Capital: A Novel

Capital: A Novel

by John Lanchester

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

"A vibrant piece of fiction, pulsating with events and emotions…Seems destined to be read a hundred years from now." —Martin Rubin, Los Angeles Times

Each house on Pepys Road, an ordinary street in London, has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. But each of the street’s residents—a rich banker and his shopaholic wife, a soccer prodigy from Senegal, Pakistani shop owners, a dying old woman and her graffiti-artist son—is receiving a menacing postcard with a simple message: "We Want What You Have." Who is behind this? What do they really want? In Capital, John Lanchester ("an elegant and wonderfully witty writer"—New York Times) delivers a warm and compassionate novel that captures the anxieties of our time—property values going up, fortunes going down, a potential terrorist around every corner—with an unforgettable cast of characters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393345094
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 328,890
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

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 I.O.U. and How to Speak Money. His books, which have been translated into twenty-five languages, have won the Whitbread First Novel Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a contributing editor to the London Review of Books and a regular contributor to The New Yorker. He lives in London.

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Capital: A Novel 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down. Characters you care about, with some very unsympathetic but interesting none the less. Very strong parallel stories without a hard-to-believe coming together where everyone's in the same room or something. I feel the author did a great job of understanding the souls of people from very different walks of life. Higly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down, literally. I got up in the middle of the night because I just had to finish it. Characters were amazingly real, and I found myself rooting for them. I work in the financial sector in NY rather than London, but it's the same, it seems, because he captured it exactly right.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engrossing and we'll written it felt so real it could go on and on.
MWgal More than 1 year ago
A worthwhile read; a good snapshot of greed and materialism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and easy read. One of the best books I read in 2013.
roblong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A year in the life of the residents of a London street, once ordinary but now a millionaire's row due to the property boom. I'll damn this with faint praise by saying it was very competent. It's extremely readable, and there are no real bum notes, but as a self-conscious 'state of the nation' novel it doesn't really go anywhere unexpected or divert from a predictable set of characters. A Polish builder, a City banker, a failed asylum seeker working illegally as a traffic warden, a talented African kid who has signed for Chelsea, a Muslim with connections to jihadis...all are dealt with plausibly but without really forging an emotional connection or saying something new. By the end I found myself wondering why the book had been written - I can't imagine what made Lanchester sit down and write it, beyond the fact that there'd been a crisis and so a grand, Dickensian state of the nation novel might seem like a good idea. It's not bad, he's far too good a writer for that, but there's no sign of the charge running through it all that a great book would need.
Eyejaybee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another marvellous novel, just as one would expect from the author of "Fragrant Harbour" and "The Debt to Pleasure", and very reminiscent of both "A Week in December" by Sebastian Faulks and Tome Wolfe's "The Bonfire of the Vanities".The novel starts in late 2007 and revolves around Pepys Street, a small road in south London where house prices, from a modest start over hundred years ago when they were first built, have rocketed to well over a million pounds. The residents are a mixed bunch and include Roger Yount, a merchant banker with Pinker Lloyd, one of the more successful trading houses in the City, his spendthrift wife Arabella, Freddy Kamo, a highly talented seventeen year old footballer who has just been brought over from his native Senegal to play for one of the London Premiership teams at £20,000 per week and Petunia Howe, an elderly widow who was born in the street nearly ninety years ago and has lived there ever since.As the novel opens, Roger Yount is desperate to find out how large his bonus for that year will be - he is hoping for at least one million pounds and, in fact, can't imagine how he will manage to make ends meet with anything less. On his way to the office he finds a card has been puished through hsi letter box bearing a picture of his own pront door with the logo "We want what you have". It turns out that all of his neighbours have received similar cards, each of them bearing a picture of their respective houses. At first they all assume that this is a marketing gimmick by a local estate agency, but the cards keep coming, followed by DVDs showing footage of the street taken at differnet times of the day, but never with anyopne in shot. And then things start to get nasty...In the meantime Zbigniew, a Polish builder, has been making a decent living from the street. His building work is excellent, and always completed on time to a high standard, and as soon as one job finishes he finds another one waiting for him.In fact, everyone seems to be getting on with life very happily until Petunia collapses in the local newsagent's shop, and then everything seems to start to unravel.There are some fantastic set pieces - the scene where Roger goes to hear about his bonus, and Freddy's first appearance in a Premiership match stand out particularly, though there are dozens of other beautifully crafted vignettes. Similarly the characters, including some of the less central figures, are beautifully drawn, including a shadowy anonymous street artist, clearly modelled on Banksy, and Quentina, a Zimbabwean asylum seeker who is illegally employed as a traffic warden.There has been a huge amount of hype surrounding this novel, but to my mind it has fully lived up to expectations. I will definitely look forward to re-reading this book in the not-too-distant future.
HeroicLeisure on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly insubstantial. Fairly stereotypical cast of characters. No great insight or action. Disappointing after all the hype.
freelancer_frank on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book about civic empathy. Using an empirical style and moving from character to character, Lanchester illustrates the similarities and differences between them, and the difficulty of subjective knowing. The work is something of a game of two halves. The first half sets everything up and the second (more gripping) half resolves it. There's a tad too much telling and not enough showing but there is also a subtle undercurrent that repays close attention.
Reesa111 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won an ARC copy of Capital by John Lanchester. Each chapter is different and plays off of the characters which was interesting- but you have to be in the mood to keep reading. I found that once I really got into that characters part in the story~ it would switch on me (sometimes caused me to put the book down as a result- not in a bad way) This is a very large book- which I like. Overall I gave this book 5 stars. Capital by John Lanchester was loads of fun and included a few laugh out loud moments- (the end of chapter 27 with the letter to the husband that was awesome) I would recommend this book to all adults.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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LAWonder More than 1 year ago
I think CAPITAL was lacking in most areas - adventure, mystery, intrigue, drama. The language was crude. Suspense was simply not there. There were too many characters involved for just one book. That said, the characters were, however, very well defined and separated so it was not that hard to recount who was being discussed. The author has talent but needs to add a smooth flow and energy to his writing. Many of us would appreciate 'cleaner' language. It can be accomplished by tactfully alluding to the words and crses without actually using them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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