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The internationally celebrated author of The Debt to Pleasure returns with this major, breakout novel -- scathing and subversive, sharply witty and brilliantly observed as it follows the lives and fortunes of a group of people in London that becomes connected in unforeseen ways. Pepys Road: an ordinary street in the capital. Today, through each letterbox along this ordinary street drops a card with a simple message: We Want What You Have. At forty, Roger Yount is blessed with an expensively groomed wife, two small sons and a powerful job in the city. Freddy Kano, teenage football sensation, has left a two-room shack in Senegal to follow his dream. Traffic warden Quentina has exchanged the violence of the police in Zimbabwe for the violence of the enraged middle classes. Elsewhere in the Capital, Zbigniew has come from Warsaw to indulge the super-rich in their interior decoration whims. These are just some of the unforgettable characters in Lanchester's unputdownable masterpiece novel of contemporary urban life.
One of the most talked about books of the year, Capital is a sweeping social novel by the writer hailed on the cover of the New York Times Book Review as "a brainy, pleasure-loving polymath." Celebrated novelist John Lanchester (author of The Debt to Pleasure) returns with an epic novel that captures the obsessions of our time. It's 2008 and things are falling apart: Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers are going under, and the residents of Pepys Road, London--a banker and his shopaholic wife, an old woman dying of a brain tumor and her graffiti-artist grandson, Pakistani shop owners and a shadowy refugee who works as the meter maid, the young soccer star from Senegal and his minder--are receiving anonymous postcards reading "We Want What You Have." Who is behind it? What do they want? Epic in scope yet intimate, capturing the ordinary dramas of very different lives, this is a novel of love and suspicion, of financial collapse and terrorist threat, of property values going up and fortunes going down, and of a city at a moment of extraordinary tension.
Winner of the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel and a New York Times Notable Book, The Debt to Pleasure is a wickedly funny ode to food. Traveling from Portsmouth to the south of France, Tarquin Winot, the book's snobbish narrator, instructs us in his philosophy on everything from the erotics of dislike to the psychology of the menu. Under the guise of completing a cookbook, Winot is in fact on a much more sinister mission that only gradually comes to light.
Family Romance is a beautifully written memoir in which John Lanchester joins the dots of his parents' history, their extraordinary secrets and the shape of their shared life. From his grandparents' beginnings in rural Ireland and colonial Rhodesia, Lanchester navigates through his parents' lives: his father Bill's devastating war-time separation from his parents; his mother Julia's tragic first love, her decision to become a nun and her adoption of a new identity. Lanchester illuminates their characters and Julia's motives with moving insight.
An entertaining and indispensable guide to the language of finance and economics by the writer hailed for "explain[ing] complex stuff in a down-to-earth and witty style" (The Economist). To those who don't speak it, the language of money can seem impenetrable and its ideas too complex to grasp. In How to Speak Money, John Lanchester--author of the New York Times best-selling book on the financial crisis, I.O.U.--bridges the gap between the money people and the rest of us. With characteristic wit and candor, Lanchester reveals how the world of finance really works: from the terms and conditions of your personal checking account to the evasions of bankers appearing in front of Congress. As Lanchester writes, we need to understand what the money people are talking about so that those who speak the language don't just write the rules for themselves. Lanchester explains more than 300 words and phrases from "AAA rating" and "amortization" to "yield curve" and "zombie bank." He covers things we say or hear every day--such as GDP, the IMF, credit, debt, equity, and inflation--and explains how hedge funds work, what the World Bank does, and why the language of money has gotten so complicated. Along the way he draws on everything from John Maynard Keynes to the Wu-Tang Clan, Friedrich Hayek to Thomas Piketty, The Wealth of Nations to Game of Thrones. A primer, a polemic, and a reference book, How to Speak Money makes economics understandable to anyone. After all, "money," as Lanchester writes, "is a lot like babies, and once you know the language, the rule is the same as that put forward by Dr. Spock: 'Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.'"
John Lanchester's brilliant survey of the current financial crisis explains how the booming global economy collapsed seemingly overnight.
For two years before and after the 1948 Communist Revolution, David Kidd lived in Peking, where he married the daughter of an aristocratic Chinese family. "I used to hope," he writes, "that some bright young scholar on a research grant would write about us and our Chinese friends before it was too late and we were all dead and gone, folding into the darkness the wonder that had been our lives." Here Kidd himself brings that wonder to life.
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