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The Way We Live Now Audiobook

The Way We Live Now

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

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'. But as vile as he is, he is considered one of Trollope's greatest creations.

Trollope's highly regarded satire is about the dishonest and villainous financier, Augustus Melmotte, who captivates and buys his way into the corrupt aristocratic society of London, throwing it into turmoil.

Described by The Guardian as 'the darkest of Trollope's 47 novels' it is also the longest with gloriously rich subplots. Inspired by the financial scandals of the 1870s, the novel is a dramatization of how greed and dishonesty permeated life during that era.

The Way We Live Now has become recognised as Trollope's masterpiece and was featured at Number 22 in The Guardian's 100 best novels.

Narrator Biography

Timothy West is prolific in film, television, theatre, and audiobooks. He has narrated a number of Anthony Trollope's classic audiobooks, including the six Chronicles of Barsetshire and The Pallisers series. He has also narrated volumes of Simon Schama's A History of Britain and John Mortimer's Rumpole on Trial.

Timothy West's theatrical credits include King Lear, The Vote, Uncle Vanya, A Number, Quarter, and Coriolanus and his films include Ever After, Joan Of Arc, Endgame, Iris, and The Day of the Jackal. On television, Timothy has appeared in Broken Biscuits (BBC), Great Canal Journeys (across 3 Series), and the regular role of Stan Carter on EastEnders (BBC).

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A tale of financial skulduggery reminiscent of recent city scandals." (Daily Telegraph)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Nathaniel United States 01-21-11
    Nathaniel United States 01-21-11

    Collector

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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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 Member Since 2016
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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 2017

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah 01-20-16
    Deborah 01-20-16
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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 2017
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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
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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
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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 2016
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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
  •  
    murray LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 12-07-10
    murray LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 12-07-10 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "what a story!"

    everything after melmot's death could be lost and not hurt the novel but up to that it's great.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Laurence
    PORTSMOUTH, United Kingdom
    4/5/12
    Overall
    "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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    Newbury, United Kingdom
    4/1/12
    Overall
    "Briliant"

    This is a Fantastic novel, Timothy West is a one man master class in narration. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Android
    9/16/17
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    "Totally satisying"

    Trollope is the master satirist and delivers a good humoured but scathing observation on the social scene of the late 19th century

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Donal O'Hehir
    Monaleen, Limerick Ireland
    7/29/17
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Wonderful book, gorgeous performance"
    Where does The Way We Live Now rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top for content, right at the top for performance


    What other book might you compare The Way We Live Now to, and why?

    Anna Karenina or War and Peace - complex human stories told in a immensely captivating way without once losing you


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

    This is the beautiful surprise of this edition. Timothy West's performance is stunning - he's not just reading it, he's performing it - complete fwith accents, verbal tics and deep, deep drama. Mind-blowingly good.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Didn't want it to end - but it's 32 hours long, so no!


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • helen
    4/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful"
    What made the experience of listening to The Way We Live Now the most enjoyable?

    The Story was not rushed, one had time to absorb the era and characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mrs Hurdle. I felt an empathy with her. She was kind but life was not kind to her.


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

    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.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A story of Greed, Unrequited Love, and Lies.


    Any additional comments?

    I would have liked Sir Felix Carver get more of a downfall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • VP
    3/15/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • LINDA
    Bellinzona, Switzerland
    2/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing new under the sun..."
    What made the experience of listening to The Way We Live Now the most enjoyable?

    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.


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

    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


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

    Not as far as I recall but he' a sure bet for future listenings.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. H. J. Trick
    11/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful"

    This is a wonderful novel, wonderfully read. I shall miss all the characters very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J C Forbes
    10/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • christine
    10/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great listen"

    loved it and beautifully read
    by timothy west.. more read by timithy west please. Flashman?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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