Friday, December 17, 2010

The Classics Circuit: The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope

Book: The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
Genre: Classic
Rating: A so far
For: The Classics Circuit
From: I bought it!

I've been wanting to read this book every since I saw the trailer for it advertising it's PBS's Masterpiece Classic series before some other movie I happened to be watching. This summer I found the book on a bargain rack somewhere, so I snatched it up, and then just a month later, Anthony Trollope is visiting The Classics Circuit! So of course I had to participate and try my hardest to read this book!

Well, it's not the best time of year to do this that's for sure. At this point I'm half way through, on page 385 and really really enjoying it. Though I haven't quite finished it, I can give you a run down on what's going on so far, and I think if you love these soap opera-ish type classic books, you'll hopefully want to give this one a try.

At the center of everything, we have a  40-something single mom and her two kids, Felix about 23-ish and Hetta about 18 or so. She dots on Felix and spoils him rotten. Felix is bottom line a complete slime bucket. He gambles compulsively and smooches everything he can off his mom to the point that they are now both completely bankrupt. In order to solve this problem, his mom has encouraged him to win the heart of and marry the heiress, Marie. (Whose dad by the way, is also a mastermind swindler and that's why they are so rich!) So, Felix does this easily, because he is drop dead gorgeous and Marie is head over heels. Felix couldn't care less about her, but goes along with the plan for the sake of the money.

Meanwhile, he is having fling with a country girl, Ruby, who lives nearby the manor that his cousin, Roger owns, and which Felix is set to inherit unless Roger marries. Roger, of course wants to marry Hetta, Felix's sister, but Hetta instead loves Paul, Roger's friend (and also mixed up in the raunchy deals headed by Marie's dad.) Roger can't stand Felix and will do anything to ruin him. Ruby, meanwhile, is supposed to marry John Crumb, but when she is nearly forced to, she runs away to live with her aunt and hang out with Felix, even though he is just about ready to elope with Marie. You see Marie's dad wants her to marry Lord something or other and has claimed to disinherit her if she does otherwise. Of course she feels he won't really do this, and will do anything to marry beautiful Felix.

So, back to Ruby her aunt has boarder named Mrs. Hurtle. She is an American widow with a sordid past. She and Paul, (previously mentioned above,) have a history and in fact Paul has promised to marry her! But then he finds out about her shady past and gets rather nervous, and besides he is actually in love with Hetta, if you remember. So he is trying to get out it, but Mrs. Hurtle is one beautiful seductress and boy oh boy is Paul ever in deep trouble! Poor poor Paul!

Doesn't that all just sound like a blast!!? I can't wait to see how it all turns out and who will end up with whom and what sort of major trouble they all get in!

Now if only I could find the time to read!

This is only the second book I've read by Anthony Trollope. I read The Eustace Diamonds way back when (which I later found out it was part of series and gasp, I was out of order!) But it's interesting that I hadn't even heard of him until just a few years ago. Where was he during my high school life? Not one thing did my teachers say about him! I think he deserves a little more credit than that! He is very similar to Charles Dickens though much easier to understand. I would also put him the category of Elizabeth Gaskell and company. I will definitely be on the look out for more by him and will try to become a little more Anthony Trollope savvy.

He has a website, so click on over if you'd like to learn more!

For other participants in the tour and to see all the great books everyone read and reported on, click here now.


  1. Lot's of reading pleasure ahead of you in the second half!

    You know, I never had a teacher who mentioned Trollope either. And he should have been, he's the one to hook the anti-Dickens crowd (of which I'm a member) onto the Victorians.

    Somewhere along the way the title IS HE POPENJOY? lodged in my head when I was young, though, and that's one of the Trollopes I hope to read in 2011. It must be second or third tier Trollope since even the people who read Trollope never seem to mention it, but what a title!

  2. I never heard of Trollope until I began blogging and I was an English undergrad! Scandal!

    Next up for me in the Palliser series is EUSTACE DIAMONDS. I hope you enjoyed it :)

  3. This is the only Trollope I've ever read part of, but I just never went back to finish it (and considering I only read like 30 pages, it hardly counts - this one is so big!).

  4. I finally picked up my first Trollope book the other day after so many people raved about it on blogs!

  5. I saw the movie of this a while ago, and liked it. Luckily, I've forgotten most of it, so when I get to the book one of these days, it will be a whole new story!



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