Capital (Paperback)

A Novel

By John Lanchester

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393345094, 528pp.

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (9/13/2012)
Hardcover (6/11/2012)
Paperback, Spanish (11/30/2013)
Hardcover (3/1/2012)

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

June 2012 Indie Next List

“Capital begins with the households of London's Pepys Road each receiving a card that states, 'We want what you have.' Those menacing and mysterious notes are the jumping off point for Lanchester's brilliant exploration of modern London. From the financial trader in the midst of growing midlife and career crises, to the Pakistani family struggling with faith and family, to a dying woman and her street artist son, Lanchester effortlessly weaves myriad stories into brief chapters to create a written tapestry of remarkable color and depth.”
— Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT
View the List


"A vibrant piece of fiction, pulsating with events and emotions…Seems destined to be read a hundred years from now." —Martin Rubin, Los Angeles Times

Each house on Pepys Road, an ordinary street in London, has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. But each of the street’s residents—a rich banker and his shopaholic wife, a soccer prodigy from Senegal, Pakistani shop owners, a dying old woman and her graffiti-artist son—is receiving a menacing postcard with a simple message: "We Want What You Have." Who is behind this? What do they really want? In Capital, John Lanchester ("an elegant and wonderfully witty writer"—New York Times) delivers a warm and compassionate novel that captures the anxieties of our time—property values going up, fortunes going down, a potential terrorist around every corner—with an unforgettable cast of characters.

About the Author

John Lanchester is the best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure, Capital, and other works of fiction and nonfiction. A regular contributor to the London Review of Books and The New Yorker, he lives in London.

Praise For Capital: A Novel

Not only immensely enjoyable but important, too.
— Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl

Lanchester [is] a brainy, pleasure-loving polymath [and] reading Capital is like getting a crash course in the transformation of British mores and class distinctions.

— Liesl Schillinger

Full of spectacular comedy—and menace.
— Ron Charles

Perfect fireside reading that captures the Trollopean ‘way we live now’ without putting on grand airs.
— James Wolcott

Lanchester employs a bird’s-eye view that sweeps in for dazzling close-ups, then swoops out again, until you see not only the entirety of Pepys Road, but the city, the world—and the economy that’s crumbling under the weight of everyone’s aspirations.
— Laura Lippman

Searching, expert, on the money. I loved it.
— Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland

Capital comes in a great tradition of novels which are filled with the news of now, in which the intricacies of the present moment are noticed with clarity and relish and then brilliantly dramatized. It is clear that its characters, its wisdom, and the scope and range of its sympathy, will fascinate readers into the far future.

— Cólm Toibín, author of Brooklyn

Fresh, astutely observed, and a lot of fun.
— Sebastian Smee

A big, funny, sure-footed novel…rich in observation and warm in spirit.
— Dan Kois

As enrapturing as it is psychologically acute…Capital portrays an authentic slice of contemporary life on the eve of change in a way that recalls Franzen—with a welcome touch of wry humor.

— Trisha Ping

— Lizzie Skurnick