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This is the first book I've read/listened to by Anthony Trollope. I was compelled by the reviews for this book to give it a try and I'm glad that I did. Although the book was published in 1875 the story rings true to "the way we live now" in a universal way that I suppose always will. I have never known a story with so many flawed characters and the trial and errors of these characters, though exasperating at times, are fasanating. I found myself annoyed and compelled all at the same time with these characters- the way I feel about a lot of the people I know and care about in my own life. This book, although slow at times (I dazed through some of the chapters) all in all is well worth the time I invested listening to it. Now on to the next Anthony Trollope novel!
I love Audible because of the peace of mind it brings me. It is the only way I can finish a book before it is shredded by the Basenjis.
I had seen the Masterpiece Theater version of this classic story prior to reading the book and the producers of that BBC productions could not have selected better actors to play the particular characters of this 1875 classic. Both the film and the Mr. West's reading are wonderful.
I'm so glad I stuck with this novel -- a slow start, a lot of unsavory characters making foolish choices, and a narrator whose character voices weren't very distinct one to the next. But this story becomes quite profound on a number of themes: greed, women's rights (or lack of them), class and position in a changing society. Many of the characters struggle with social changes that are challenging the values they hold dear. The way they respond offers wonderful insights into human nature -- the reason I read novels!
Trollope is surprisingly sensitive to the plight of women of all classes in the late 1800s -- their lack of authority over their own lives, trapped by their fathers and brothers and would-be suitors in rigid expectations of behavior, in the pressure to marry well (in rank or in wealth, and hopefully both), but not to marry outside one's class. However, society's values are beginning to change and that makes it harder to know how to choose: it might be okay to stoop to marry someone in business (if they're wealthy) but still not okay to marry a Jew unless your rank is so high you can ignore public censure. Money now opens a lot of doors and breaks down many cultural barriers. However, if a woman's reputation is tarnished (usually undeserved), her chances at a good marriage are ruined forever. At first, Trollope makes us believe that Mrs. Hurtle is someone to scorn, but she becomes someone to admire and finally to pity. I think I liked her best of all, but then she was a plain-speaking American woman attempting to take control of her own fate. Overall, the female characters were the most interesting and most fully-realized. And few of Trollope's characters escape his condemnation of greed and the financial scandals of the day, the most interesting, of course, being "the great financier" Augustus Melmotte. There are Melmottes in every age, and Trollope's look into his soul is brilliant.
Dive into Trollope's world and enjoy!
Perhaps not one of Trollope's best but still more interesting than "The Prime minister" which was the one I took before and actually gave up on half way through.
This one has entertaining side stories and Timothy West's reading is excellent as always.
This is as close to pure enjoyment as literature gets. On the usual literary criteria the book is just short of the highest peak -- beautifully written, insightful but not transformative. But never have I had so much plain damn fun with a book.
It's unnerving how little the basic psychology of financial shenanigans have changed over 150 years.
Timothy West is everything a narrator can be -- interpretive but never intrusive. And an excellent job with both women's voices and American accents
The Way We Live Now is an excellent introduction to the writings of Trollope. It's long, but never boring, and the characters are well-developed.
Some might call Anthony Trollope the male equivalent of Jane Austen and I can see why. But to me his stories had such a different flavor. I liked that not everything always comes out perfectly in his endings. I also liked that some of the books got into the workings of Parliament as it was then. He is very good at portraying his female characters, many of whom are very feisty and colorful.
I started with this stand alone book, became utterly fascinated, then listened to all the Barsetshire Chronicles, followed by all the Palliser series. I have spent the last couple of months in Trollope's world and hated to leave it. There are some other novels left, but I loved each of the two series and having familiar characters come in and out of the various books. Even more so than Austen I became so frustrated with problems caused by the lack of communication (due to cultural restraints of the time) that I wanted to grab the particular character out of the book and shake some sense into them.
And what can I say of Timothy West? I love Simon Vance, but after hearing the samples I went with the West narrations and am so glad I did. He was pitch perfect and his accents were marvelous. He was a large part of how much I enjoyed this entire journey. I became so absorbed into this world that I am not at all sure what to read now.
Wonderful book! Loved the colorful cast of deeply drawn memorable characters. Trollope shows us the effects of living under the emotional and class constraints of English society in the 1870's in a most enjoyable way. This book transported me into their world and let me peek into what they thought and how they felt and why. Although there were quite a few characters to follow, I really didn't mind at all. The droll and witty writing caused me quite a few chuckles along the way. I hated to see it end! Timothy West's narration was masterful and thoroughly entertaining. This was my first encounter with Trollope and West and, I dare say, certainly not my last!
Tell us about yourself!
everything after melmot's death could be lost and not hurt the novel but up to that it's great.
"A Victorian Masterpiece"
Whilst Anthony Trollope will be forever remembered as the author of the excellent Chronicles of Barchester, one of his greatest novels is "The Way we Live Now". A world of characters drawn from London and Suffolk driven by honour, cupidity, vanity and passion inter-react with each other often to their mutual disadvantage. All this is related by a trusted guide in Timothy West who by subtle means points the finer details of each character with a degree of sympathy that even the worst sinner is not without some redemptive qualities.
A fine book very well told and strongly recommended
This is a Fantastic novel, Timothy West is a one man master class in narration. Highly recommended.
The Story was not rushed, one had time to absorb the era and characters.
Mrs Hurdle. I felt an empathy with her. She was kind but life was not kind to her.
As in any audio book, many of the narrators are actors. Therefore they bring the story to a life that just cannot be done in reading to one's self alone.
A story of Greed, Unrequited Love, and Lies.
I would have liked Sir Felix Carver get more of a downfall.
Timothy West is a great narrator and the accents he uses for the different characters are very good. I loved this book as he brought it to life so well.
"Nothing new under the sun..."
Timothy West's performance of course, which kept my Ipod glued to my body and my buds in my ears throughout boring household chores, cooking and when just putting my feet up. However dear old Trollope also deserves some praise for providing such entertaining prose.
There are too many to mention, but, as I am just about to listen to part three I hope it will be seeing Felix Carberry brought low
Not as far as I recall but he' a sure bet for future listenings.
No, but it isn't meant to move I think. It made me smile many a time and I found myself thinking quite a lot about the fact that human nature never really changes. Avarice and greed prevail today just as they did then and money continues to make more money for those who already have too much, men continue to deceive and women continue to believe in them against all odds.
Thank you Timothy West, for hours of beautiful contact with my native language - I live in an Italian speaking part of the world (Ticino, Switzerland).
This is a wonderful novel, wonderfully read. I shall miss all the characters very much.
"The way we live now"
A very long book, beautifully written and still relevant today. Brought to life by the best narration (along with the Palliser novels) I have ever experienced in an audiobook. Timothy West is fabulous.
loved it and beautifully read
by timothy west.. more read by timithy west please. Flashman?
Loved this book, I laughed so much. Amazing performance by Timothy West. Feel sad now I have finished listening....... As for the Solicitors name of Slow and Bideawhile......little has changed today!
"way better than expected!"
Brilliantly read & an entertaining and compelling story. Looking for now Trollope to add to my library.
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