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Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray
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Barry Lyndon (original 1844; edition 2013)

by William Makepeace Thackeray (Author), Jonathan Keeble (Narrator), Naxos AudioBooks (Publisher)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9911521,269 (3.58)47
Classic Literature. Fiction. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:

Need a good belly laugh? Set off on the journey of a lifetime with ne'er-do-well Barry Lyndon, the lovably wicked protagonist of William Makepeace Thackeray's beloved picaresque novel. Although the prominent Lyndon clan had an aristocratic past, the money has long since run out, and Barry Lyndon makes his way across Europe trying to restore his reputation and fortune, encountering a series of hilarious scrapes and disasters along the way.

.… (more)
Member:puckers
Title:Barry Lyndon
Authors:William Makepeace Thackeray (Author)
Other authors:Jonathan Keeble (Narrator), Naxos AudioBooks (Publisher)
Info:Naxos AudioBooks (2013)
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work Information

Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray (1844)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
3.5*

Perhaps I had too high expectations of this novel... I loved Vanity Fair & so expected to love this too so maybe my rating should be 4 rather than 3.5; I'll see how I feel once some time has passed.

Barry Lyndon (nee Redmond Barry) is an Irish scamp (similar to Flashman) but unlike with Becky Sharpe, I didn't feel the charm of the character. I also didn't find the same humor in this novel that had me laughing in Vanity Fair. It was an enjoyable book that I am glad that I read but it seems unlikely to be one I will revisit. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
The character is supposed to be based on my great-great-great-great-granduncle. Well, in character, eventual bankruptcy, and pursuit of rich heiresses there is definitely a resemblance.
1 vote jgoodwll | Dec 12, 2018 |
Perhaps I had too high expectations of this novel... I loved Vanity Fair & so expected to love this too so maybe my rating should be 4 rather than 3.5; I'll see how I feel once some time has passed.

Barry Lyndon (nee Redmond Barry) is an Irish scamp (similar to Flashman) but unlike with Becky Sharpe, I didn't feel the charm of the character. I also didn't find the same humor in this novel that had me laughing in Vanity Fair. It was an enjoyable book that I am glad that I read but it seems unlikely to be one I will revisit. ( )
1 vote leslie.98 | Nov 27, 2017 |
Thackeray's first, written at a time when he was greatly embittered (more than usual), and it shows. He's far too blunt and shows very little cleverness in his attempts at social humour. He's like a less refined Austen. Though he looks at subjects she would never go near so directly, the social observations are just the same only not as well written, making it more than a little disappointing. There's never a "did you catch that? I missed it the first time around" in any character's hypocrisy. No, we're hit over the head with it. Every joke is shoved in your face, every flaw fully exposed, and it spoils everything. That said, I'm a little fond of stupid, awful, vile Redmond Barry. Lord knows why. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
I listened to the audio version of the book. I loved Vanity Fair, and I heard that this was just as good, if not better.

Barry Lyndon is very good, and still very funny. One of the things I enjoy most about Thackeray is that his sense of humor has held up well over the years. Barry Lyndon tells his life story and a lot of things about his adventures, but it's obvious that he's an inveterate liar, and you need to read between the lines and, basically, disbelieve everything good he says about himself. His life is an adventure, as he goes from a teenage Irish dueler to a deserting member of both the English and Prussian army. He eventually becomes a professional gambler that tours Europe and finds himself among high society, and becomes one with them by lying, cheating, stealing, and threatening violence in order to marry one of the richest women in Europe.

Easy to root for at first, his crimes against other people get progressively worse the more the book goes on. He duels heavily throughout, though it's unclear most of the time if these duels are real. Tricking his way out of the armies is funny enough, and cheating people out of money gambling falls within moral tolerance. But his courtship and marriage to Lady Lyndon is pretty awful, and the narrative becomes harder to read towards the end when not even his lies are hiding what a terrible person he is.

This one is a little harder to read than Vanity Fair, which took place within a small group of people. Barry Lyndon name-drops and moves from setting to setting, and it can be hard to keep track of the complicated title and relationship information. I assume this was satirizing a lot of current events, but without any sort of historical annotation, a lot of this was lost on me.

Also making it hard to read was that SO MUCH of the text was about JUST HOW GREAT Barry Lyndon was. It's very funny at first, but doesn't abate throughout the novel. It wouldn't be the same without all that flavor text, but I found it tedious after awhile. I had the same problem with the insane catalogues in American Psycho.

Overall a very worthwhile read though, and I'm glad I finally got to it. ( )
  ConnieJo | Oct 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thackeray, William Makepeaceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cecil, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pirè, Lucianasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, AndrewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thal, Herbert vanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Since the days of Adam, there has been hardly a mischief done in this world but a woman has been at the bottom of it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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also published as The Luck of Barry Lyndon
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Classic Literature. Fiction. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:

Need a good belly laugh? Set off on the journey of a lifetime with ne'er-do-well Barry Lyndon, the lovably wicked protagonist of William Makepeace Thackeray's beloved picaresque novel. Although the prominent Lyndon clan had an aristocratic past, the money has long since run out, and Barry Lyndon makes his way across Europe trying to restore his reputation and fortune, encountering a series of hilarious scrapes and disasters along the way.

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Book description
The Luck of Barry Lyndon is a picaresque novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, first published in serial form in 1844, about a member of the Irish gentry trying to become a member of the English aristocracy. Thackeray, who based the novel on the life and exploits of the Anglo-Irish rake and fortune-hunter Andrew Robinson Stoney, later reissued it under the title The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq.. - wikipedia.
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Legacy Library: William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See William Makepeace Thackeray's legacy profile.

See William Makepeace Thackeray's author page.

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