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Vanity Fair by Thackeray W.M

Vanity Fair  by Thackeray W.M
  • Author Thackeray W.M
  • Title Vanity Fair
  • Category Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
  • Subcategory Thrillers & Suspense
  • ISBN 0863076718
  • ISBN13 978-0863076718
  • Size PDF 1181 kb
  • Size FB2 1238 kb
  • Size EPUB 1428 kb
  • Publisher The Great Writers Library (1987)
  • Language English
  • Rating 4.6
  • Votes 264
  • Pages 607 pages

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Vanity Fair by Thackeray W.M
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Vanity Fair by Thackeray W.M
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Vanity Fair by Thackeray W.M
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As the manager of the performancesits before the curtainson the boards, and look into the fair, a feeling of profound melancholy comes over him in his survey of the bustling place...

Reviews about Vanity Fair by Thackeray W.M

My first attempt at reading this, years ago, ended with me giving up in the first chapter or two. This time I stuck with it and was rewarded with a greatly entertaining and amusing book. One thing I would recommend is to get a version with plenty of footnotes, because there are many things that need some explaining after 150 years!

The Kindle version Vanity Fair - Full Version (Illustrated and Annotated) (Literary Classics Collection Book 44) had plenty of footnotes, the most I could find in any Kindle version. Without them I would have been lost at times as to the meaning of certain references. There are also some typos, but not enough to destroy reading enjoyment. Also, this version has the original illustrations by the author.

Highly recommended!
303. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (Novel-E Book-Fiction) 5* Originally “The Novel Without a Hero”, which more or less is about the gist of it, as even the character Colonel William Dobbin is not without some flaws. The author certainly is a loquacious writer and no doubt his mind was muddled at times and certainly his pen hand cramped with the volume of pages of this work. Published as a 19 volume series between 1847-1848, it's meant to reflect early 19th century society of England, told with wit and satire. As the reader follows the lives of Amelia Sedley and Rebecca Sharp, we don't have to wait long to determine each ladies character, Amelia being naïve and Rebecca unscrupulous and rather ruthless at times. Their paths cross many times during the course of the narrative and not always in a good way. I thought it was an excellent story and well written which I thoroughly enjoyed. “Ah, Vanitas Vattatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? Or, having it is satisfied? -come, children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out” William Makepeace Thackeray and thus ends Vanity Fair.
This is not a review of the novel which is a masterpiece despite the reviews of a few people who didn't like the book. The fact that you don't like the book or understand the importance of the book does not mean it's not a masterpiece. I am reviewing the Barnes and Noble edition which is listed under annotated versions if you search that way. There are many brief references throughout the book---maybe on 30%-40% of the pages. They are very brief. I give this edition four starts because the Penguin edition has many more and they are more thorough. The Penguin is out of print but used copies can be found if searched for. This edition is fine and superior to those editions without such references but not as good as the Penguin.
Reactions to this novel will probably depends heavily on two things -- tolerance for a long, sprawling, often diffuse story and a willingness to immerse oneself in a book where none of the main characters are fully likable people.

This is a long, long book. When I started reading it I was living in Arizona with no plans to move. By the time I finished the book this week, I had been a resident of Minnesota for almost three months. And I'm not a slow reader. It isn't the most sprawling Victorian novel I've read (The Way of All Flesh felt a lot longer and involved many more generations and Wives and Daughters: An Everyday Story, another great serial novel, was also pretty meandering), but it is certainly in the category.

If you have a willingness to immerse yourself in an author's world for an extended period of time, you will probably enjoy this novel. It helps, however, to also have an appetite for harsh social commentary. It doesn't seem as if the author likes anybody very much. Even the characters who are initially appealing turn out to have serious character flaws. Readers who want to "like" characters should probably keep looking.

On the whole, I thought this novel was an excellent read. The author's wit, while not as sharp as Dickens at his best, is enjoyable. The frequent authorial injections, while an old-fashioned technique, were delivered with a sensibility that was quite modern. The story didn't turn out at all as I expected it would.

If you have an appetite for a long novel with realistic characters, I highly recommend this book. I liked it enough to want to check out more of the author's work. Comparing him to authors like Austen isn't really fair. He was really working in a completely different way, with the same elements of social satire, but on a much longer scale and in a much darker vein.