Customer Reviews for

Vanity Fair (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 3.5
( 200 )
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5 Star

(74)

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(44)

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(28)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Novel is GREAT, descriptions of downloads are inadequate.

Surprisingly, after over 150 years, Vanity Fair is still a page-turner. This novel is supposed to be a groundbreaking work of "English realism" for its time (middle 1800's), but is surprisingly pertinent to today's consumer-oriented culture. Anyone who wants a slightl...
Surprisingly, after over 150 years, Vanity Fair is still a page-turner. This novel is supposed to be a groundbreaking work of "English realism" for its time (middle 1800's), but is surprisingly pertinent to today's consumer-oriented culture. Anyone who wants a slightly cynical look at the human condition will really enjoy this rendition of the foibles of human society and the sharply drawn characters of Becky Sharp, Emmy Sedly and her brother, Jos., and Thackeray's alter-ego, Dobbin (who is a bit too virtuous, of course). Not only is it a classic but it is very entertaining. It helps, however, to know just a bit of French an German, since there are a few foreign phrases salted in here and there. Even if you are in the dark about these exotic expressions, however, there are plenty of quips and escapades to keep you amused and anxious to move from chapter to chapter.

I would have given Vanity Fair five stars, except for the difficulty of downloading the entire novel. My first attempt produced a (1853) download of the beginning third of the book (despite being told I was downloading "Vanity Fair"). My next attempt got farther, however this version ended in mid-sentence. I then downloaded another "Vanity Fair, Vol. II", which picked up later than the point at which I was dumped by my second attempt,and this third (and final) download also included another short novel not noted on the cover page. Furthermore, the OCR image of the "Vol II" final download had a fair number of uncorrected errors, although it was usually possible to understand what was in the original. I managed to fill in the missing chapters between my second and third downloads from a paperback I had purchased (I had only downloaded to the Nook because it is more convenient to read than a fat paperback). These problems with the descriptions of the various copies available for download limit the overall enjoyment of the reading experience. B&N needs to clear up these problems before they can expect perfect scores!
The novel is well worth the effort, however.

posted by inkarus on January 23, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Great book t TERRIBLE EDITION OF A GREAT BOOK

Jumps around Paragraphs repeat Chapters missing A waste of money

posted by Anonymous on November 29, 2011

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    Great Writer, Awful Character!!!

    Excellently written, yet I have never, ever so disliked a heroine. I couldn't feel concern for such an awful character and was awaiting her demise with glee!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Lauren

    Snorts at Mared's rediculous statement and trots off to find a cave where ONLY SHE LIVES.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Romantic Comedy for the Exceedingly Patient

    Ok, I'm just going to say it: I am feeling extremely smug right now that I just finished a "period" book of almost 1,000 pages entirely of my own volition. This is no light read and for me, reading it just for the sake of reading it was the literary equivalent to running a marathon in high heels.
    Now, as for my sentiments towards the book, to be perfectly honest, I was quite under whelmed. I suppose one could argue that Vanity Fair serves as a predecessor to the modern day satire and romantic fluff that keep Katherine Heigl and Jennifer Aniston in a job, but I really don't understand why it is held with such high esteem in comparison to the classics of Thackery's contemporaries. Here we have the exhausted storyline of two people from opposite sides of the tracks leading parallel lives whilst facing the trials and toils symptomatic of their social pedigrees. There's Amelia, the aristocratic debutante with a disposition so saccharin sweet it sometimes made me want to drop kick a nun, and Rebecca, a soul-less viper that is motivated by nothing but self interest. The setting is early 19th century England and the story is really a glorified essay of the authors reflections on human stupidity, simplicity, and superficiality. Unlike Dickens, where every character no matter how insignificant will eventually reappear to play and integral part in the plot, the characters in Thackery's Vanity Fair took on the feel of marionettes performing in a silly but ostentatious puppet show. Perhaps that was the point, but honestly for 900+ pages, it got to be VERY tedious.
    Like I said, I am proud of myself for sticking to it, but I will recommend only to those who possess an endless supply of patience for romantic comedy made over in mercury based powder.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2006

    An Affair in the Form of a Book

    Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair. London, England: Penguin Books,1968 Vanity Fair is a story of love, deception, and a little bit of murder. Rebecca Sharp is only one of the main characters, but she is the most important, and she seems to be at the center of all the trouble. In this tangled web of emotions, the characters find out who they can really trust, especially Rebecca. Thackeray¿s characters are a group of English, bipolar squabblers. It seems they are always either for or against each other. Like in Queen¿s Crawley, Rebecca is comparing herself to Amelia and seeing how many ways she is better than Amelia. Other times, though, she considers herself Amelia¿s best friend. Then there is also Sir Pitt Crawley. As soon as Rebecca refuses his hand in marriage, he couldn¿t care less about her. There is a whole other medley of characters who also have sudden changes of mind about the others. The reader may be able to relate to their methods of mental betrayal or their twisted affectionate ways, but even if one can¿t, I still recommend this book to lovers of the classics. Vanity Fair is a page-turner that will have the reader gasping at some of events, and maybe even hyperventilating, but it is still a good book and should be put on your ¿to read¿ list. Recommendations: Brownell, W.C. Victorian Prose Masters. Lubbock, Percy. The Craft of Fiction. Saintsbury, George. A Consideration of Thackeray. Cecil, David. Early Victorian Novelists. Dodds, John W. Thackeray: A Critical Portrait. Pritchett, V.S. In My Good Books. Ray, Gordon N. The Letters and Private Papers of W.M. Thackeray. Thackeray: The uses of Adversity. Thackeray: The Age of Wisdom. Tillotson, Geoffry. Thackeray the Novelist. Tillotson, Kathleen. Novels of the Eighteen-Forties. Loofbourow, John. Thackeray and the Form of Fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2005

    My...MY

    I have a love for this book's movie soo.... I decided to try the book. I ordered it, it came in and this book was the most difficult read...ever. I could not understand past thr 4th page. The movie is my ultimate favorite, but if you want to read this book you need a lot of time and a huge dictionary. If I ever get through it I am sure I would be satisfied.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2004

    Hmmm.......not sure

    I've been in a mood for this time period, but the author just does not keep me interested in this one. I love the storyline, but there is just so much added fluff thrown in there to make a social statement - too many characters described in detail, then left for dead (and the 'symbolism' of these names becomes just too obvious). Hmmm...good, but not great

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