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Extended Audio Sample Capital Audiobook, by John Lanchester Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,435 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Lanchester Narrator: Colin Mace Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781470328382
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From the bestselling author of The Debt to Pleasure comes a sweeping social novel set at the height of the financial crisis.

Celebrated novelist John Lanchester—“an elegant and wonderfully witty writer” (New York Times)—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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brimming with perception, humane empathy, and relish, its portrayal of this metropolitan miscellany is, in every sense, a capital achievement.”

    Times on Sunday (London)

  • “The book John Lanchester was born to write.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Effortlessly brilliant—gripping for its entire duration.”

    Observer (London)

  • “It is Lanchester’s gifts for observation and description that make Capital such a riveting read...a novel that is as readable as it is clever.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “An exceptionally capacious and involving tale about disparate lives in turmoil on London’s Pepys Road...Lanchester makes us care deeply about his imperiled characters and their struggles, traumatic and ludicrous, as he astutely illuminates the paradoxes embedded in generosity and greed, age and illness, financial crime and religious fanaticism, immigration, exile, and terror. A remarkably vibrant and engrossing novel about what we truly value.”


  • “As enrapturing as it is psychologically acute…Capital portrays an authentic slice of contemporary life on the eve of change in a way that recalls Franzen—with a welcome touch of wry humor.”


  • Selected for the June 2012 Indie Next List
  • A 2012 Washington Post Best Audiobook
  • A 2012 BookPage Best Book
  • A 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally | 2/7/2014

    " This is a great book about a street in London and how its occupants have changed over the years. The book follows a group of people whose lives are linked to the street and follows them through a period of time and what happens to them. The lives link well and it is an interesting look at relationships, consumerism and what drives people. There is a background story to the street which adds a mystery involves a group of postcards sent out to all the street addresses and progresses from there. I didn't want to put this book down but sadly its finished and I will have to wait for another book from this author because I have enjoyed all the books he has written so far. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Geraldine O'donnell | 1/28/2014

    " A most entertaining and witty novel for the current financial and social climate. Cleverly constructed and a wonderful read I did not want it to end. There are parallels with Sebastian Faulks' "a week on December". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diva | 1/26/2014

    " I was so into this! But I knocked off a star for maybe being a tiny bit cliche/trying too hard to be the quintessential London novel. Maybe I'm being mean and I will make this five stars later because I enjoyed it A LOT. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 1/8/2014

    " A good read. Loooong, perhaps too long. Could easily have been 100 pages less. Just needed tightening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoe King | 12/31/2013

    " Long very interesting social record. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil Sammells | 11/28/2013

    " The archetypal 'good read', though a somewhat soft-centred state-of-the-nation analysis... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brad | 6/15/2013

    " I wanted to like this book and it was good but the individual stories were loosely linked and it was more about London as a city and the different nuances (Financial crisis, race, etc) and for that it was okay as it showed the disparity but did not connect for me in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taylor Fleming | 4/13/2013

    " Loved the structure, so many intertwining stories, but this book is way too long and somewhat boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 C | 1/31/2013

    " Interesting social commentary but not as exciting as the promotional blurbs indicated. Lots of unlikable characters makes it hard to care how their stories turn out. "

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About the Author
Author John Lanchester

John Lanchester is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, and Observer, among others. He has won the Whitbread and Hawthornden Awards, as well as being awarded the 2008 E. M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in London.

About the Narrator

Colin Mace is an actor recently seen in the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors. He starred in the critically acclaimed drama The Night Watch for the BBC, Shirley for BBC2, as well as several episodes of Eastenders. His theater credits include “Ted Narracott” in War Horse at the National Theatre and West End, as well as Cash at WYP, and The 39 Steps and The Odysee at the Lyric Hammersmith. Other television credits includes Peep ShowAbolitionThe BillDown to Earth, and The Project.