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This may be an alarmingly big book, but this audio version is read with consummate skill, lashings of irony and knowing narratorial commentary delivered beautifully by the reader, and it flies by like a novel a fifth of its size.
Peopled with historical characters and situations, such as the battle of Waterloo, Thackeray almost fools his reader into believing this novel to be biography. But then his narrator is unable to resist clever asides and witty commentary, reminding us of the author's skill as a novelist and his presence. The narrator is unwilling to forgive any vanity or flaw however slight, and although Thackeray's subtitle announces that there is no hero, the colour and life breathed into his characters and the balance with which he portrays them makes it hard not to relate to them, and to love or loathe them with as great enthusiasm as if they were known to us in our own lives. Tubby Joss with his ridiculous waistcoats, the vile Osborne Snr, kind and loyal Dobbin and indomitable Becky and all of the other characters become part of your life for the few glorious hours in which you inhabit their crazy world.
Tremendously entertaining and easy to listen to, I heartily recommend this audio book to anyone who enjoys a good story well told.
32 of 33 people found this review helpful
You can sometimes think of reading the classics as like eating your greens, definately good for you but not that much fun.
Vanity Fair is rewarding and fun.
The novel without a hero thing is just one example of the the fun the author has with his readers. The hero is of course the author himself gossiping and commenting on the action and on women and their weaknesses, whilst creating a towering strong female lead in Becky Sharpe who does whatever it takes to make the best of her lot and never whines. You can't help but love her, though you know you shouldn't.
Don't be put off by the length you will be sorry when it it is all over. As others have said it is a brilliant and funny performance.
This is bubble and squeak, the fun way to eat your greens, don't miss it!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
The narrator for this book was born to give us the beauty of the spoken words of Thackeray. There is no better way to follow the escapades of the characters of Vanity Fair!
21 of 21 people found this review helpful
I agree with the reviewer who said that John Castle was born to narrate this book. I don't think his performance can be bettered. I had no idea that Vanity Fair was so good, or that Thackeray was such an interesting writer. It's hard to be in Dicken's shadow, I suppose. This was a great buy.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful