Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

I read (well, listened to) Vanity Fair, as it was on the recommendations list for my book club (this month’s theme being ‘books to be adapted for the screen in 2018’) as well as in my as-yet-unlistened-to audible library. Also it is set in my home county, Hampshire, and William Makepeace Thackeray lived in the town where I grew up so that was an interesting touch.

You really have to indulge Mr. Thackeray as it is quite a slog at 30 hours and it could easily be cut to 1/3 of that length. I did enjoy it, despite the length but have to admit I had much more time for the (appropriately named) anti-hero, Becky Sharp and her cunning ways than for poor, dear, simpering Amelia (bleugh!) or even stalwart old Dobbin (more Bleugh!). What can I say? I’m of the take-what-you-can-get from life school of thought.

I’ll definitely watch the TV mini-series if I get the time, as I can imagine the story would transfer well into that medium (cut out the waffly prose!). I also loved the author’s wonderfully witty character names (Sir Huddleston-Fuddleston, Princess Humbourg-Schlippenschloppen and Schlusselback, an old lady with a hump back), which were excellent fun to hear aloud via narrator John Castle, whose reading was top notch!

3.5-4 stars and recommend 🙂

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