Capital (Paperback)

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Capital takes place on a once ordinary but now gentrified street in South London – Pepys Road. The residents include a broad range of both ethnic and economic backgrounds; a shop owning Muslim family, an elderly grandmother, an upwardly mobile couple in way over their heads, a young soccer player from Senegal and his father, and sundry employees and civil servants. As the title suggests, this is a story of money and the complications it brings with it, each viewing what surrounds them differently. While clearly depicting a British outlook on easy-money and excess, it certainly has correlation to our own adoration of status and wealth. When mysterious postcards sayng “We want what you have” begin turning up on doorsteps the residents become concerned and rightfully so. As we follow the individual lives of these mismatched neighbors, Lanchester resolves all of their wants and fears, some in predictable ways and some not. Since it’s now out in paperback, it makes a great beach read for those who like a little food for thought while sunbathing.

— From Janice's Picks

June 2012 Indie Next List

“Capital begins with the households of London's Pepys Road each receiving a card that states, 'We want what you have.' Those menacing and mysterious notes are the jumping off point for Lanchester's brilliant exploration of modern London. From the financial trader in the midst of growing midlife and career crises, to the Pakistani family struggling with faith and family, to a dying woman and her street artist son, Lanchester effortlessly weaves myriad stories into brief chapters to create a written tapestry of remarkable color and depth.”
— Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT


Each house on Pepys Road, an ordinary street in London, has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. But each of the street's residents--a rich banker and his shopaholic wife, a soccer prodigy from Senegal, Pakistani shop owners, a dying old woman and her graffiti-artist son--is receiving a menacing postcard with a simple message: "We Want What You Have." Who is behind this? What do they really want? In Capital, John Lanchester ("an elegant and wonderfully witty writer"--New York Times) delivers a warm and compassionate novel that captures the anxieties of our time--property values going up, fortunes going down, a potential terrorist around every corner--with an unforgettable cast of characters.

About the Author

JOHN LANCHESTER is the prize-winning author of four novels: "The Debt to Pleasure, Mr. Phillips, Fragrant Harbour," and "Capital," as well as the non-fiction titles "Family Romance" and "I.O.U." He is also a journalist whose work has appeared in "The New Yorker, "the" New York Review of Books," the "London Review of Books," "The Times," and the "New York Times."He lives in London.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393345094
ISBN-10: 0393345092
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: May 28th, 2013
Pages: 527
Language: English