be views I share, but they are views which clearly exist and if one is writing an epic state of the nation London novel, it seems odd not to acknowledge them.
If a writer is going to capture a panorama, to portray life as it happens, life in the raw, then that voice — no matter how unpalatable you may find it — also needs to be heard.
London living is essentially village life. For example, I have lived in the South East of the city for fourteen years, and so somewhere like Kilburn in the North West might as well be on Mars.
Sep 08, Amy rated it it was amazing. What a cool book! It follows the lives of the residents of a posh street in London around the time of the financial crisis. Although there is a bit of mystery at the heart of the novel, I was just fascinated by the peek inside the lives of the well-to-do--and the people who worked for them.
I picked it up right before I went on vacation and it was the perfect airplane novel. View all 3 comments. I enjoy titles which have layers of meaning. I enjoy the cleverness and I appreciate the sign-posting they provide so I can make sure that I don't miss a thread woven into the story.
As layered titles go, John Lanchester's Capital isn't particularly difficult to penetrate: All in all, it's a good title. The only problem is that it's be I enjoy titles which have layers of meaning. The only problem is that it's been given to the wrong book, for Lanchester's novel betrays both readings. Capital is an infuriating book, superficial, glib and shallow. It mirrors prevailing opinions and prejudices, but not prevailing spirit.
It is filled with stereotypes but few characters and no people. It doesn't even scratch the surface of what makes London the city it is; it records a pulse but no heartbeat. The depiction of Finance, from Roger Yount's dashed bonus hopes to the collapse of Pinker Lloyd, is at best simplistic, at worst childish and unrealistic. The connection back to London is through a single front door - No 51 Pepys Road - behind which lives a family carefully constructed to conform with our most obvious preconceptions.
Yet, Lanchester's prologue astutely observes that there is a wider connection, a shift in the community's perceptions and values tied to the infectious heart of greed and aspiration. Sadly, the Prologue remains the best part of the book. The microcosm device - a single street in London, Pepys Road - falls far short of its intent. Lanchester attempts to overcome the weaknesses of such an unrepresentative device by including a selection of peripheral characters who have a recurring relationship with the street: But the links are too tenuous, too fragile.
Often the link is made simply through an event rather than through the complex social connections that knit a city together. We are given the strands of wool but never the pattern. The drama of community lies not in its connections, but in its dependencies and the conflict between what is valued and what is believed to be valuable.
It would take far more time than I wish to spend to write in detail of all the things that frustrated and irritated me about this book: Capital is a book that touches on many issues but fails to go to the added trouble of exploring any of them. It doesn't do London justice nor does it do justice to the profound impact that the banshees of Finance and Fear have had on us all. View 2 comments.
This book is almost a pure delight. Sprawling in scope the City, property, money, the upper-middle classes, the immigrant classes, sport, sport as business, work, love, and did I say property? It's set largely on the fictionalized Pepys Road an inspired name , which affords Lanchester a view that is both microscopic and macroscopic: Many, many people had fall This book is almost a pure delight.
Many, many people had fallen in love and out love; a young girl had had her first kiss, an old man had exhaled his last breath, a solicitor on his way back from the Underground station after work had looked up at the sky, swept blue by the wind, and had a sudden sense of religious consultation, a feeling that this life cannot possibly be all, and that it is not possible for consciousness to end with the end of life; babies had died of diphtheria, and people had shot up heroin in bathrooms, and young mothers had cried with their overwhelming sense of fatigue and isolation, and people had planned to escape, and schemed for their big break, and verged out in front of televisions, and set fire to their kitchens by forgetting to turn the chip pan off, and called off ladders, and experienced everything that can happen in the run of life, birth and death and love and hate and happiness and sadness and complex feeling and simple feeling and every shade of emotion in between.
Another masterful novel by Lanchester I'm now officially a member of the John Lanchester fan club. I've read three of his novels: Phillips , The Debt to Pleasure and now Capital. What strikes me as remarkable about Lanchester's novels is that they are all so utterly different in topic and in tone, and I'd happily reread each one multiple times to relive the reading experience of being absorbed in the novel and in awe of his writing.
Capital is one of those luxuriously long, let-yourself-get-los Another masterful novel by Lanchester I'm now officially a member of the John Lanchester fan club. Capital is one of those luxuriously long, let-yourself-get-lost in the neighborhood of Pepys Road, a street transformed from middle-class to affluent over a few decades.
Lanchester uses those economic striations to follow the long-time residents, newer arrivals, and those who work for the newly rich. Set around the time of the crash, everything either directly or indirectly relates to capital. Chapters alternate among the characters in the novel. Lanchester skewers the upwardly mobile showing them obsessed with vapid consumerism. At certain points of the novel, characters like Arabella and Roger seemed almost too oblivious to be believable.
Lanchester portrays the working-class characters with rounder brush strokes. It's a slice of London life as detailed and as obliquely observant as some of my favorite 19th century novelists have provided.
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Four Parts Pepys Road, the community , on the brink of financial crisis in London, If you think you'd enjoy to read about the homes, streets, shops, historic city of London If in a hurry you might get bored -- Me: I'm in the 'middle'. I did enjoy this book, yet I think 3. I did enjoy this book, yet I think it would still have been good if it were about pages less. This book details the events and past history of several families in Pepys Road, Lambeth from late to late I liked most of the characters, my favourite probably being Ahmed and Roger.
I loved it and read the bulk of it in one night - I couldn't put it down until I really needed to sleep, in my anxiety to see what happened next. I especially enjoyed seeing the various strands tied up, with a lot of satisfaction at the lesser pleasing characters receiving what could childishly be called 'just desserts'.
If you love family sagas, a lot of strands in your story and a fast-moving story then do beg, borrow or steal a copy when it comes out. A great multi-character look at London in Lanchester is a master at delving into the stories of individual families living on a single street in the City.
Another case where I would have given 4. It's not the definitive London novel, however hard it tries to be. I did enjoy reading it, but I think its pretty much a copy of the idea of Sebastian Faulks' A week in December, which does this same story better.
A cross section across London society, cleverly encapsulated in the idea of people living in the same road and how their fortunes and misfortunes intertwine: I enjoyed the viewpoint of the horrendous moneyed and spoilt Arabella, but some of the characters remained little more than sketches.
Living in South London myself, I also enjoyed the descriptions of areas I know well. I also expected more of an analysis of the money problems in the city, given Lanchester's experience in writing about this, and again I think Faulks' provided more insights into this topic. However, its hard to put down, and I did want to carry on reading about the people even after pages of this weighty tome!
I could write paragraphs about the book in a serious review, but why bother? Essentially, there was too little drama, very small trauma, and no lessons learned that made for dramatic or special satisfaction. Very small potatoes. The best I can do is to describe the story as a literary cozy with very little charm or anything sparkly about it. In the late s I went to an exhibition of the work of three of the great British architects of the twentieth century--Richard Rogers, Norman Foster and James Stirling.
I think it was Rogers who was quoted as saying that cities exist for one reason only--as a place for people to meet. I've never forgotten that. Capital is a book not so much about a city as about its people. Its epicentre is a south London street, Pepys Road--Everystreet, in all but name.
Its dramatis personae are the street's r In the late s I went to an exhibition of the work of three of the great British architects of the twentieth century--Richard Rogers, Norman Foster and James Stirling. Its dramatis personae are the street's residents: Added to this is the slightly menacing presence of the houses of Pepys Road, every one of them a tyrannical god demanding constant tribute, whose market value bestows arbitrary blessings or curses on its owner.
This is a "slice of life" novel portraying the people of Pepys Road through the course of a year, from December to November the year that saw the collapse of the merchant banks, the beginning of the credit crunch, against a backdrop of commuter journeys and low-level antisocial behaviour and the constant rumble of the threat of terrorism.
All play a role in the drama of the residents of Pepys Road. The story is told at the personal level, switching from one character to another, showing for the most part lives that intersect by accident rather than a homogeneous community.
It is a story of the everyday grind rather than of heroism or achievement: There is no single narrative thread, no grand conclusion, but by the end of the novel every character has seen some kind of resolution in his or her life. In many ways these are not characters to inspire or enthuse; one is more likely to spot an unflattering or self-destructive character trait, and check in the mirror to see that one has not developed it oneself.
This makes it all the more satisfying to encounter the few surprising moments of personal strength and dignity and courage, amid the everyday successes and failures and the lives of quiet desperation.
It's a good read, with some moments of real humour and surprise, and a good many characters whom you wish well at the end. OK, and one you don't And what of London itself? The capital is a constant presence, perhaps the least palatable character, an unforgiving and all-devouring deity to many of its citizens. To every one of Lanchester's characters the city has held out some lure or other--wealth, fame, security, justice, notoriety, fairness, fulfilment in all its forms. Every one of these promises is tested to the limit in the course of the book; nearly all are found wanting.
Not quite all, though. But it is telling that the characters who emerge stronger at the end, more fulfilled and better equipped to cope, are those who do not bow down and worship the golden calves of the Capital, but treat it in Lord Rogers' words as a place for people to meet; those who turn their backs on London's gaudy promises, and find what they need inside themselves and their fellow man. He focuses on a cross-section of residents and workers on a fictional and prestigious London treat including a well-heeled banker and his shopaholic wife and Hungarian nanny, an elderly widow dying of a brain tumor and her middle-aged daughter and alternative-arts grandson, a talented Senegalese young soccer player on the cusp of stardom, three Pakistani brothers with varying degrees of political involvement, a Polish builder, and a political refugee from Zimbabwe who is supporting herself on forged work permit.
Each has his or her own ambivalent relationship with money. They are the fiber of the story, a direct contrast to those who enjoy ease and comfort.
This is, perhaps, my biggest gripe: Arabella, the shopaholic wife, has virtually no redeeming characteristics, for example. That being said, this is a good London saga, with interwoven characters who hold your attention.
I wanted to read this as it is set on a fictionalised Pepys Road, a couple of stone's throws from my new home in Brockley , moving to which from Finsbury Park has knocked a year off my life. Pepys Road is one of the many places around London built to house the Lower Middle Class in Victorian Times which have got more and more valuable in the seemingly endless post war housing bubbleboom. It's a mystery, told from the perspective of a few residents of the road - someone is gently stalking the resi I wanted to read this as it is set on a fictionalised Pepys Road, a couple of stone's throws from my new home in Brockley , moving to which from Finsbury Park has knocked a year off my life.
It's a mystery, told from the perspective of a few residents of the road - someone is gently stalking the residents of the street, dropping postcards through their doors saying 'We Want What You Have', and posting pictures and films of their houses online. The We Want What You Have campaign continues through the book, but Lanchester cleverly avoids it being the main focus, instead calmly and empathically telling the first person perspective stories of people on the road swept up by or into the kind of weird wealth that characterises, forms and deforms London.
A Polish Builder eyeing the money fountain of the rich and mopping some of it up with his big strong arms and his tools, a banker and his vulturous wife who have it all and spend it on nonsense, an older woman who is dying without her long-passed husband and her daughter who nurses her throughout, horribly aware that her Mum's death will make her a Property Millionaire, a Muslim family who are one rolling family row which covers up how much they love each other.