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The Way We Live Now is a complex and compulsive tale that traces the career of Augustus Melmotte, a strange and mysterious financier who bursts into London society like a guided missile. In setting up a dubious scheme based on speculative money and stock market gambles, Melmotte manages to lure in several members of the English aristocracy, for whom money is the summum bonum . The world is at his feet--until the corruption catches up with him. Considered one of Trollope's greatest works, The Way We Live Now leaves the ...

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Sep 17, 2009

A Timely Story From The Distant Past

I read "The Way We Live Now" on the recomendation of Jon Meachan, editor of Newsweek, who led an effort to develop a list of 50 books "that make sense of our times." Trollopes's 1875 satirical novel was number one on their list. It describes the financial and moral crisis of Victorian England, a crisis that is very similar to what we are going through today in the U.S. "The Way We Live Now" is a long book with 100 chapters because it was orginally written for serialization in a magazine, a common practice for writers of that era. Nonetheless, it moves quickly and has a surprising number of twists in the plot. I found it a very good read.

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