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on December 7, 1998
Having seen the movie "Barry Lyndon" by Stanley Kubrick years ago, I was taken aback by this book which is so markedly different than the 1975 film. In the book, Lord Bullingdon is actually the hero, where Kubrick presented him merely as a cowardly cad. Redmond Barry (later as Barry Lyndon)deserves all the evils that befall him and his first person narrative is quite humorous especially when blaming everyone for his own shortcomings. Unfortunately, the ending leaves one a bit unsatisfied, quite like the dismal end of Mr. Lyndon himself. This novel is not on the level of Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", but fun to read nonetheless.
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on March 18, 1997
Here, in this relatively obscure work, Thackeray is at his ironic and satiric best. Modern critics lightly dismiss the book as a piece of journalistic hack work, but it is much more than that. Redmond Barry, later Barry Lyndon, chronicles in a fairly sophistocated and always lighthearted manner his rise from a poor Irish country boy to the astral heights of polite English society from 1750-1820. Mr. Barry is always Machievellian in his way, and is quick and efficient with his sword. He is Odysseus, Holden Caulfield, Don Juan, and Nabokov's Humbert Humbert merged. In a word, he is very, very entertaining and very, very good. The book's only glaring flaw is it's belabored and uninspired ending. But it is much worth reading to watch Redmond Barry when young
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on December 7, 1998
Having seen the movie "Barry Lyndon" by Stanley Kubrick years ago, I was taken aback by this book which is so markedly different than the 1975 film. In the book, Lord Bullingdon is actually the hero, where Kubrick presented him merely as a cowardly cad. Redmond Barry (later as Barry Lyndon)deserves all the evils that befall him and his first person narrative is quite humorous especially when blaming everyone for his own shortcomings. Unfortunately, the ending leaves one a bit unsatisfied, quite like the dismal end of Mr. Lyndon himself. This novel is not on the level of Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", but fun to read nonetheless.
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on March 9, 2016
I got this for my husband. If you like the movie you will like the book.
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on September 3, 2008
Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray

Read the actual text! Barry Lyndon is one the most beautifully crafted films, but Kubrick's screenplay is not the Thackeray novel.
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on June 2, 2003
When one is about to take the big plunge and give oneself the trouble of making what is always -in our age of lighter reading, of course - the strenuous effort of reading a XIXth. Century novelist, one - at least me - must make the following question: What was this author's particular attitude, as a man (or woman) of the most bourgeois of all centuries, towards his/her preceding century, the most aristocratic and un-bourgeois XVIIIth. Century? If s/he scorns the XVIIIth. Century, or is indifferent to it, it's quite likely that the author in question is a bourgeois philistine regarding Victorian times as the undisputed acme of human civilization. If s/he is an admirer, than s/he is obviously starting out of a clear sense of alienation from his/her own society, and one should expect at least for this XIXth. Century _avis rara_, genuine sense of humor. Thackeray was one of such Victorians who realized the philisteism of his own society;Eça de Queiroz, his Portuguese disciple (who seems to have learned a lot from reading him) was another. Therefore: Read this book, QED.
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