The Way We Live Now
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The Way We Live Now

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  5,864 ratings  ·  409 reviews
The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classicsseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

New introductions commissioned from...more
Paperback, 802 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Barnes & Noble Classics (first published 1875)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”There are a thousand little silly softnesses which are pretty and endearing between acknowledged lovers, with which no woman would like to dispense, to which even men who are in love submit sometimes with delight; but which in other circumstances would be vulgar,— and to the woman distasteful. There are closenesses and sweet approaches, smiles and nods and pleasant winkings, whispers, innuendoes and hints, little mutual admirations and assurances that there are things known to those two happy o...more
A great novel, perhaps Trollope's best. But it's not the one I usually recommend to those who have never read Trollope and want to try him. For one thing, it's very long. For another, it's pretty dark. There are a lot of characters in this novel, and almost every one of them views money as the summum bonum. That, after all, is the way we live now.

At the center of the novel is Augustus Melmotte, an ill-mannered foreigner of undetermined background, with whom in better times, Trollope believes, no...more
The more that I read Victorian literature the more I am convinced that back in those days it was all about authors showing off. The educated public who could actually read and write were in much smaller proportion to the whole society than today. These people wanted to spend their hard earned shillings on something that was truly worth their time and money. The thought of watching television or films to fill people’s downtime would not appear until another half century or so. So what did people...more
Oct 15, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: patient readers
I first read this book back in... hmm... 1998? 1999? Loved it, and was inspired to pull it off the shelf for a re-read in light of the unfolding financial collapse/bail-out. 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 "i...more
This an epic telling of the Victorian era business world of London, invaded by an outsider, one Mr Melmotte (of uncertain and questionable background) who proceeds to take this financial realm by storm. It is also the story of various marital contrivances and government parody, the nouveau riche and the newly poor gentry, seemingly based on who can make the best financial deal. And lest the Western Hemisphere feel left out, there is also a somewhat specious sounding investment scheme introduced...more
Sep 08, 2007 Sharon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: booksalreadyread
This is one of the author's greatest work. Among its greatnesss is the irony of the title--it is truly, with a few adjustments for modern technology, the way we live NOW. We have much more in common with the Victorian's than we ever think about--they too were bombarded by the media, attracted by the lure of easy money in an unpredictable stock market, thrilled by the possibilities of travel that had opened to them even as they were ambivalent about foreigners coming into their country and earnin...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This book couldn't be more aptly titled, but don't think that makes it in the least boring. There are enough interesting characters and plenty of plot to keep you reading through all of it's lengthy pages.

It's all about money, you see: who's got it, who flaunts it, who will do what to get it, and who will marry because of it. There are intrigues, both financial and matrimonial; and scandals, both financial and matrimonial. Some parts, admittedly, are a bit melodramatic, but Trollope is such good...more
Susan Harter
I'm just re-reading this and wow, what a fabulous book. A great big rollicking read, and the BBS version of this with David Suchet (famous as Inspector Poirot on PBS's "Mystery") is amazing as the financial swindler, Melmotte. In fact, the BBS version is one of those rare adaptation that I don't sit through muttering about how they "ruined" the book!
I have to admit that I got a tiny little bit impatient with this. It is admittedly a comprehensive portrayal of an age, the 1870s when money, and indeed speculative money, stock market gambles and credit based on nothing more concrete than a reputation for being rich began to take over as the ticket to high society, instead of the privilege that went with the aristocratic title. The Lords and Baronets and other gentlemen are all impecunious, none can any longer afford to continue to live in the...more
A fascinating perspective on the moral bankruptcy of English society in the late 1800s...with unsettling echoes that carry forward into the present day. Highly recommended -- the Trollope to read, even if you read nothing else by Trollope.
Compulsive gamblers, wayward heiresses, drunks!!! No, it's not a Paris Hilton bacchanal at The Palms, silly! It's Anthony Trollope. He's hot!
Actually I am rating this a 4.5 essentially because I was disappointed in the ending. This book by Anthony Trollope really packed quite a telling of the ills of Victorian society. The characters he presented with all their foibles and issues were fascinating. Trollope really made such a fine commentary on the Victorian age with this novel. The sole purpose of society was to have money, to marry money, and essentially to not work at all.

Fascinating in its detail we meet a bevy of characters. Sir...more
While not my favorite Trollope, this was a lovely read, and quite apposite to our own financial crisis. The account of the railway bubble and the cynical financiers behind it is as relevant today as it was then.

I love the range of Trollope's characters: the audacious swindler with his feckless, compliant board of directors, the penniless scapegrace nobleman who can hardly bestir himself to pursue the swindler's gradually awakening daughter, the female author (homage to Trollope's own mother), t...more
This was a fantastic melodrama, worthy of being compared with any other Victorian novel, with a large cast of characters, a dozen subplots, and a biting, satirical wit that Trollope applied to what he saw as the greed and lack of class evident in London in his day. Other reviewers have commented on how Augustus Melmotte is entirely believable as a 19th century Bernie Madoff, and his ponzi scheme house of cards has been seen over and over again on Wall Street. But if The Way We Live Now were just...more
This is one of his best, but atypical in many ways. The love story takes a back seat (and often feels tacked on, actually) to the satirical look at high society and high finance. The characters on the whole are less sympathetic than Trollope's usual, though I adore Lady Carbury, tigerish mother and would-be author, almost in spite of myself; there's a particularly scrumptious bit where Trollope describes her extremely methodical way of writing a novel, in which he's clearly poking a bit of fun a...more
Trollope is wordy, but I didn't mind it because the wordy style is entertaining and clever. This is a satire and I began it not expecting to give a hang about any of the characters the whole way through. But by the end I did care for a few of them, and was suprised to have even been won over by one or two I never would have expected to like even 3/4 of the way through. My favorite theme of his was the choices people make between the honest thing to do and the dishonest, in a variety of contexts....more
An incredibly long yet remarkably engaging look at the disastrous result of a credit economy gone corrupt with some marriage plots thrown in for good measure (what, after all, is a Victorian novel without a marriage plot?).
This is a classic novel in the classical sense of the word. Here we are 130+ years later reading it as if it came out last week. Trollope is one of the best writers of the 19th century and had more wit, cynicism, irony and plot twists per page than pretty much any writer since. He satirizes the greed and hypocrisy of upper-class Victorian society like no other. He has at least a dozen protagonists in the book, three-quarters of whom are also dreadful antagonists. And Trollop has a way of making...more
Melmotte - an unscrupulous foreign financier - arrives in London where he creates a large dubious scheme which ropes in various members of the English aristocracy. Along the way he is elected a Member of Parliament, until eventually his corruption catches up with him and he falls.

So that's financial irregularities and unscrupulous MPs - clearly not much has changed in the last 130+ years.

Although Melmotte is the driver of this book, it really focuses on the aristocracy and how the world is chan...more
This was the first novel of Trollope's that I've read in my life, and I must say that it was incredibly good. The characters were quite well-drawn and they each displayed the negative character traits that Trollope was criticizing in this book. He was frank in disclosing his purpose: To show how society's value and ethics had deteriorated to the point that it had lost its morals, and how these changes have affected human relations, business, and such. It seems that the really negative change has...more
May 28, 2008 Brenda rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who loves great writing
Amazing book - one of my new favourites. Trollope is a master at characterization. This particular work of his depicts the sordid beginnings of the railroad, or rather, the beginnings of railroad speculation. The main villain of the piece, Melmotte lives a life of luxury, splendor and adoration despite the whisperings of his nefarious dealings in order to accumulate his wealth. Money and fame are everything in mid-19th century Britain.

The book is spookily prophetic as to the way WE live right N...more
Such a treat to read. Many characters. Many predicaments. But all brought together so deftly. And I never once got that compensatory urge to pitch the book against a wall in lieu of smacking the whiny little mouths within. This book also explained the recent financial crisis to me as Trollope deftly mapped out the workings of invisible money in many invisible hands.
Bre Cregor
Last summer, I read a NEWSWEEK article which recommended a variety of books. THE WAY WE LIVE NOW was the NUMBER ONE recommendation. Having seen a portion of the story in a Masterpiece Theatre film on PBS, I was more than intrigued.
Still, my finite mind could not wrap around the reason this, of all books, would be touted as THE book the modern human being could not miss.
And then, I read it.
Entertaining: it was.
Effective Prose: certainly.
But, what fascinated me the most (...more
Richard Kramer
this is the trollope to read if you've never read trollope or have only one trollope to read -- but if that's you, I would suggest reading them all, filling the rest of your life with one of his thousand books, written while he was working his way up in a full-time job in the UK postal system; you'll learn all ye need to know on earth, with plenty of laughs thrown in.

THE WAY WE LIVE NOW is about a Ponzi scheme, before there was a Ponzi, and about the willingness of the most privileged and sophis...more
One of my favorite novels. Although Trollope was clearly a man of his time, with his belief in the manly man and the womanly woman, this novel is true the way the North Star is true. I wish he (and Dickens) were alive today to capture this same greed and villainy and hope. (The book also has some pretty funny descriptions of certain kinds of writers and publishers, an extra enjoyment for those in the business like me.)

Trollope is such an underrated writer, and I've never been able to figure tha...more
Christopher H.
This was an excellent novel! I enjoyed this book from the very first page to the very last. This book was really great fun to read, and I could hardly put it down once started. It seems very timely too, as it could very easily describe the hubris, arrogance, and greed of the Wall Street crowd today in the United States (i.e., the "too big to fail" mentality). Trollope paints a devastating portrait of London society and the financial and political conditions of his time, and amazingly enough that...more
It may be 900 pages and fail a bit on character development but you can't beat Trollope for a visit to the 19th century (Jane Austen is 2nd for that though I love her work) The fun is noticing how Trollope's comments on "The Way We Live Now" are so similar to what we say about our lives today. Ruby Ruggles' aunt is a bit disturbed that the girl goes to the theater in the evening and comments, "girls have so many more freedoms than we did in my day." And oh! that Baron Felix Cardbury is like many...more
Jun 13, 2008 Kirsti rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: cynics and romantics
Recommended to Kirsti by: Janice
Shelves: fiction
"If there was anything that she could not forgive in life it was romance."

I haven't read any Anthony Trollope in years, but I'm so glad that I finally got back to him. I don't usually like big sprawly epics because (a) they're intimidatingly long and (b) usually I am interested in only one storyline. I liked all the characters in this one, though, even the bad ones--heck, especially the bad ones. This book is a skillful combination of humor, social commentary, and storytelling.

I can't even decid...more
The more I read by Trollope the more I love him. I know I have said this before, but the writers of his day were master story tellers. The writers of our day write experiences, Trollope and his ilk wrote stories.

The only criticism I have of the two-volumes that contain "The Way We Live Now' is this; there are only two volumes. I remember years ago reading Tolstoy's "War and Peace." I'd urge people not to be deterred at all by its length, because, the only complaint I had about the book was it c...more
Timothy West did an excellent job narrating this book! The 32 hours flew by, with only one plotline that actually dragged the story a bit (Sir Felix - Ruby Ruggles - John Crumb). If you've seen the BBC Production starring David Suchet, you've got the basic idea, but the book goes into greater detail of the characters' lives, especially Melmotte's daughter Marie. All of those good-for-nothing nobility were obnoxious enough to have me considering membership in the Socialist Workers Party!
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Anthony Trollope became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. Some of Trollope's best-loved works, known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, revolve around the imaginary county of Barsetshire; he also wrote penetrating novels on political, social, and gender issues and conflicts of his day.

Trollope has always been a popular novelist. Noted fans ha...more
More about Anthony Trollope...
Barchester Towers (Barchester Chronicles, #2) The Warden Phineas Finn Can You Forgive Her? (Palliser, #1) He Knew He Was Right

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“There was but one thing for him;- to persevere till he got her, or till he had finally lost her. And should the latter be his fate, as he began to fear that it would be, then, he would live, but live only, like a crippled man.” 11 likes
“Lovers with all the glories and all the graces are supposed to be plentiful as blackberries by girls of nineteen, but have been proved to be rare hothouse fruits by girls of twenty-nine.” 1 likes
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