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The Way We Live Now

By: Anthony Trollope
Narrated by: Timothy West
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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.

Critic reviews

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

What listeners say about The Way We Live Now

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Indeed

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.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Trollope Masrerpiece

Timothy West's voice and Trollope's writing are a a perfect blend. Loved it. Didn't want it to end, even after 100 chapters.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The way we live now too - 150 years on.

As always, Timothy West brings vibrant life to Trollope. I am immensely grateful. We see ourselves with all our faults and kindnesses in this story set in the 1870s. Here are social climbers, bankers, merchants and aristocrats laid bare - but also gentle and affectionate people trying to do the best they can. Money and power go hand in hand and can be as destructive and terrible then as now. But there are no sermons within a text that entertains as much as it warns us of our failings.
The narration is perfect.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Masterly

Best Trollope yet. Brilliant performance by Timothy West, conveying different characters subtly. 30 hours of pleasure!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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).

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful

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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

absolutely fantastic

Utterly brilliant from start to finish, this is an intricate tale written clearly and read beautifully. I love Trollope, and Timothy West, what a combination!
I just wish there was a little more pause and quiet at the end before the Audible announcement so that one could take a breath and realise that it is finished. Apart from that, wonderful.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

wonderfully read

I loved the book but loved Timothy West's portrayal of the characters and the different voices.

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