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Vanity Fair

A Novel without a Hero
Narrated by: Georgina Sutton
Length: 32 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

Non-member price: $71.76

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Publisher's Summary

Vanity Fair, with its rich cast of characters, takes place on the snakes-and-ladders board of life. Amelia Sedley, daughter of a wealthy merchant, has a loving mother to supervise her courtship. Becky Sharp, an orphan, has to use her wit, charm, and resourcefulness to escape from her destiny as a governess. This she does ruthlessly, musing: "I think I could become a good woman, if I had £5,000 a year."

Thackeray’s story is set at the time of the battle of Waterloo, in which the Sedley fortunes are lost - and Amelia is back to square one - while Becky rises with contemptuous ease.

Public Domain (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great classic tale with excellent characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed Vanity Fair and especially enjoyed Ms Sutton’s excellent performance. The story itself is long and detailed and traces the lives of the main protagonists against the backdrop of the wars against Napoleon and beyond. These characters are believable and at times hilarious. The prose is clever and almost poetic at times and the addition of confidential asides adds something. Overall, an excellent book, terrific characters and well worth the many enjoyable hours of escape to a time and place long passed.

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  • Jen
  • 06-05-2019

An old-fashioned but enjoyable story

I was a bit worried when I started to listen to this audio book. The prologue was meandering and very stylised in a dated way. But then the story kicked off and it was impossible to stop listening.

All the characters were horribly flawed people - and I wanted to throttle the "heroine" - but this just means the characters were well rendered by the writer.

There were a few parts that were lost on me as a modern reader - where a dramatic play/masque was performed by some of the characters - but overall it was very enjoyable.

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  • Healerchick
  • 29-01-2014

OUTSTANDIN!!!! EVERY MOMENT A JOY TO LISTEN TO!

What did you love best about Vanity Fair?

The narration is fabulous. Although it is a long classic,Georgina Sutton presented it in such a charming way that there was not a single moment of boredom.She perfectly took on the voices of the different characters and made them sound pleasantly authentic and genuine.The story-line itself is well-known and no wonder it is a classic.One of the world's favourite books ever written,-according to BBC's Goodreads List.Deservedly so.Every minute of listening to this novel was a pleasure .The author's wisdom and sympathetic insight to human nature is just as valid today as it was centuries ago.It actually had me in tears.A rare occurance with listening to audio-books.Would recommend it to every one,any time.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • SLB
  • 07-06-2014

My favorite novel

Would you consider the audio edition of Vanity Fair to be better than the print version?

Thackeray's **Vanity Fair** is my favorite novel, and I reread it every couple of years. I'm enjoying listening this time. Immersion Reading is turning out to be wonderful for the way I process: visual PLUS auditory!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Vanity Fair?

**Vanity Fair** is chocked full of wonderful moments! Tackeray's insight into people and society, his gentle jabs and sarcasm, are wonderful. He is keenly honest about their failings, yet you don't get the feeling that he despises people for their weaknesses. He tells the story almost as if he is a fond old uncle, slightly detached, amused at the foibles of, but still having affection for, his characters.

Which character – as performed by Georgina Sutton – was your favorite?

Sadly, I considered the characterizations the weakest part of the audiobook. In pure narration, Sutton's voice is pleasant and appropriate. Some of her characterizations, such as Sir Pitt Crawly, are good, but in general I didn't like them. They didn't match the voices in my head as I imagined the characters. It distracted me a bit, which is why I gave Performance only 4 stars, while Story got 5.

Any additional comments?

**Vanity Fair** is a very long novel, written in serialization. Thackeray 's style is common for the time. Sentences are complex and very long, florid and decorative. I adore it. He's THE master of the form. There is a lightness in his tone, even when your emotions are being tugged a bit. I heartily recommend it for those with a feeling for 19th century literature.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-06-2017

Great performance

I loved the performance by Georgina Sutton! She played the various characters in the book, both female and male, in such a way that their voices expressed their character and the humour and circumstances of the story admirably. Or, in other words, I had a lot of fun listening to this classic :)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • LB
  • 15-03-2019

Enjoyable 19th century tale

I love classics and this was good not great in my opinion. I enjoyed the language and the overall story line.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • W Perry Hall
  • 01-12-2017

First Realistic Femme Fatale of Modern Lit


The Prototype for Most Who Followed

'Now I ain't sayin' you a gold digger, you got needs.
*** Get down girl, go 'head, get down.'
Gold Digger, Kanye West, Ray Charles, Renald Richard, 2005


Becky Sharp. Perhaps modern lit's first exemplar of today's femme fatale. Clever, charming, attractive, as well as artful, duplicitous, hyper-ambitious, self-centered woman who uses sex as one of her tools to manipulate men but only to serve her needs. She is the anti-heroine without a scruple in this (subtitled) 'novel without a hero.' 'I think,' she says, 'I could be a good woman if I had five thousand a year.'

I think we've all known at least one Becky Sharp, she usually comes from relatively nothing yet is the first to ridicule those less fortunate. 'Old Sir Pitt...chuckled at her airs and graces , and would laugh ... at her assumptions of dignity and imitations of genteel life.'

There is really only one character who could be characterized as *redeeming* in the entire lengthy novel. Nonetheless, I was thoroughly impressed with and enjoyed reading this 1848 novel which is set in England around the time of Waterloo.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mpdc
  • 17-09-2019

360 degrees excellent

I have listened to many audible books over the years and this performance is among the best. it makes a great book even better. top 2%

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • K.
  • 07-06-2019

Worth a listen

I thought I would never get to the end of this, but it was worth listening to. The narrator in this version was absolutely outstanding and I highly recommend her. I'm sure I read Thackeray in high school and may or may not have finished, but this was an easier way to get through the torrent of words. Those Victorians got paid by the word, didn't they? I had to take this in small doses but I'm glad I persevered. The author becomes one of the characters and we come to know him pretty well.

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  • Shiloah Baker
  • 17-10-2018

Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair!

Brilliant! What a display! The narrative of Vanity Fair takes you through the twists and turns of many emotions, lives, and consequences. The pomp and show of those who live in Vanity Fair are merely that—show. Those who are familiar with Lehi’s dream would also know Vanity Fair to be the “Great and Spacious Building.” Much to learn in this book. Much to appreciate. Much to hope you aren’t doing in your own life. Much to avoid. Thackeray wrote a masterpiece of Vanity Fair. May I never be like Rebecca Sharp.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dan
  • 02-08-2016

Entertaining satire

View the phony materialists of 200 years ago in their romantic moils. The last couple of hours drag asthackeray wraps up all the threads of the story. I heartily recommend the first half. Wonderful reading.

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  • No
  • 26-11-2014

Vanity Fair

Would you listen to Vanity Fair again? Why?

Maybe. I spent a great deal of my life dodging this book. I've seen some screen adaptations. I never got far enough into it to find out that Vanity Fair is the place.

What did you like best about this story?

I read trashy period romance all of the time. Oh and I also listen. There are a lot of entitled people in the story. People who live in a privileged world of inherited wealth. The only true vocations to this class are military and clergy. I have neither love nor respect for any of the major characters. These are people who make disliking them so easy.

Have you listened to any of Georgina Sutton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes and I love the sound of her voice. It is very mellow. She doesn't screech.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

ThAt would be a big NO.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mim C.
  • 15-03-2018

A surprisingly modern novel.

If you could sum up Vanity Fair in three words, what would they be?

Incisive, funny, moving.

What did you like best about this story?

Becky Sharp is a wonderful creation. She's a shameless survivor and improviser in an era of modesty, blushes and bonnets.

Which character – as performed by Georgina Sutton – was your favourite?

Georgina Sutton is brilliant as all the characters- both men and women. Her Joss Sedley is particularly funny.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh, cry and gasp.

Any additional comments?

I've listened to a number of Audible books but Georgina Sutton's performance in this thirty-two hour listen is the most impressive that I've come across so far.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Annie
  • 25-10-2013

Try it!

If you could sum up Vanity Fair in three words, what would they be?

I had read Vanity Fair and had watched the film and television series, but until I listened to this reading, I had never really understood, how funny & 'tongue in cheek' it was!

Just be careful to choose the right reader. I chose one & within minutes couldn't cope with the voice although I had heard them reading other things. It just didn't feel right. Glad that Audible swapped it & that I persevered!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • SEA, Charente
  • 21-10-2015

Excellent Recording of a first rate classic

This wonderful tale is enhanced by the narrator who never fails to deliver vocally Thackeray's inimitable characters. Changing seamlessly from narrator to character, Ms Sutton has created a masterpiece of her own. Could not be bettered.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JAMES
  • 16-03-2014

Brilliant performance

It was quite tricky at first to find a foothold in the story given the nature of its heroin. Georgina Sutton brought life to the innumerable characters however and made sure you couldn't get lost in the crowd!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 23-09-2019

Funny but so sarcastic

Enjoyed the story and the characters within. William M Thackeray does a good job bringing out the personalities of each character to make the story engaging.
Narrator was excellent! She made the book even more enjoyable through her different accents and pitches. Would definitely recommend this book

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  • MIss C.
  • 17-07-2019

The original feminist!

Great strong characters we recognise today against a historical factual backdrop interwoven with the interaction of real fallible humans to events around them and other people.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-05-2019

Lovely narration

Excellent well-loved book, beautifully narrated. Truly enjoyed listening to the Audible version while painting or walking!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mimo
  • 17-11-2018

Fantastic!

A really well written and performed version of Vanity Fair. I really recommend listening to this audiobook!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kellie
  • 30-10-2018

Classically brilliant

Very enjoyable. It’s perfect for a long road trip or while doing mundane work, I listened while digger driving to build our new driveway. I loved the narration which brought the Vanity Fair world to life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-06-2018

A gem

Narration lifts this book from the pages. A tale full of irony, conceit, hypocrisy and love.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful