Vanity Fair Readalong: Midway Check-In

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At least it’s midway for some lovely folks! I, however, have fallen a bit behind, or rather I got a late start. I set aside the audio of IT in order to spend all my time listening to Vanity Fair in a desperate attempt to reach the finish line on time. Despite my slight failure at the midway point, I’m fairly positive I’ll finish up along with everyone else. For the sake of this update, I’m on chapter 29 when we should have read through chapter 34 – not too shabby! So what do I think so far?

There are far too many people named Crawley. And no one has a first name so they are impossible to follow. I feel like audio makes this even more difficult for some reason. Or maybe my mental capacities just fall short when I don’t have words to stare at.

Our two protagonists – Amelia and Becky – are interesting opposites who play well against each other. I don’t particularly like either of them, but look forward to seeing where their separate plots will take them. I’m also enjoying Amelia’s growing disdain for Becky and eagerly anticipate someone bitch slapping Becky soonish.

As for the men, I don’t even know what to think. Honestly, most of them bore me to tears and I’d marry not a single one of the bunch.

What keeps me going in Thackeray’s little story are the plot twists. While I haven’t encountered too many as of yet, the ones I have stumbled upon only promise more delicious delights in the near future. I can feel a trembling underfoot – something insanely wicked is sure to happen soon and I wouldn’t be opposed to this or that character biting the dust. With old Boney and the Battle of Waterloo quickly approaching our strapping young men, I predict bloodshed and weeping women soon enough. Is it wrong to look forward to this?

To be completely honest, Vanity Fair hasn’t lured me in like many other Victorian novels. I’m feeling rather lost in the minute details that don’t seem to matter much, the headache of remembering one Crawley from another, and this overwhelming feeling that none of it matters.  Hopefully, a turning point will come soon and I’ll race through the latter half of the novel.

If you want to join along in the discussion, it’s never too late! Just hop on over to Trish’s or Melissa’s blog and get chatty! They are our fine hosts for this readalong and pretty much group read experts at this point! Now I better get back to the Fair!!

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8 thoughts on “Vanity Fair Readalong: Midway Check-In

  1. I agree, lots of Crawleys! I think the plot twists have been good. I’ll also say that though I don’t love any of the characters, it’s interesting that the author told us at the very beginning “this is a novel with no hero.” So funny that he chose to create it that way. He didn’t give us a specific person to root for like most authors do. Instead he tells the story of two very different women, neither of which is doing so great.

    Fingers crossed that the second half includes some Becky bitch slapping!

    • I’m convinced the second half is going to be full of crazy twists and that everyone will move even further away from the idea of ‘hero’ or ‘heroine’. I’m eager to see how different or how similar Amelia and Becky ultimately end up in life. And YES to the bitch slapping!

  2. There are a ton of Crawley’s… but honestly I kind of just glossed over them. There’s the head guy (Sir Pitt), his two sons, and old rich lady Matilda Crawley. And then some other random people. It helps to check Cliffsnotes after a particularly confusing chapter, it’s helped me several times to make sure I understood stuff right.

    I hope it starts to pick up for you soon! Most of the men really suck, except for Dobbin, and I kind of love Becky even though she’s a mean person.

    • I’ve definitely been using the internet as a reference source! Always do. The last few chapters have been much stronger and I’m looking forward to nothing but great things in the second half!

  3. Ok–keep reading my dear! I don’t want to spoil anything for you but I think you’ll be pleased with some of the forthcoming happenings. And yes–the Crawleys. And in about 2 or 3 chapters from where you are a whole new set seem to pop up and I’m not sure how they’ll play into the book yet. But I agree that the audio does make it tough to keep up with who’s who.

    But IT! I am curious how you’re liking that audio… 😉

    • Yes! I was quite happy to see George meet his end! As for IT, I’m definitely enjoying the audio so far, but haven’t gotten far enough in yet to truly have an opinion. I’ve only listened to the first 5 hours. Everyone says fantastic things though, so I’m excited to jump back in this next week!

  4. Yes, there are FAR too many Crawleys in this little story. And just when I think I have it all figured out, another branch of the family appears! Things really have picked up in the last few chapters, and I cant wait to see what Thackery has in store for Becky and Amelia.

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