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Vanity fair: Wiliam Thackerey

This review was written some time ago (I used to have goodreads account but  when my old email was blocked for ever reason I couldn't log in anymore--and I still can't.). Anyway, this is a novel I really liked and if you're interested what my impressions upon finishing it were, scroll down....

Finally! Sorry but that has to be the first word that comes to my mind (finally finished!) because I have been reading this novel for the longest time. It is not that it wasn't interesting but there always was something to do and it is kind of a long book:) Although, I don't see any point in discussing the size of any work of literature, if you're going to like it , I'm sure it won't matter whether it is long or short. That being said, there are some books that could benefit from being shorter, but I'm not sure is this the one. 

Perhaps the best character of this novel is Thackery himself, I cannot imagine this story without his remarks and the novel certainly wouldn't be what it is if he failed to be both moralizing and satirical at the same time. There is even a bit of Henry James' ambiguity going on, since he seems to keep you guessing all the time or almost all the time. At the same time, the characters seems to be annoyingly human, but not enough of their inner life is shared to make you feel like you know them and you end up with knowing too little to make you deeply care about their fate. I found myself looking at them with more of a scientific than an emotional interest.

Epic being one of the words in my head when I though about reviewing Vanity fair, I found it hard not to compare it with War and Peace. However, I wouldn't say that these two novels are alike. Just the opposite. One similarity is obvious: both novels are very very good at portraying society on an epic scale, studying in detail the life of an aristocracy. However, what is the use of comparing? I liked them both yet there seemed to be something in Tolstoy's writing that I lacked in Thackeray novel however amusing the narrative voice of Vanity Fair might be. I don't feel there is a deeper message perhaps...maybe I'm lacking some kind of conclusion...and yet I'm rather drawn to its ambiguity. Enjoyable read, that much is for sure! 


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