Friday, June 1, 2012


Roger believes “the whole point of having a bit of money was not to have to fly scum class.” School for their son: £20,000. Nanny for the other son: £35,000. Weekend nanny: £9,000. Cars. Clothes. Taxes and pensions. And above it all

the general hard-to-believe expensiveness of everything in London, restaurants and shoes and parking fines and cinema tickets and gardeners and the feeling that every time you went anywhere or did anything money just started melting off you. Roger didn’t mind that, he was completely up for it, but it did mean that if he didn’t get his million-pound bonus this year he was at genuine risk of going broke.

It’s not the last time that a character in Capital will tally what he has and what he needs; the characters in Lanchester’s London have complicated financial, strategic, and emotional ledger sheets, and the book is studded with discussions of worth, value, and want.

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