Classics Club February Question



Hi there, fellow Classics Club readers!

Once again, I feel a little lame because I only just joined the CC at the start of the year, so I haven’t read a ton of classics from my list yet. But I’m going to attempt the February question anyways!

“What classic has most surprised you so far, and why?”

Vanity Fair


I’m going to have to go with the book I’m reading right now, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. I had heard of this classic before but didn’t really know what it was about, and honestly I wasn’t quite looking forward to reading it – it’s just one of those chunky classics that I figured I should read at some point. I joined a readalong for it, and I have to say that I am LOVING it so far!

I think Vanity Fair is most surprising in how funny it is. I know that it’s supposed to be a satire, but I didn’t expect it to be so silly and sarcastic! I have cracked up SEVERAL times while reading this. I’ve been underlining and writing notes as I go along – some are parts that are interesting or meaningful, and some are just parts that make me giggle.


Like this.


The first discussion post is coming up for the Vanity Fair readalong this weekend, and I can’t wait to talk to the other gals about it!

What about you? Have you read Vanity Fair? What classic have you found most surprising?






  1. My Vanity Fair experience was very odd. I started it like two years ago, and read it now and then, there was nothing that I disliked about it, but for some reason I couldn’t read persistently. So just in the end of last year I decided to “be done” with all those books that I had started and never finished, and VF was one of them. Once I started reading it with a determined mind like that, I actually liked it a lot!

    The voice of the writer felt a bit preachy at times, but overall I liked his take on characters and I do appreciate the concept of the novel, and how it’s “a novel without heroes” or what was written in the front page there (thus it always makes me chuckle when someone “reviews” VF and says “I didn’t like this book because characters were not likable” – duh, that was kind of the whole idea 🙂 )

    I also agree it is very funny at times. Hope you enjoy it ’til the end!


    1. The author does get a tad preachy, but I’m just like “whatever dude, this stuff is amusing”. The only problem I have is with the casual racism, which I know was kind of typical for the time but ugh. It’s keeping me from loving the author completely.

      It is silly that some people complain about not liking anyone in the book. It’s kind of the point, people! Although I still really do like Becky Sharp 🙂 And Dobbin! At least so far. Poor Dobbin, he seems so foolishly nice.


  2. I haven’t read Vanity Fair but I have seen the film starring Reese Witherspoon which I thought was rather amusing. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it I’ve never considered reading this one before. I look forward to reading your final thoughts on it.


  3. Even though I’ve never read Vanity Fair, I’ve always assumed it would be a very serious book; and I have no idea as to why. I’m glad to hear that there is some humor there, I’ll have to read it one of these days.


    1. I think I was going into it thinking it would be more serious too, but it really is satirical and FUN! Even when there’s not some direct humor in there, it’s very witty and sharp and entertaining. SO glad I saw the readalong and decided to go for it!


  4. I really enjoyed Vanity Fair but I have not read it in awhile – I loved its biting tone.
    I was recently pleasantly surprised by “Howard’s End” – I have had an on and off relationship with Forster. But it was a beautiful book. The descriptions were wonderful.


    1. Yes! Biting tone is a great way to describe it. I like the classics novels with a bit of edge and sass 🙂

      I haven’t read Howard’s End, but I really liked A Room With a View. I keep meaning to read his other novels.


  5. I wish I’d joined in with this read-a-long! I tried to read this years ago (I was probably about 16) and only got a chapter or so in before I gave it up as a bad job. I really do want to go back to it now I have more experience and patience (or that’s the theory anyway!). I did the same with The Phantom of the Opera and I LOVED it when I tried again, so maybe it’s worth a short. Damn, now I REALLY wish I’d joined in!

    ‘curling his mustachios?’

    It’s worth reading just for that! 😀

    I think the classic that surprised me most was Anna Karenina. I was expecting it to be super-heavy but it wasn’t. Well, aside from Part Three which is literally just a monologue about farming. I really enjoyed it and I was disappointed when it ended (1000 pages later!).


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