Meera's Reviews > Capital

Capital by John Lanchester
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's review
Jul 02, 2012

liked it

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: the rich family in which the father works in the city, the poor pensioner who has lived in her house through the years to see it become worth over a million, the Muslim idealist, the African footballer, the illegal immigrant escaping an oppressive regime... it gives a great perspective into the diversity of people living in London. 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 500 pages of this weighty tome!
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Jules Thanks for review! It's one of the next books on my reading pile. The fact that it shares similarities with 'A Week in December' is tempting! I love that Faulks book!

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