My favorite novelist is Anthony Trollope, and for that reason I take a lot of ribbing from my Booklist colleagues. Trollope seems to be the poster boy for fiction that is stuffy, boring, and old fashioned. So imagine my delight when I opened my copy of Newsweek yesterday–the one with “What to Read Now” on the cover (at least on the cover of the magazine sent to subscribers; the copies on the newsstand feature Michael Jackson instead)–and discovered that the number one recommendation from the Newsweek panel is Trollope’s The Way We Live Now.
At the center of the plot is a swindling financier who, as Newsweek points out, is a Bernie Madoff for the Victorian age. All of Trollope’s novels deal in one way or another with money (he often tells us precisely how much money his characters have, and his novels are tutorials in what kind of lifestyle that money could buy), but The Way We Live Now, in particular, is scathing in its examination of greed.
If you decide to follow up on Newsweek‘s recommendation (and mine) to read The Way We Live Now and it gives you a taste for Trollope, you have lots of great reading ahead of you. He wrote almost 50 novels.