Book Review – Capital

Capital by John Lanchester (Faber & Faber) ISBN 9780571234615

If you like to be a fly on the wall, this is the book for you. The author has a knack for describing other people’s lives and mind-sets, which often rings true. Capital is about a group of people with very different backgrounds and cultures, who all live in London. The only connection between them is Pepys Road, which has a long history.

They are the British banker, Pakistani shopkeeper, the Polish decorator, the Zimbabwean traffic warden, the Senegalese footballer and so on. Each character is portrayed with depth and insight: some are amusing, others annoying and many elicit the reader’s compassion. We are involved with the characters as onlookers.

Every household has received a card containing a simple message, ‘We want what you have’, which gets the plot rolling. The book is thought-provoking and depicts the diversity in society. An epic contemporary novel that looks at life in modern London.

Dawn Blankfield

Posted on: 28th January 2013