Extended Audio Sample

Download Vanity Fair Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Vanity Fair Audiobook, by William Makepeace Thackeray Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.59 out of 53.59 out of 53.59 out of 53.59 out of 53.59 out of 5 3.59 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Makepeace Thackeray Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455175154
Regular Price: $29.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $14.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

“Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied?”

Generally considered to be Thackeray’s masterpiece, Vanity Fair is a 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 but naïve 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 still resonates, more than 150 years later, with implications for our own times.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_001454

Quotes & Awards

  • “Vanity Fair, though it does not include the whole extent of Thackeray’s genius, is the most vigorous exhibition of its leading characteristics…There is not a person in the book who excites the reader's respect, and not one who fails to excite his interest.”

    Atlantic

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yam G. | 2/13/2014

    " Interesting characters. The book tackles reality poignantly. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andrew | 2/8/2014

    " I hated this book. The first 200 pages were decent but it got old fast and then just became a chore rather than a pleasure. I get it Thackery you like witty names but 800+ pages with every peripheral character named something like "Countess Schlippin Schloppin"... Jokes not funny anymore. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlie Carter | 1/27/2014

    " Hilarious. The characters are ridiculous, outrageous, selfish beyond imagining, but totally believable. An absolute pleasure to read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly Mcdonough | 1/24/2014

    " I like the narrator's voice, entertainingly satirical. Found the villan, Becky, far more interesting than the "good" characters. Would have liked to have seen her come to a better end, but apparently smart women can only be so smart. It was clear in parts that Thackeray was publishing this in a magazine serial... there are large sections that could have used an editor, but if you need to stretch it over two years, I guess this is what you do.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 1/20/2014

    " This book was an enjoyable slog. Towards the end it was like finishing a marathon. One is going to finish because it would be more painful to not finish given the amount of emotional and physical investment. Not one likable character, except the narrator, perhaps. I had moments when I wished he would butt out and let Becky succeed. I was motivated to read this book because I kept watching the movie, over and over again. (I'm drawn to pretty costumes.) Anyway, at some point I had to see if the movie bore any resemblance to the book. Mostly no, which means I'm happy I read it. It could have been a much better movie with the less happy ending. Anyway, if you want a glimpse into Regency England, or at least a contemporary's critique from the distance of time, this is a good book to read. And I think I may have found some good material on men dressing to mislead others about military service... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anouk | 12/14/2013

    " I think this book will join my 'classics which dissappoint' category. Like middlemarch it started promising but it didn't come to live for me. Hopefully I'll find an other classic in the future which I'll enjoy more. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susie Waters | 12/13/2013

    " Couldn't get into this one. Also tried the movie twice and disliked it both times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 12/12/2013

    " A book I've been meaning to read for ages. I liked the contrasting characters and the two main female protagonists.Found the authors comments a little irritating. However you can't beat a happy ending "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Benedict | 12/9/2013

    " Victorian writing impresses me. This book is at the top for its exquisite writing and story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa N | 12/8/2013

    " A tedious read at times, but worth sticking with. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ansley | 12/3/2013

    " Don't give up in the middle where it gets boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Gasparini | 11/20/2013

    " When I first picked this up, I had to stop at chapter 3 and go back to the beginning. It was difficult to get "the feel" of the book.But, once I started re-reading it I was hooked! Becky Sharp is something else! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jasmine | 9/1/2013

    " A good book with great characters and a wonderful narrator but a somewhat disappointing ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen | 6/29/2013

    " I want to give this book 6 out of 5. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex Valdes | 5/24/2013

    " A huge panorama of everything that is petty and ugly in human beings. It does not get better than this. I struggled with the book and I will read it again shortly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eva | 2/2/2013

    " At times quite readable, but boring otherwise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 International Cat Lady | 1/10/2013

    " A fantastic story - although a bit long, and Thackeray does tend to ramble on a bit. And I both love and hate Becky, and Amelia is just insipid. Still, a fantastic story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Esther Grenness | 12/30/2012

    " Difficult to get into, but worth the effort "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lyndsay | 12/17/2012

    " Thackeray holds no prisoners. This book has jumped from my shelf all the way to maybe my favorite book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fátima López sevilla | 6/18/2012

    " Even if the characters didn't create any interest on me (I didn't care about them, I didn't care if they were to die or to be exilated anywhere), I couldn't stop reading it. That's what it makes it such a good book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Madeline | 4/21/2012

    " I started reading it because I heard it was good, but I couldn't force myself to finish it. I guess I just had a problem paying attention or it was just dull. Maybe one day I'll finish it... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nancy | 4/12/2012

    " I only finished reading this because there would be a book club discussion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/13/2011

    " This book was mammoth at nearly 700 pages, but I enjoyed it right up to the ending. Becky generated a lot of complicated emotions in me, but in the end, in a strange way she redeemed herself to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 5/10/2011

    " From a modern perspective, it's difficult to not think Amelia is an utter wet blanket and root for Becky despite her more unsavoury attributes but apart from that and the occasional waffle (paid by the word, were we?), I enjoyed this a lot more than I have many other classics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorraine | 4/23/2011

    " It was ok. I think it clever enough, but I didn't like all the characters, and the improv meant the story was a weird monster.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eliszard | 4/9/2011

    " Fabulous story of the ascent and maybe descent of Becky Sharp, written by the acid brother of Jane Austen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marianne | 4/7/2011

    " Margaret Mitchell SWEARS she never even read Vanity Fair before writing Gone With the Wind, but the plots are ridiculously similar. Becky Sharp is almost as wonderfully salty as Scarlett O'Hara. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863) was born and educated to be a gentleman but gambled away much of his fortune while at Cambridge. He trained as a lawyer before turning to journalism. He was a regular contributor to periodicals and magazines and Vanity Fair was serialised in Punch in 1847–8.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.