Saturday, November 16, 2013

97. Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair
William Makepeace Thackeray
1847
Around 800 pages











Four more to go until we reach the big 100, ladies and gentlemen!  As we get closer to 100, the novels just keep getting better and better (with the occasionally Dickens thrown in to keep us on our toes).

A novel without a hero is how Thackeray described his book.  Indeed, it is hard to find a reason to look up to Becky Sharp but, of course, that is what makes the book so interesting.  Becky is a young, cunning woman who is determined to make her way in society.  In the 1800s, that meant seducing the right men and marrying the rich ones.  Becky's friend Amelia Sedley, on the other hand, is a kind modest woman.  Let's see who wins, shall we?

I loved this novel although I will be the first to admit that after 800 pages, the concept can get a bit old.  Still, this book is worth the length.

Becky is a completely amoral character and that alone is enough to make her fascinating to read about.  However, a part of me was rooting for her.  So many books show women being the victims of the conventions of their society and forced marriages.  It was nice to see a woman fight back a bit and actually use the system to her advantage.

Sorry for the short review but I have written about five of these today and I am getting tired.  One more to go.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Thackeray said any reader interested in Vanity Fair is of a sarcastic, benevolent, or lazy mood.  Sorry for reading your book, William.

Often compared to War and Peace.

Trailer (and it is a pretty good movie too):

UP NEXT: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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