The Way We Live Now (Classic, Modern, Penguin)
Augustus Melmotte is a fraudulent foreign financier who preys on dissolute nobility - using charm to tempt the weak into making foolish investments in his dubious schemes. Persuaded to put money into a notional plot to run a railroad from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, the capricious gambler Felix Carbury soon becomes one of his victims. But as Melmotte climbs higher in society, his web of deceit - which also draws in characters as diverse as his own daughter Marie and Felix's mother, the pulp novelist Lady Carbury - begins to unravel. A radical exploration of the dangers associated with speculative capitalism, this is a fascinating satire about a society on the verge of moral bankruptcy.
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