Friday, September 19, 2008

My Book Club and "Vanity Fair" Reviewed - Yes I see the humor!

Our Spring Oaks neighborhood Book club has been going for about 15 years and we have read a wonderful variety of books chosen by the members. We have a "low impact" book club to keep it sustainable for a busy group of women. There are only 2 rules. The book should be "good" literature as determined by the selector, and it must be easily available, preferably at the library and at reasonable cost if purchased.
I have been asked many times about the books we have read and thought it would be good to post a list of some of these. Which I will do soon on this blog.
Of course we never all like the book choice but we are always glad to have the opportunity to get to know our neighbors better through the books they choose. This month we are reading "Vanity Fair" - a classic chosen by Deanne.

Book Look
"Vanity Fair"

Visiting Book Clubs in Springville
Spring Oaks Book Club - Neighbors who meet together and read together

Our host for book club this month chose "Vanity Fair" by William Thackeray. It is much more enjoyable to read or reread a classic and then discuss with a group of neighbors. As a school assignment you never appreciated great literature and they never served pie in lit. class while the professor lectured. - thanks for the peach pie Deanne. As she introduced the book our host remarked that the movie did such an injustice to the book by changing the ending but you can always count on the book to give the villain what she deserves in the end!

Like all Victorian novels it requires some patience to read the 800 pages and follow the large cast of characters through their various plots. Nineteenth century writers which included Dickens were serializing their stories in the newspaper. I suppose since each installment brought a paycheck it would be an incentive to draw out the story while keeping the readers interested enough to buy the next paper.

Thackeray engages us immediately in his story with the introduction of his main characters, Amelia Sedley and Becky Sharp. These two opposites of the feminine description keep us wondering what will happen next as we follow them down their converging and diverging paths of destruction. Often as we are being lulled by his descriptive story telling, he shocks us with an unexpected turn in the plot or an action by a character. His cynicism is similar to the other writers of his time and he shares their criticism of the cultural problems of their English society.

"Vanity Fair"is a masterpiece of Victorian fiction. As a neighborhood book club selection it is a good way to study this classic novel. It takes some time to read, but the discussion while enjoying good company and good dessert will make the reward for finishing even more delicious.

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