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Capital by John Lanchester
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Capital (original 2012; edition 2012)

by John Lanchester

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6903913,798 (3.85)77
Member:othurtle
Title:Capital
Authors:John Lanchester
Info:Faber and Faber Fiction (2012), Edition: 1st Edition 2nd Printing, Kindle Edition, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Novel

Work details

Capital by John Lanchester (2012)

  1. 10
    A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (sanddancer, Nickelini)
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    albavirtual: Respecto a "Capital" se cambia protagonista: Roma por Londrés.
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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Capital by John Lanchester - very good

This was everything that One Week in December (Sebastian Faulks) wasn't. A similar premise: we're following the lives of a selection of Londoners from December 2007 through to August 2008. In this case we're following the residents of an affluent suburban street: Pepys Road. We're introduced to them and watch their lives as the economic meltdown commences. During this time, they're also all in receipt of anonymous postcards with the message "We want what you have".

All the characters are well written and mostly empathetic. I certainly wanted to know what happened to them and even after the finishing the book, I wondered about various outcomes and what would have happened next. Ok, some of them are stock characters: the Pakistani family that run the corner shop, the wealthy banker and his horrible wife, pretty nanny & small children, the Polish builder, the little old lady etc etc. But I wanted to know if Zbigniew would manage to salvage his nest egg & go home to Poland, if Quentina would get a visa, if the horrible Arabella would get her cum-uppance.

Secondary was the mystery of the postcards and who & why they were being sent. I kind of guessed, but not until close to the end of the book was I partially proved right.

One thing: I was surprised there wasn't more about the financial side of things. When I heard John Lanchester speak at the EdBookFest last year, I got the impression there was more to the book. He mentioned having done so much research that he'd had to write a second, factual, book (Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay) about what happened and why, so I expected there to be more included in this book. Having said that, after Sebastian Faulks 'Janet & John do hedge fund management' (thanks again to Pauline for that one!) it's probably for the best.

Well worth reading.
( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
" Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner" that I enjoyed this book so much. Even though it is set on that strange land south of the Thames, so much of it rings true to a born and bred Londoner like me.
From the blurbs about it when published I had expected much more about the banking / financial crisis of 2008, but this was much more a state of the nation (or, rather the nation's capital) novel. Money does play a big part in many of the constituent stories.which make up this mosaic, but it does not have an overwhelming effect.
I particularly liked the story of the old lady and that of the traffic warden. Imagine, I began to have sympathy for one of the "dark forces!"
It made me laugh; it made me cry; it made me angry and it made me think. I will look forward eagerly to Lanchester's next book. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
  jll1976 | Dec 5, 2014 |
This book is a funny, warm and incisive dissection of London society at the time of the financial crisis of 2008. It is a loosely interlinked set of stories, and covers a wide range of characters. It is especially strong on the experiences of various have-not immigrants, and the amorality of the richer residents. Highly recommended. ( )
  bodachliath | Nov 4, 2014 |
A very entertaining novel, ‘Capital’ is set in south London in the course of the year from December 2007 to November 2008. It concentrates on some of the households and workers of Pepys Road, which features a mix of nationalities, ages, incomes and backgrounds as found in many parts of London. The title can be read in two ways; referring to the capital city but also to the financial turmoil that engulfs some and enriches others. Intriguingly interwoven are strands about terrorism, refugees, jealousy and a mysterious threat to the residents of Pepys Road. Lanchester deftly unpicks the lives of his characters and holds your interest and sympathy for their varying problems throughout a captivating story.
  camharlow2 | Oct 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Alle Bewohner der Pepys Road suchen nach ihrem Glück: Roger Yount ist ein erfolgreicher Banker - mit zwei Kindern und einer verwöhnten Ehefrau. Dass er nicht die erwartete 1 Million Pfund Jahresprämie erhält, stürzt die Familie in eine Krise. Nebenan zieht die senegalesische Fußballhoffnung Freddy Kamo mit seinem Vater ein - wird ihm der internationale Durchbruch in einem Premier-League-Club gelingen? Petunia Howe lebte schon in der Pepys Road, als diese noch eine einfache Arbeiterstraße war. Pakistanische Kioskbesitzer stehen unter Terrorverdacht, die nigerianische Politesse ohne Arbeitserlaubnis schreibt Strafzettel und der polnische Handwerker Zbigniew liebt die Frauen, und die Frauen lieben ihn. An einem ganz normalen Tag liegt bei allen stolzen Eigenheimbesitzern dieser Straße eine merkwürdige Nachricht im Briefkasten: »Wir wollen, was ihr habt.« Ein Roman voller Mitgefühl, Humor und Protagonisten, die man nicht mehr missen möchte.
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At first light on a late summer morning, a man in a hooded sweatshirt moved softly and slowly along an ordinary-looking street in South London.
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Residents of Pepys Road in London receive odd, anonymous postcards demanding "We Want What You Have" during the financial meltdown of 2008.

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