John Lanchester is a journalist whose writing appeared in The New Yorker, London review of Books, The Times and the New York Times, and author of three novels – The Debt of Pleasure, Mr. Phillips and Fragrant Harbour.
He is an author whose novels are most reliably enjoyable and educational at the same time.
Capital is set in London, in the moths leading to the 2008 financial crisis and reflects both old and modern ways of thinking of the population.
The writing is very “fresh“, well observed and a lot of fun in 530 pages, which the reader feels, compelled to read page after page. It is a page-turner, informative, and delight to read.
The structure of the novel (conceptually and structurally) resembles that of `soap operas and makes it irresistible.
Old and modern Londoners, a young Senegalese football player and his father, a Hungarian nanny, A Polish handyman, a Zimbabwean refugee, a Pakistani family form the novel’s characters, which also represents the current mix London’s population.
While the structure keeps the novel skipping along nicely, the author’s dry humour involves the rider’s interest in the evolving plot.
Descriptions of various characters in the novel are captivating in detail dealing with their thoughts and feelings toward the society in general and each other in particular.
Capital is a “big book“ but not a `big statement book“ and does not attempt to advance theories or thoughts to right all the wrongs that occur in advanced societies.
It also exposes London’s horrendously expensive living, how poor people eke out a living, and the rich squander easily-made or inherited fortunes.
Anyone who enjoys an enlightening, entertaining, and thought-provoking book should obtain this beautifully written oeuvre, read it, and read it again form time to time.