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Barry Lyndon

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,461 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Set in late 18th century Europe the adventures and mis-adventures of a minor member of the Irish gentry trying to better himself. Redmond Barry of Bally Barry is a clever young man, who learns the manners of a gentleman. This serves him well, for the next few decades he meanders through Europe, as a soldier, mercenary, gambler, and vagabond. He reaches the pinnacle of worl ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1844)
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What a cad Barry is! A line from the book sums up this blackguard: "he is the one St.Patrick missed."

The Duel Scene
Yet Another Novel Without a Hero

William Makepeace Thackeray, who in his own time was vying for the peak of popularity among Victorian readers with the Inimitable Dickens himself, would by now be completely eclipsed in modern bookshops – as it happened to Bulwer-Lytton, for instance –, were it not for his still well-known novel Vanity Fair (1848), which proclaimed itself “a novel without a hero”, as it mercilessly satirized Victorian society. Although Thackeray’s way of narrating and constructing
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Turns out Becky Sharp makes a pretty awful dude.

The adventurer is a stock villain in Victorian literature. With no money but plenty of charm, he or she tries to marry into comfort, sometimes with the help of one dastardly plot or another. Sir Felix Carbury of Trollope's The Way We Live Now is a good one, and Lady Audley; Daniel Defoe's Roxana is an early example.

"Dare, and the world always yields: or, if it beat you sometimes, dare again, and it will succumb."

And Thackeray loves them. He'll get
Maria Thomarey
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Το διάβασα σε2 1/2 μέρες . Σχεδόν απνευστί . Απο τις εκδόσεις "Ζαχαροπουλος" . Το είδα σήμερα και συγκινήθηκα .
Laura LVD
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barry Lyndon es pícaro, egoísta, ególatra, derrochador, mentiroso, xenófobo, trata mal a las mujeres; no hay un sólo defecto que no tenga. Pero él se describe como generoso, bondadoso, valiente, lleno de cualidades, de alto rango y un montón más de calificativos que no concuerdan con la propia historia que nos cuenta - narrador no fiable si los hay. Básicamente él se cree que todo el mundo le debe respeto y que debe conseguir una fortuna debido a esos ancestros nobles de los cuales desciende (y ...more
Greg Deane
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
William Thackeray’s The Luck of Barry Lyndon, is a novel-without-a-hero, narrated by the disingenuous Irish adventurer, Barry Redmond, whose lies and misrepresentations, coupled with his misconceptions of honour and manners, unintentionally reveal him to be a bullying scoundrel. Fleeing from the legal consequences of a duel, he becomes an enlisted soldier in both British and Prussian armies during the Seven Years War (1756-1763). His duplicitous nature serves him well as a spy, a gamester and co ...more
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lazarus by: Stanley Kubrik
''...Mr. Barry Lyndon is as unprincipled a personage as ever has figured at the head of a history, and as the public will persist in having a moral appended to such tales, we beg here respectfully to declare that we take the moral of the story of Barry Lyndon, Esquire, to be, - that worldly success is by no means the consequence of virtue; that if it is effected by honesty sometimes, it is attained by selfishness and roguery still oftener; and that our anger at seeing rascals prosper and good me ...more
Libros Prohibidos
Novela de lectura sorprendentemente rápida y fácil, agradable y divertida. Tiene su buena ración de partes monótonas y densas (divagar acerca del miembro tal y cual de la nobleza es lo que tiene) pero no son insoportables. Reseña completa:
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2008
Oh I got soo tired of Barry Lyndon. He never learns anything and remains a vain, foolish, pompous ass until the day he dies (which unfortunately doesn't come quickly enough). I did like the historical bits about clothing, horses, carriages, debt, gambling, etc. The rest...oh what a dull creature despite all his braggadocio. The intro said that Thackeray had added many more fake editor's notes at one point. I wish my edition had those notes. The few that were there were very amusing.

Also perplexe
Barry Lyndon is a classically "unreliable narrator". He's an Irish rogue who joins the British army after an unhappy love affair and then goes on to fame and fortune as a fashionable gambler. As in Vanity Fair, Thackeray is interested in representing his characters accurately and realistically, and his portrayal of the dissolute, amoral Barry, a rake who thinks he's a prince among men, is masterful.
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2012
Nel momento in cui un personaggio comincia a raccontarti morte e miracoli, uno si aspetta che abbia fatto grandi cose, o che abbia agito in maniera tale da ispirarti, ma non è mica detto, eh.

Barry Lyndon assilla il proprio lettore dilungadosi sulla sua progidiosa vita, che a detta di lui, è fra le più singolare di qualsiasi uomo vissuto in Europa (ma anche no).
Comincia dai tempi in cui era un bambino proveniente da una famiglia irlandese alla rovina, per mano dei debiti di gioco della figura pat
I used to be a compulsive liar.

When I was young, I would lie all the time – to my parents, to my teachers, to my siblings, to my friends. Whenever I was asked a question I didn’t know the answer to, I’d just make one up. I once told my little brother that they made a cast of Abraham Lincoln’s face after he died and then shrank it with that machine from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and used it as the mold for the modern penny. Hey, he’s the one who believed me.

It wasn’t until I hit high school that I
Johnny Waco
Barry Lyndon is a fine, rollicking example of the picaresque novel, in the tradition of Tom Jones perhaps. Redmond Barry is ambitious and headstrong, meant for a life of pleasure and recognition, but there is one slight problem--he was born into a decayed, dubiously aristocratic family in Ireland. After fighting his first duel at fifteen, he flees Ireland and goes through a hilarious series of adventures: army deserter, spy, gambler and card cheat, seducer, and sycophant. Unscrupulous but endear ...more
Nov 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Luck of Barry Lyndon was well written and stylish. Unfortunately, I just could not find myself cheering for the major character. The back cover touts Barry Lyndon as an Irish adventurer and a likable rogue. It seemed as if he started out as headstrong, impetuous lad and ended up being a pathetic, bully and narcissist with no redeeming qualities. He grew more unlikable as the novel progressed. His alcoholism and gambling took over his life and ruined the fortunes of the unfortunate woman he t ...more

Perhaps I had too high expectations of this novel... I loved Vanity Fair & so expected to love this too so maybe my rating should be 4 rather than 3.5; I'll see how I feel once some time has passed.

Barry Lyndon (nee Redmond Barry) is an Irish scamp (similar to Flashman) but unlike with Becky Sharpe, I didn't feel the charm of the character. I also didn't find the same humor in this novel that had me laughing in Vanity Fair. It was an enjoyable book that I am glad that I read but it seems
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gran-bretagna
Esco esasperata ma contenta dalla lettura di questo romanzo. Esasperata perché il protagonista mi ha infastidito, innervosito, fino a farsi odiare, per cui il finale che gli spetta mi ha soddisfatto. Però….
La duplicità di sensazioni sopra descritta mi ha accompagnato fino alla fine, con prevalenza a momenti dell’una e a momenti dell’altra. Thackeray si è divertito a creare un Barry Lindon tronfio, bugiardo, vanesio, giocatore incallito, ubriacone, spendaccione, manesco, ignorante, un immorale in
Vanity Fair is one of my favourite books and from the bit I read of this in the bookshop it sounded like it'd be just as fun. Unfortunately, the main character was such a cad you just really couldn't like him at all. I was wanting a likeable villain, like Becky or Valmont, but he was just a horrid gambler, wife and child beating drunk. The style was still absolutely gorgeous though and there were some amazingly beautiful turns of phrase. It did make me laugh in several places I just wish there h ...more
Helen Grant
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The eponymous Barry Lyndon is the ultimate unreliable narrator; as he lies, swindles, fights, gambles and flirts his way across late 18th century Europe he consistently presents himself in an unfeasibly flattering light. This makes for an entertaining and amusing novel, although taken objectively the "hero" is not at all likeable. The chief pleasures of this book are reading between the lines to the unsavoury truth, and the lively wit - I laughed very much at phrases like "a girl with no more be ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, british-lit
I went into the book thinking I was going to get a picaresque novel à la Three Musketeers and was left disappointed. While it certainly fits the basic definition, I felt it lacked any of the liveliness found in Dumas' work. This might have to do with the fact that the story is told by Barry as an old man looking back on his life rather than it happening in the moment. I am still interested in seeing how Kubrick interpreted the novel into film. My advice: if you want to read Thackeray, go for Van ...more
Carolina Morales
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
(too bad I don't beleive in Past lives, otherwise, I would have the strong feeling I lived during the 7 Years War)

Barry Lyndon is my first venture into a Thackeray novel. I have tried and forsaken Vanity Fair multiple times and have been avoiding the movie like hell because I still hope I may finish it. In the meantime, this book, the Stanley Kubrick movie and its soundtrack crossed my path, so I gave it a sympathetic try and do not regret it at all.

Barry Lyndon is an Irishman whose temper is m
Monty Milne
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this concurrently with Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility", and every time I was choked with ennui at Austen, I turned with relief to Thackeray. The only real objection anyone can have to this is the unlikeability of Barry Lyndon himself. Yes, that can be a big objection, but there is a pleasure in seeing him progress towards his come-uppance, though moderated by our pity at the tragedies along the way. But there is laughter and pleasure a-plenty too, and the narrative bursts with energ ...more
Paraíso Cuatro
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No recuerdo cuándo, ni tampoco en qué sitio, leí quejarse a Arturo Pérez-Reverte de que uno de los vicios más comunes de las novelas históricas es no saber reflejar adecuadamente la moral y el comportamiento de la época.

Comparativa completa Libro vs Película de Miguel Jaén
Chris Johnson
Jun 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
A crazy story about a self-deluded loafer who wanders through Europe in the 1880s. He constantly fails at whatever he tries, but is under the impression that he's succeeded marvelously. A cynical book about human nature and how well people can deceive themselves. A fun read.
Doreen Petersen
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Really enjoyed the way the author presented this book but as for the main character I found him lacking in several human morals.
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread
I still loved this book, as I love all flawed antiheroes and unreliable narrators, but upon a reread it was clearer to me than before what an utter sociopath Redmond Barry Lyndon is. He literally thinks of nothing but his image, how to advance himself, accumulate wealth and position in society and has no qualms about lying, cheating, stealing or violence to get them. Even his instances of generosity are with an eye to manipulating others into doing what he wants. He shuns his own mother when he ...more
Robyn Blaber
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If anyone has ever had occasion to boast, only to find that their audience is astonished not at the grandeur of the boast, but the nature of the boast itself... well this is the book for you. Barry Lyndon narrates his life much in the style of Giacomo Casanova, exchanging the unbridled sexual acts for even more unbridled acts of violence, often in the form dueling.

What's funny is the way Barry stops so often to say, "Now the reader might get the impression that I [am a very bad person] because
David Ramirer
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
die memoiren des barry lyndon sind eine unglaubliche aufschneidergeschichte, die nur so strotzt von selbstüberhöhung, selbstverleugnung, einbildung und offensichtlichen lügenmärchen.
lyndon hangelt sich an seinem eingebildeten adelsstand höher als man es für möglich hält, watet dabei in unfassbarem leid und ungemach, den er verursacht und redet sich all diese erlebnisse so sehr schön, dass er am ende - wie er meint - mit völlig weißer weste dasteht und alle anderen sich ihm gegenüber immer schle
Kris McCracken
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A rollicking tale of a not very nice chap, who does not very nice things, to not very nice people. I liked the first two thirds of the book, but hated the central character by the final third.

While this is perhaps true to the heart of the tale, it does not make it an easy read.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
I am compromising at 3 stars. It's not that this isn't a well done piece of satire and an excellent study on the mind of a narcissist. It's just that I can't say I enjoyed being inside the head of a narcissist for That many pages. It was grueling and unpleasant, and to give a rating of "I liked it" is a bit of a stretch. I feel I stuck with it through sheer determination, and wasn't really rewarded with a fabulous ending. The character of Redmond Barry Lyndon just gets increasingly despicable as ...more
Josh Eustis
Sep 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Not everyone, exactly
Of course, the film is fantastic: it is the ultimate example of how to execute a period piece. But the novel - amazing. This story is about an Irish guy who is basically a complete degenerate and is an expert in all forms of misconduct. Top that off with a grossly idealized self-regard, and you've got a winner. It's so funny, though, and so well-written, that it is absolutely a must-read. I also greatly prefer the novel's shrewd and stalwart Lord Bullingdon in comparison to the film's snivelling ...more
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YA e dintorni: Mini GdL - Barry Lyndon 29 20 Feb 16, 2016 06:38AM  
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Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta, India, where his father, Richmond Thackeray (1 September 1781 – 13 September 1815), held the high rank of secretary to the board of revenue in the British East India Company. His mother, Anne Becher (1792–1864) was the second daughter of Harriet and John Harman Becher and was also a secretary (writer) for the East India Company.

William had been sent
More about William Makepeace Thackeray...
“A lady who sets her heart upon a lad in uniform must prepare to change lovers pretty quickly, or her life will be but a sad one.” 22 likes
“Let the man who has to make his fortune in life remember this maxim. Attacking is his only secret. Dare, and the world always yields: or, if it beat you sometimes, dare again, and it will succumb.” 11 likes
More quotes…