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Extended Audio Sample Vanity Fair Audiobook, by William Makepeace Thackeray Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 5 3.97 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Makepeace Thackeray Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781400176946
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A deliciously satirical attack on a money-mad society, Vanity Fair is an immensely moral novel, and an immensely witty one. Vanity Fair features two heroines: the faithful, loyal Amelia Sedley, and the beautiful and scheming social climber Becky Sharp. It also engages a huge cast of wonderful supporting characters as the novel spins from Miss Pinkerton’s academy for young ladies to affairs of love and war on the continent to liaisons in the dazzling ballrooms of London. 

William Makepeace Thackeray’s forte is the bon mot, and it is amply exercised in a novel filled with memorably wicked lines. Lengthy and leisurely in pace, the novel follows the adventures of Becky and Amelia as their fortunes rise and fall, creating a tale both picaresque and risqué. Thackeray mercilessly skewers his society, especially the upper class, poking fun at their shallow values and pointedly jabbing at their hypocritical “morals.” His weapons, however, are not fire and brimstone but an unerring eye for the absurd and a genius for observing the foibles of his age. An enduring classic, this great novel is a brilliant study in duplicity and hypocrisy—and a mirror with which to view our own times.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny McPhee | 2/10/2014

    " Becky Sharp is one of the great characters of all time. She's up there with Lily Bart and Scarlett O'Hara. This maybe "a novel without a hero" but it's certainly a novel with a heroine. Becky is not exactly likeable but since when did likeable characters become a plus in a novel? And of course this novel is as relevant today as it ever was. Banking scams and failures, greedy social climbers, thwarted love stories. Nothing new under the sun but satire razor sharp and so very fun to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 2/6/2014

    " So after a semester in which I had three different literature classes, I have no idea why I read this. And I spent the whole book wondering why I was reading it. Now, having finished it, I still wonder why I read it. At least it was interesting-ish, I guess. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Biogeek | 2/2/2014

    " I have no idea why I subjected myself to this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brandy | 1/31/2014

    " It took me a long time to get into this book; partially due to my lack of a reading regime, but also because I found it boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jslyter Slyter | 1/17/2014

    " Almost done and have enjoyed every bit of it. Thackeray really takes you inside the world of Vanity Fair. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey | 1/9/2014

    " One of my favorite books of all time. There was a very good movie version made a few years ago by A & E I believe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chloe | 12/22/2013

    " Not bad, but not brilliant either. I personally didn't find the characters particularly endearing either, and some downright contemptible (Becky) and even repugnant. Felt a bit sorry for poor Rawdon Snr though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie S. | 12/15/2013

    " An excellently crafted trip through the follies of human nature from the loftiest aristocrat to the humble grocer. One just hopes to avoid meeting oneself on the tip of Thackeray's pen! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 11/29/2013

    " Magnificent! Truly the best satire's I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is now one of my favorite novels! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 11/21/2013

    " I really enoy books from this time, and I fell into this book. It was a wonderful read, and although it is long, it is worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hilary | 11/18/2013

    " Great satire, and echoed multiple times in Gone with the Wind though MM claimed not to have read it. Amelia is utterly tedious and doesn't deserve Dobbin, but the ending still feels right for the characters and not pat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meredith | 12/9/2012

    " I read this longer ago but it was my favorite book at that time so I still give it a 5 stars. Do not attempt to watch the movie. You simply can't capture everything in a movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annemarie Donahue | 9/29/2012

    " Holy crap, one of the best B-tch stories ever. Becky Sharpe is one of the most conniving, double-dealing, little miscreants ever created on the page. The movie really declawed her. she didn't marry the brother and run away to India as happy wife, she married him and killed him for the insurance! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grazi | 5/14/2012

    " Absolutely love it! This masterpiece depicts the ascent and decline of Vanity Fair's players. A delightful novel displaying English society in the 1900s. The omniscient narrator's voice is priceless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria Arafah | 4/26/2012

    " I still adore those first (novels) or (stories) i read in my childhood. They will always be my favorites regardless of their concepts or way of writing ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 4/14/2012

    " Hard to believe this book was written so long ago. Seems so modern. Very sarcastic and tongue in cheek. I really like it. Read it in high school, but didn't remember too much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angel | 3/25/2012

    " The book was not quite as sharp as I expected it to be and at times moved slowly, but overall I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny Miles | 11/15/2011

    " Unfortunately, they just don't write books like this anymore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 eileen griffin | 10/27/2011

    " When I was a young girl in the 50's, a very wealthy lady gave this book to me as a gift. It was a beautifully bound, gilt-edged work of art. I remember reading it and thinking it was the best book I had ever read. I have cherished this book for over 60 years, and intend to read it again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Weleski | 10/18/2011

    " Read for grad school and came up with some interesting interpretations "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 tamsin | 10/11/2011

    " Who doesn't know a Becky Sharp? The social commentary of the book is relevant even now and I loved it. I managed to read around 500 pages in one sitting yesterday! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 5/25/2011

    " Nobody is better than Becky Sharp or Dobbin. Love this book. "

  • 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. "

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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

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.