Monday, October 20, 2008

Book #25 - Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray)



I've been a bad, bad blogger. I haven't posted in two weeks. Did I finish "Vanity Fair"? Was I too convulsed on the floor with laughter to write up my thoughts? Or was I just too drunk on whiskey punch, like Joseph Sedley? No, I've merely been busy with work, and with travel for work. As a result, I've only read 140 pages of "Vanity Fair", out of 688 pages in the edition I'm reading. Which means at this rate I won't finish the book for three more months. I still hold the opinion of my last post...that the book is great, and quite humorous. I love the concept of Thackeray's narrator, who is Thackeray himself, and who comes out from the pages to constantly remind you that this is a novel and that he's made up the plot and the characters. No, my slow pace is not due to the book, but due to my hectic work schedule of late, and my travels to the midwest (to visit family) and now to suburban Maryland, near Washington, DC (for work). Turns out the area around Washington, DC is a huge suburb/exurb. Well, at least where I am. I'm surrounded by chain hotels, office parks, and shopping malls. Granted, the malls are pretty upscale, and the landscape is lush with green, and deer everywhere, even by the side of busy highways. It's a wonder there's not more deer carnage on the roads around here. But I digress...big time...

The novel is subtitled "A novel without a hero" and even after 140 pages it's clear that will be true. The novel's characters are all flawed in some way, usually deeply flawed. Some are ruthless and some are clueless, but none of them are like the idyllic or angelic characters you'll occasionally find in Dickens (I'm talking to you, Esther Summerson). But isn't that how life is...who among us knows anyone without flaws? I rest my case.

The story is rambling at times...much like this particular blog post. It's hard to see how Thackeray is going to milk this puppy for another 548 pages. Well, scratch that...yes, from the story's rambling nature so far it is indeed clear how this is going to happen. But I don't care. It's funny, it's a good read, and it's not at all clear how it's going to end up. But I'm keeping a close eye on Becky Sharp. I'm guessing that more antics will ensue, and she'll be at the center of it all. Stay tuned.

2 comments:

Amateur Reader said...

I've been wondering about that whiskey punch. Those 19th century Englishmen are so enthusiastic about it. I should look for a recipe.

Robby Virus said...

See my latest post...