©2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I never expected 19th century fiction to be as relevant and delicious as this is. You have it all - a devilishly witty narrator, a self-destructive gambling son and his over-protective mother, a european ponzie scheme based on american railroad speculation, and aristocratic characters motivated by trivial, petty, and self-destructive psychology. I would love to see this novel turned into a movie or series. Very British yet so contemporary.
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!
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!
Reading a book like this makes one think about how much time was squandered in those days! I fast forwarded the chapters from time to time and thought that I was still in the same spot!! I did not get a good feeling from listening to this book as it was all about matchmaking in the excruciatingly slow 19th century way. A few political sub-plots and money making scams thrown in for good measure. Women being used and abused or just treated as window dressing. Very uninspiring!
Tell us about yourself!
everything after melmot's death could be lost and not hurt the novel but up to that it's great.
I think this is may be my favorite by Anthony Trollope. The book is a humorous Love story with some villainy and A small amount of unrequited love. But the reader or listener in this case is the left thoroughly satisfied.
Timothy West and Trollope is the best combination I know of, I was dismissive of audiobooks until the delight of hearing unabridged Trollope read by this most intelligent of interpreters came my way - all of his readings of Trollope are utterly exquisite and the clever perceptions of the author are conveyed to the listener with exactly the right nuances. Please Mr West, if you ever read this review, have my thanks and pleas to continue your sensitive portrayals of the entire Trollope novels. You are a national treasure - just as these undervalued books are.
"A book for the 21st Century"
I am very fond of Trollope's works but hadn't read "The Way We Live Now" before purchasing this audiobook. It has been so difficult to switch it off and I have been held captive throughout. I know the book has its detractors but I found it full of wisdom and compassion. It is not just of historical interest but says a lot about how we live now in the 21st century. The mistakes in the original text have been retained but it's quite fun to spot them as the reading goes on. Timothy West is masterful as always and does full justice to a wonderful novel.
"Timothy West Is Just Fantastic"
I would never have read a hard copy of this book. I chose it because of the reviews on Audible. They were not wrong. Great story of genteel 'ruthless people' brought alive by brilliant narration. Funny and touching. The best I have downloaded so far.
"My First Trollope Novel but Not My Last"
This was quite simply brilliant in every possible way and a fantastic introduction to Trollope's writings for a 'first-timer' like me. Timothy West does the most superlative job as the narrator and I can't imagine anyone else who could do such justice to this wonderfully rich and colourful novel. I now have my eye firmly set on more of Anthony Trollope's novels and fortunately there are loads of them, but I can't imagine any of them being more engaging or thoroughly entertaining than this.
"it was great"
I really enjoyed this book. Because of its lenght, I did fear that it would be just a very long drawn out, and perhaps rather dull 19th century novel, but not at all. Its still fresh. So well paced that each hour is enjoyable with no need to rush onward. Beautiful writing.
This book was recommended to me as an interesting reflection of the current financial situation, despite being set in 1873. And it certainly is, showing the power that society gives to those who are thought to be wealthy, without troubling to look too deeply behind the scenes. Beautifully read by Timothy West, the story is easy to follow despite the length of the book and of the cast list! Recommended if you enjoy Victorian literature and even more so if you have a rather dry sense of humour.
Timothy West reads this extremely well, as I would have expected. The various voices are well-characterised and clear.
It's a very long novel but Trollope's writing is so entertaining that it doesn't drag. It could have done because he was, to my mind, spinning it out just a bit but my interest never flagged. Trollope does tend to deal in this book with one story line for long stretches and then retrace his steps to go back to what was happening a few weeks before to other characters so he has to do a bit of a recap every now and then.
It's very witty in places and West brings out Trollope's wry humour at the expense of some of his characters well. Very few escape his wit.
There are some splendidly vile characters here notably Melmotte (who only just stays the right side of pantomime villain) and Sir Felix Carbury who is a hopeless case. There only seem to be three really good people amongst the main characters, Hetta Carbury, Roger Carbury and Marie Melmotte and I must admit Marie is for me the real heroine of the piece. I was cheering for her from quite early on. I also have a soft spot for Mrs Hurtle who is a rather modern American lady with a surprising moral code.
It's a good listen.
"Better than TV"
Trollope has not been translated to my native tongua (Finnish) so I got to know this great novel through the BBC TV adaptation with David Suchet as the star. The adaptation took rather many liberties in polarising the issues and drama. The novel is superior to the screenplay, more nuances and verisimilitude.
Timothy West is even to me well-known actor with genuine wit. He omits the often annoying strong impersonations ie he does not try to speak high for females or anything like that. Still, he paces the characters very well and lives out their psychology engagingly. He has a most plesant voice and diction.
Indeed, yes it is the way we live now, the way we lived when Trollope wrote it and the way we lived before that point. A wonderfully absorbing novel populated by vivid characterisation brought to life by West's masterful reading. Even when he takes the role of young women the listener is convinced he hears the girl and not West. Utterly splendid.
"Not Palliser, nor in Barsetshire but still perfect"
it seems a truth universally acknowledged on Audible that Timothy West ought to be knighted for his services to Trollope.
I particually loved his Lord Nidderdale- but it's just as well Marie Melmotte never meets Mme Max Goesler from the Pallisers as it seems they have to share, more or less, the same 'female of indeterminate European origin' voice between them.
Marie was rather the weak spot in the story for me- I thought Trollope treated her rather harshly in the end and should have picked out a better husband for her.
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