Stacy's Reviews > Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
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Aug 03, 09

bookshelves: classics, british-lit
Read in August, 2009

I listened to the book on CD, and it was an excellent reading. My pet peeves with the story:

1. The innumerable side stories and tangents (ie regarding the rich relatives, the minor characters, etc.) Perhaps the author used these to further drive home his critique of the materialism of British high society, but to me, it merely frustrated my desires to stick to the main characters. The novel seemed to drag on unnecessarily as a result of the author's many side stories.

2. The repetition of certain words and phrases. If I had to hear the word "prodigious" one more time... There's no telling what I might do.

3. Amelia's ridiculous adoration of her cad of a husband had me gagging throughout the whole story.

4. Some of the moments where the author speaks directly to the reader in a moralizing manner were just weird. As a modern reader, I tended to respond by thinking, "I'm reading fiction to be entertained. If I wanted to be scolded, or edified, I'd read the Bible." However, this technique was probably more common at the time of writing. To quote Randy Jackson, "For me, dawg, it was just a little weird."

On the bright side, the main plot between Amelia, Dobbin, and Becky was quite compelling and the very end was a pretty good ending, I thought. Not too unrealistically happy, but satisfying enough.

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message 1: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Excellent review. I've been thinking about reading this book because right now I'm reading What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew about the facts of daily life in 19th century England, and it quotes and references this book a lot. There does seem to be a lot of moralizing in the fiction of that time period. That's probably why Jane Austen is so popular with modern readers, because she keeps it to a minimum (and she's hilarious). Anyway, your review helped me decide that if I do read this book, it won't be immediately.


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