I highly recommend this for anyone in the mood for a contemporary novel that offers insight without preaching, and provides laughter. As you begin, you think it is a straightforward story about a disparate group of Londoners united only by the fact they all live on the same street - Pepys Road in London-- and the fact they are each receiving anonymous postcards. What sneaks up on you is the social commentary. Mr. Lanchester (an award-winning journalist and novelist) nails life in the 21st century and all its messes and glories. Each short chapter ends with a cliffhanger, often causing you to read on longer than your time, and your need for sleep, should allow. You have been warned!
Indie Next ListJune 2012
Capital begins with the households of London's Pepys Road each receiving a card that states, 'We want what you have.' Those menacing and mysterious notes are the jumping off point for Lanchester's brilliant exploration of modern London. From the financial trader in the midst of growing midlife and career crises, to the Pakistani family struggling with faith and family, to a dying woman and her street artist son, Lanchester effortlessly weaves myriad stories into brief chapters to create a written tapestry of remarkable color and depth. -- Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT
Celebrated novelist John Lanchester (author of The Debt to Pleasure) returns with an epic novel that captures the obsessions of our time. It s 2008 and things are falling apart: Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers are going under, and the residents of Pepys Road, London a banker and his shopaholic wife, an old woman dying of a brain tumor and her graffiti-artist grandson, Pakistani shop owners and a shadowy refugee who works as the meter maid, the young soccer star from Senegal and his minder are receiving anonymous postcards reading We Want What You Have. Who is behind it? What do they want? Epic in scope yet intimate, capturing the ordinary dramas of very different lives, this is a novel of love and suspicion, of financial collapse and terrorist threat, of property values going up and fortunes going down, and of a city at a moment of extraordinary tension."
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