Books Review September 2012
CAPITAL by John Lanchester (best selling author of The Debt to Pleasure)
“We Want What You Have”. This is what is written on the postcards that begin arriving at the houses on Pepys Road in London. Who are they and just what do they want? Is it just a joke or something to be worried about? At first everyone just ignores them but as time goes on it gets more sinister.
A wonderful, compelling, yet easy-to-read novel that follows the lives of many of the residents of Pepys Road in the late 1980s. We meet the Pakistani family that owns the local shop and live above it, the elderly lady who is dying, the young soccer star from Senegal and his minder, the local parking warden, the Polish home improvement man, the Nanny of the banker and his wife as well as many other characters along the way.
Just when you think you know who is responsible, it changes, and you have to re-evaluate your thinking. The ending was a surprise to me.
With property values changing and the beginning of the financial crisis the stories can become somewhat intertwined and it is all very interesting to see what becomes important to each person along the way and the trials and tribulations.
It’s a great read for anyone – whether you know London or not – you will certainly relate to their stories and most likely, even empathize with them.
The author – John Lanchester, has written three other novels and has been awarded the 2008 E M Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and he lives in London.