CAPITAL



“Pepys Road: an ordinary street in the Capital. Each house has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. Today, through each letterbox along this ordinary street drops a card with a simple message: We Want What You Have.”

This is the preamble to the bestselling author John Lanchaster’s latest novel, Capital. Who is behind it? What do they want? As the mystery of the postcards deepens, the world around Pepys Road (an imaginary road in Clapham) is turned upside down by the financial crash and all of its residents’ lives change beyond recognition over the course of the next year.

Last month, I went with a couple of friends to support a dear friend of mine at one of her delightfully witty Writer’s Talk sessions at the Chelsea Arts Club where she interviewed Lanchester. Set in the dimly-lit, paintings-clad, British Racing Green felt-walled Dining Room, it proved to be a delightful Q&A evening where the charming Lanchaster tantalised us with excerpts from his book and delighted us with his unpretentious intelligence and insightful observations of today’s mores. At the book signing, I had a nice chat, albeit-too-short, with him about Clapham where I used to live and how he somehow managed to almost enter my memories and recollections of my life there in his, although fictional, pertinent descriptions and portrayals of that particular South London area and its inhabitants.

A tantalizing, page-turning read for any Londoner or especially any ‘Claphamite’.

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