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The Way We Live Now Audiobook
The Way We Live Now
Written by: 
Anthony Trollope
Narrated by: 
Timothy West
The Way We Live Now Audiobook

The Way We Live Now

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Publisher's Summary

In this world of bribes, vendettas, and swindling, in which heiresses are gambled and won, Trollope's characters embody all the vices: Lady Carbury is 'false from head to foot'; her son Felix has 'the instincts of a horse, not approaching the higher sympathies of a dog'; and Melmotte - the colossal figure who dominates the book - is a 'horrid, big, rich scoundrel... a bloated swindler... a vile city ruffian'.

©2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (525 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nathaniel United States 01-21-11
    Nathaniel United States 01-21-11

    Collector

    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
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    "The Way We Live Now"

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abbie 10-17-10
    Abbie 10-17-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simply Supreme"

    Anthony Trollope tells an intelligent and engaging story about plausible characters and Timothy West is one of my all-time favorite readers.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan San Marcos, TX, USA 04-09-10
    Jonathan San Marcos, TX, USA 04-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book"

    I really enjoyed this story. It was a good story and nice and long.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ali Cincinnati OH USA 02-04-16
    Ali Cincinnati OH USA 02-04-16 Member Since 2015

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A "Must Read" for fans of the Classics"
    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah 01-20-16
    Deborah 01-20-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favorite Trollope novels"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bergljot Mosfellsbaer, Iceland 07-08-14
    Bergljot Mosfellsbaer, Iceland 07-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good value!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah AUSTIN, TX, United States 12-31-11
    Deborah AUSTIN, TX, United States 12-31-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pure pleasure"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Way We Live Now?

    It's unnerving how little the basic psychology of financial shenanigans have changed over 150 years.


    What does Timothy West bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Timothy West is everything a narrator can be -- interpretive but never intrusive. And an excellent job with both women's voices and American accents


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 09-02-11
    Pamela 09-02-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Trollope's world"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Brentwood, TN, United States 03-10-11
    Barbara Brentwood, TN, United States 03-10-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    "Jolly good, old chap! Pity it had to end!"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-17-12
    03-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
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    509
    37
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    "Could be condensed into half an hour"

    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!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • smith 555
    5/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb "

    It's astounding that reading so long a book can pass by in so quick a time (although it was aided by the fact that I couldn't put it down), or that so complicated a tale, with so many threads and characters, could be so easy to follow (though, of course, Trollope is a passed -master at this).

    The performance, by Timothy West, is superb, and does full justice to the text.

    This book doesn't carry the humour of much of Trollope (I think that his purpose was to be a serious one here), but it more than makes up for it by the superb characterisation and story. Both of these are as relevant today (one has only to look at characters and stories like those of Robert Maxwell, or indeed, Donald Trump) as they were when they were written.

    There is therefore no irony at all in reading such a book now, when it has such a title. I really do think that it is The Way We Live Now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • William Tomlinson
    4/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The way we live now."

    A great story, brilliantly read and modern in its insights. An absorbing study of human behaviour.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. Karen Proctor
    Cardiff
    1/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delightful"

    A literary feast wonderfully performed and both amusing and thought provoking. The more things change the more they remain, essentially, the same!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    10/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb reading by Timothy West"

    A book from 1873 which deals with themes of relevance to the way we live in 2015. Love and marriage. Corruption and fraud in the world of finance. Snobbery and prejudice. The place of women in society. Very elegant language. Very long book. Too long. Brought to life and made accessible by brilliant reading byTimothy West.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lucy Garton
    7/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"

    I really enjoyed this, helped by the excellent narration by Timothy West which gave the perfect tone to the book. I wanted to get it as I'd heard that it gives a rather apt commentary on the recent financial situation but I would never have made it through the print version, so I got it in audio too and found it much a more enjoyable experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Harrow
    inverurie, United Kingdom
    6/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wonderful narration of classic book"

    I chose this as my first Trollope because it featured on the list of 100 greatest novels in The Guardian.

    More than anything, the narration is captivating, and this makes a long text seem like a pleasant journey rather than a task to be completed.

    The book itself is excellent : hypocrisy, social ambition and greed in high (ish) society are lampooned in a way that resonates strongly in the current financial climate. The love sub-plots (apparently something common to all Trollope books) are less satisfying, but do not detract from the overall success of the book.

    I loved this listen, and might have a crack at another Trollope (definitely not a patch on Dickens for me, but still a lot to like), largely because the narration is of the highest order. This book would get into my top 100, but wouldn't threaten the top 75, so if this is the 'best' Trollope, then perhaps it might be better to quit here, but I can imagine Timothy West pulling me back, especially in a 2 for 1 offer . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • RJF
    Rome
    5/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful narration by Timothy West"

    This is an engaging and funny satire on Victorian London life, peopled with some wonderful characters. Timothy West's reading of this (and all Trollope's novels) is probably the best part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • katarinas
    5/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highly Recommended"

    This book surpassed my expectations. It was a delight from start to finish, and the narrator is consistently excellent - something that definitely makes a difference for a book of this length!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Essex , United Kingdom
    3/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb narration"

    Classic story, brilliantly read. Great characters and social /political comedy.
    Highly recommended - my first Trollope but definitely not my last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ms
    1/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful introduction to Trollope"
    If you could sum up The Way We Live Now in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent witty sharp


    Have you listened to any of Timothy West’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Listening to this meant my next search was for 'read by Timothy West' - thrilled to find him reading all of the Barchester chronicles - my next choice


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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