“Capital” by John Lnchester is one of my all-time favourites. I absolutely loved this book!
I knew I would like this book when I read the blurb. It was right up my street – with a few different characters from all walks of life, all living in the same street. Add to it a bit of mystery and a big city and I knew I was in for a real treat!
I won’t even start to talk about the plot in more detail, as there was simply too much detail (and that’s a good thing in this case!). I loved that there was such a mixture of characters: a rich banker with his shopaholic wife, a Pakistani family dreading a visit from the mother-in-law, a Polish builder, a Senegalese football player, and many more. All so different, and yet connected by the mystery of the We Want What You Have postcards, the financial crisis and of course same street address. You follow all the up and downs of their daily lives as well as real tragedies and big moments. What I really liked was that even when something terrible happened to the characters, it did turn out good in the end. It brought to mind the old saying: everything happens for a reason.
Reading this book was a real pleasure mainly thanks to Lanchester’s talent in character creation. He really did his research and put a lot of detail in that made the story more realistic and believeable, skillfully depicting the real life in London. It was very well plotted – I had no idea who was behind the card mystery up until the end.
Do you feel disappointed when you’re nearly getting to the end of a book, and it looks like there are still about 10 pages left to read, and then it turns out they’re acknowledgements, synopsis, etc? I do! And I did in this case as well – it felt like the book just finished with no warning! I really wanted to read on and find out what happened next to all the residents, and how their lives turned out afterwards. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t like the ending, quite the opposite – the story was so good, I didn’t want it to end!