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The Way We Live Now

Anthony Trollope

Book Overview: 

The Way We Live Now is a scathing satirical novel by Anthony Trollope. It was regarded by many of Trollope’s contemporaries as his finest work.

The Way We Live Now is particularly rich in sub-plot. It was inspired by the financial scandals of the early 1870s, and lashes at the pervading dishonesty of the age, commercial, political, moral, and intellectual.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .As there were fourteen ladies and only ten men, the banquet can hardly be said to have been very well arranged.  But those things cannot be done in the country with the exactness which the appliances of London make easy; and then the Longestaffes, though they were decidedly people of fashion, were not famous for their excellence in arranging such matters.  If aught, however, was lacking in exactness, it was made up in grandeur.  There were three powdered footmen, and in that part of the country Lady Pomona alone was served after this fashion; and there was a very heavy butler, whose appearance of itself was sufficient to give éclat to a family.  The grand saloon in which nobody ever lived was thrown open, and sofas and chairs on which nobody ever sat were uncovered.  It was not above once in the year that this kind of thing vas done at Caversham; but when it was done, nothing was spared which could contribute to the magnificence of the f&e. . . Read More

Community Reviews

”There are a thousand little silly softnesses which are pretty and endearing between acknowledged lovers, with which no woman would like to dispense, to which even men who are in love submit sometimes with delight; but which in other circumstances would be vulgar,— and to the woman distasteful. T...more

A great novel, perhaps Trollope's best. But it's not the one I usually recommend to those who have never read Trollope and want to try him. For one thing, it's very long. For another, it's pretty dark. There are a lot of characters in this novel, and almost every one of them views money as the su...more

I first read this book back in... hmm... 1998? 1999? Loved it, and was inspired to pull it off the shelf for a re-read in light of the unfolding financial collapse/bail-out. Everything I read about Wall Street firms reminds me of the 4 guys gambling in their private club, the "Beargarden" -- craz...more

The more that I read Victorian literature the more I am convinced that back in those days it was all about authors showing off. The educated public who could actually read and write were in much smaller proportion to the whole society than today. These people wanted to spend their hard earned shi...more

A brilliant satire shockingly apt for current times. A rich man appears on the scene promising much, everyone fawns around him without knowing anything of him except for his apparent richness, he gets elected to a position he doesn't understand, and when the crash comes, everyone blames everyone...more

Not just the way they lived in Britain in 1873, but the way we live now in 2017 America. Trollop wrote with sharp satiric intent about a certain class of dishonesty, dishonesty magnificent in its proportions, and climbing into high places, [that] has become at the same time so rampant and so sple...more

“Who does not know that sudden thoughtfulness at waking, that first matutinal retrospection, and prospection, into things as they have been and are to be; and the lowness of the heart, the blankness of hope which follows the first remembrance of some folly lately done, some word ill-spoken, some...more

This an epic telling of the Victorian era business world of London, invaded by an outsider, one Mr Melmotte (of uncertain and questionable background) who proceeds to take this financial realm by storm. It is also the story of various marital contrivances and government parody, the nouveau riche...more

As good the third time as the first. A brilliant, engaging read, a fascinating exploration of money, power and class in the Victorian period.

Virginia Woolf called Middlemarch "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people," one of my favorite things anyone's ever said about a book. They're sortof surprisingly rare, right?

Top Five Novels For Grown-Up People
5. Remains of the Day
4. War & Peace
3. Mrs. Dalloway
2. The Way We...more

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