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Publisher's Summary

Now a major motion picture, Vanity Fair is one of the greatest of English novels, a vast satirical panorama of a materialistic society and a landmark in the history of realistic fiction. Generally considered to be his masterpiece, Vanity Fair is Thackeray's resplendent social satire that exposes the greed and corruption raging in England during the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars. Subtitled "A Novel Without a Hero", it traces the changing fortunes of two unforgettable women: the scheming opportunist Becky Sharp, one of literature's most resourceful, engaging, and amoral heroines, and her foil, the faithful, naive Amelia Sedley. Amid the swirl of London's posh ballrooms and affairs of love and war, their fortunes rise and fall. Thackeray's subversive, comic attack on the hypocrisy and "dismal roguery" of an avaricious world resonates 150 years later with implications for our own times.
(P)1998 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Charles on 09-04-06

Superb Version --- Highly Recommended

Davidson is a brilliant narrator. He is easy to listen to and renders the characters extremely well. I can still hear Rawdon Crawley's voice as if I am again listening to the book, when I observe things that pertain to his character's viewpoint on life, it was so well done.

Davidson appears to understand Thackeray's world view quite profoundly, as reflected in the excellent drama with which he reads each character.

The book is spellbinding and I am only sorry it was only 31 hours. I could have listened to much more.

I highly recommend this version of Vanity Fair.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

By Thomas on 04-17-08


Thackeray's prose doesn't always come across easily in narration; his sentences can twist and turn leaving the listener rather unsure of where he started. But, overall, the narrator does an incredible job with the book. Davidson has a distinct voice for each character, and some of them are brilliant. He captures Thackeray's ironic and sarcastic tone wonderfully. I highly recommend this audio version, although the experience can be improved at times by having a copy of the book at hand, to read along through some of the more intricate bits of prose.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Tom on 05-26-07

an absorbing and very witty read

Vanity Fair is a terrific read. Despite being very long the story bowls along a a great pace and one never loses interest in the many characters, which are drawn with great wit, affection where merited but without any gushing sentimentality. The style of the book lends itself perfectly to being read out loud, and Frederick Davidson's amused and ironic tone, and his perfectly paced and articulate delivery, greatly adds to the listening pleasure. I was sorry when the book ended and I am sure I will listen to it again. Very strongly recommended.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

By Rod on 12-28-09

Recommended by this listener.

A wonderful listening experience. Very different from other novels written by Victorians. Thackeray was a genius well acquainted with the psychologies portrayed in his characters. It really tells us something about the human condition and not only from the perspective of Georgian Britain; it also echoes present day England in some ways. I really enjoyed the narration too. A great story. Please do take a chance and listen to it.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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