Read The Book of Snobs by William Makepeace Thackeray Online

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This humorous study begins with the assertion that 'Snobs are to be studied like other objects of Natural Science'...

Title : The Book of Snobs
Author :
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ISBN : 9781406808483
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Book of Snobs Reviews

  • Matthew Gatheringwater
    2019-02-13 21:39

    Everybody is a snob of some sort. The important thing is to discover just what kind of snob you are and then accommodate yourself to your fault. Thackeray has written a kind of natural history of snobs that assists the identification process. A close reading of this book will save years of therapy.

  • Melinda
    2019-01-25 23:45

    Given to me by a friend who knows I am a snob about many things (hopefully with humor!), I found this book to be entertaining and in some ways enlightening. Thackeray takes every type of character you could imagine, and discusses the stereotypical "snob" of that group. He does this with wit and humor, and swift rapier cuts that expose to the bone in some cases! Groups include military snobs, university snobs, great city snobs, aristocratic snobs, country snobs, dining-out snobs, literary snobs (ow! that one hit a nerve!), and even English snobs on the continent. Several of these groups get more than one chapter because they provide such a rich vein! Interestingly, I found that while Thackeray includes clerical snobs, he provides a very welcome defense of the clergy. While there are caricature's in every grouping of people, Thackeray recognizes that the work done by the clerics is more important and less open to ridicule.

  • Yngvild
    2019-02-06 03:39

    The Book of Snobs is a collection of weekly columns written in 1848 for Punch magazine By William Makepeace Thackeray. Thackeray may not have invented the word “snob”, but the idea of an upwardly mobile mercantile middle class desperate to appear better born than they had been was still quite new in the 19th century. For a satirist, it was easy pickings.The problem with giving a book a title like The Book of Snobs is that it sets readers’ expectations unreasonably high. This was mildly amusing, not often laugh out-loud funny. Thackeray’s sketches help, and it might have been funnier if I had recognized the characters as public figures. I can think of quite a few modern politicians who would have featured under pseudonyms if Thackeray had been writing now.Some of the chapters are just snippy: the club (or office?) boor who claims to be the world’s expert on something he knows nothing about; the expensive Gilbert and Sullivan uniforms of the military (or security guards?); and the ineffable show-offs abroad. Is there any country whose tourists do not shame them?The surprise was how often the chapters were extraordinarily sad. Thackeray shows the poverty that was the reality of many people, and their desperate attempts to maintain face. There is the husband showing off expensively to his acquaintances, while his wife and children starve and freeze at home. There is the miserable husband falling further into debt, while his wife spends his money on frippery to impress the neighbours. There is the stress endured by people falling into penury with nothing but crime, gin and gambling to comfort them.Thackeray worked himself up into quite a froth at some of this, not least at the silly rules of society and government that get people into debt in the first place. Just look at all those huge SUV’s, always driven by the people who can least afford them. The real service he performed for us was to show both sides of society: the public face and the daily reality. Literature (I mean you, Miss Austen), generally, does that poorly. Think how many flamboyant movies would be ruined if the directors understood that nobody used those grand entrances except on rare occasions.But these stairs are made in great houses for people not to ascend. The first Lady Carabas (they are but eighty years in the peerage), if she got out of her gilt coach in a shower, would be wet to the skin before she got half-way to the carved Ionic portico, where four dreary statues of Peace, Plenty, Piety and Patriotism, are the only sentinels. You enter these palaces by back-doors. “That was the way the Carabases got their peerage,” the misanthropic Ponto said after dinner. –The Book of Snobs, William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)

  • Janelle
    2019-02-04 22:36

    I've stuck this on my read shelf but (quiet whisper) I haven't actually finished it. The writing is witty, but too repetitive. As an article, it would be great, but as a book it just ends up rehashing the same old ideas and jokes.

  • Emer
    2019-02-08 03:51

    Sorry Thackeray

  • Tim S.
    2019-02-14 02:27

    A periodically amusing book but many of its sections aren’t apt to have much relevance to modern readers. As a result I skimmed over a number of the chapters and ended up reading (most of) the book in random drips and drabs. In my opinion Thackery did a far better job of satirizing social climbers and inane snobbery in Vanity Fair, and I'd suggest readers interested in sampling his work start there.

  • Catherine Siemann
    2019-02-03 03:38

    The problem with humor of another era is that it doesn't necessarily make sense in another cultural context. Parts of this book were very funny, indeed, and parts were just a little tedious. Recommended only for the very knowledgeable in Victorian literature and culture.

  • Eileen
    2019-01-29 19:27

    2.5 stars (ok)A fun concept, a nice variety of snobs covered, and a few funny observations about entertaining with snobs, but the numerous references to specific people, places, situations, publications, etc. known to the author seemed to bog down the book and overshadow the illustrations of snobbery. :)

  • Luciana Darce
    2019-01-19 01:44

    A Régis me mandou esse volume de Natal – ou de dia de Reis (porque os pacotes dela sempre chegam na época de reis) – acompanhado de saquinhos de chá Earl Grey: afinal, para ler O Livro dos Esnobes, é preciso ter toda uma ambientação.Em virtude do clima – mesmo às cinco da tarde, Hellcife é muito quente – preferi tomar o chá gelado. Não sei se foi por conta da minha forma de servir ou se porque não tenho o paladar de um esnobe – o caso é que não fiquei muito fã do earl grey, até porque prefiro coisas mais doces...Comentários culinários esnobísticos (essa palavra existe???) à parte, se não tive paladar para o chá, o livro foi mais que delicioso, daquele tipo que você engole aos bocados até chegar perto do final quando começa a tirar fatias menores para ver se dura mais e quando termina, ainda sai lambendo os dedos com gosto.Sou fã do humor britânico, especialmente o auto-crítico – e O Livros dos Esnobes escrito por um deles é um exemplo digno e prato cheio do gênero. Para completar, ele cuida de uma crítica de costumes do período regencial/georgiano na Inglaterra – que, a essas alturas, vocês já devem saber, é uma das minhas épocas históricas favoritas (especialmente para escolher romances).São diversos ensaios, publicados originalmente na revista Punch (que também era responsável pela publicação de Dickens!), cada grupo deles formando um estudo de caráter das mais diversas espécies de esnobe: os esnobes da cidade e do campo, os esnobes militares, clericais, da universidade, os esnobes reais e os de clube...E, embora esses ensaios sejam o retrato de uma época e lugar bastante específicos, pouco se perdeu do valor dessas crônicas; muito pelo contrário, elas continuam hoje tão atuais quanto em 1846."A moral dessa história, não preciso dizer, é que há muitas coisas desagradáveis na sociedade que você está fadado a engolir, e engolir com um sorriso no rosto."Confesso, porém, que embora eu tenha, de cara, me apaixonado pela narrativa de Thackeray, o que realmente me impressionou foram as pequenas notas biográficas incluídas na edição que a Régis me presenteou. Thackeray passou toda a sua existência apanhando da vida, e apesar de todas as circunstâncias que sofreu, em especial a relutante separação com a esposa, que enlouqueceu, nos brindou com o humor extraordinário e delicioso desse livro.Bebo em sua memória, Mr. Snob. Eis aí um homem verdadeiramente admirável. Um brinde de Earl Grey em sua honra!

  • Irene
    2019-02-02 23:40

    I love to read the bits about the various types of snobs within society and thinking about who that relates to in my vast family and my circle of friends and it is interesting to see how well they are described and how they fit the author interpretation of that snobiness. I just thought it was so funny how we all have someone who relates to that particular stereotyped snob. You have a chapter about royalty and how they are raised and how people react, then the 'What snobs admire' and how snobbishness is 'built in' but then 'beaten out' of the person in time, then a couple of chapters with dealing where you live, the type of houses and the people in them and finally the one that I have just started, Great City Snobs, which to me sounds like dealing with the big guns in banks and big commercial companies. The one that I thought was good so far was the social climber using her daughter to get into a ball by saying she was 'coming out' and would be a shame to miss it, that she herself wouldn't be there as she would be looking after her husband, then on the actual night, she attends using the excuse that her husband was unable to attend, hence ending up with being invited to dinner and then to leave but she ends up there the whole evening - following this event, she then snubs the host! Loved it. There are also parts that are interesting or engaging and others that I have found boring - but I am not alone in this opinion, so I think if you are considering reading the book, be prepared. Other reviews have mentioned another book by the same author that they thought was better than this, however, it is only with reading yourself that you can really judge the weight of their comments.

  • Antonio GF
    2019-01-27 02:30

    Haciendo alarde de una fina y elegante ironía, Thackeray repasa los distintos grupos sociales –desde la realeza a los clubistas y jugadores, pasando por los comerciantes, militares, eclesiásticos, estudiantes, los viajeros o los que viven en el campo-, así como las formas de comportarse en la mesa o el modo de concertar matrimonios de los ingleses, llegando a la conclusión de que esnobs hay en todas partes y lugares.Porque parece que el esnobismo es algo consustancial al ser humano y, de una forma u otra y en momento dado, siempre aparece en nuestras vidas. ¿Quién no ha querido alguna vez parecerse a alguien a quien admira, ya sea en su modo de vestir o en sus actitudes, y le ha imitado?, ¿quién no ha fingido en alguna ocasión ser o saber más de lo que es o conoce en realidad? ¿quién no ha pretendido estar siempre a la moda, al tanto de las últimas tendencias y vanagloriarse de ello? ¡Pues todos!He disfrutado muchísimo al leerlo y realmente fue una enorme sorpresa haberlo encontrado en la Feria del libro antiguo de Madrid. @joe_arcana me etiquetó con el tag #unexpectedbook y este libro viene muy a propósito.Pero tengo que poner un par de pegas a la edición (Planeta, 2008). En primer lugar, es una pena que no se hayan incluido las ilustraciones realizadas por el propio Thackeray e incluidas en la primera edición. Y en segundo lugar, echo de menos notas a pie de página que aclaren el doble sentido que tienen muchos de los apellidos de los tipos descritos, así como la identidad de los personajes reales a quienes se aludía con ellos.

  • Eva Hechenberger
    2019-02-07 21:38

    Also, schaut mal dieses tolle Cover an. Ich meine da muss das Buch ja fast schon lesen und nun ja, ich habe es getan.Nach Recherche habe ich festgestellt, dass der Autor zu seiner Lebenszeit für die Zeitschrift „Punch“ tätig war und er damals ein Jahr lang Jagd auf die Snobs gemacht hatte und über diese berichtet hatte.Ob das Buch bezüglich Snobs heute noch richtig aktuell ist oder nicht, ist für mich schwierig zu beurteilen. Klar wurden die Geschichten und Erzählungen über seine damaligen Zeitgenossen vor 150 Jahren geschrieben, aber sind auch Episoden dabei gewesen, bei denen ich dachte, so könnte man heute noch reagieren.Was aber alle Snobs gemeinsam hatten, war die Verachtung gegenüber einfacher Menschen, weil die alle dachten, dass sie was besseres sind, was aber nicht stimmte.Der Schreibstil war dem Zeitalter entsprechend und manche Wortwahl, war sehr interessant, sowie gewöhnungsbedürftig. Ich muss aber sagen, dass die Geschichten sich dennoch sehr leicht lesen lassen haben und ich auch wirklich sehr oft den guten Humor zu schätzen gewusst habe.Wie schon alle anderen Manesse Bücher besitzt auch dieses hier wieder eine sehr schöne Aufmachung. Ich finde es toll, dass es wider in diesem Format veröffentlicht worden ist und so passt es gut zu meinen anderen Manesse Büchern.

  • Caroline
    2019-02-12 22:52

    Thackeray, meilleur romancier que journaliste.À travers une collection d’articles parus dans le journal satirique Punch, Thackeray esquisse le portrait du snob, cet être pompeux, mondain, peu concerné de son prochain et de des imitateurs du snob. Toujours aussi cynique et observateur de (l’hypocrisie) de la société, l’auteur de Vanity Fair décrit avec désinvolture et humour le snob. La posture souvent indignée et l’avalanche de reproches cruelles sont pesantes, Thackeray n’est pas (toujours) à son meilleur.

  • Rupert Owen
    2019-01-29 20:42

    I am still working my way through this book. Thackeray wrote it as periodicals for a paper and so there isn't a narrative directly to follow which felt a bit arduous reading it "chapter" by chapter, I have been enjoying it although, Thackeray is deft with his wit and severe with his criticism of "snobs" although as he goes along he begins including himself as a "snob" which initially he denied outright earlier on in the novel. I will write a more comprehensive review when I complete it.

  • Kayla
    2019-02-11 23:44

    This is a long collection of dated humor, with one joke often repeated. It is not bad. Not in the slightest, I laughed often. It is simply clear to me that it would have been better in its original form, as a serial in Punch, rather than as I read it, as a single volume. It grew tiresome in large doses, and I found myself only half listening to it, because I knew exactly what was going to be said next.

  • Jane
    2019-02-04 22:49

    This book was originally published as a series of sketches in Punch before being published in one volume. My edition also contains the illustrations by the author. As the title suggests, this book is about the snobs in British society at the time. Quite witty taking into consideration its era, however generally I found it just ok.

  • June Louise
    2019-02-08 21:40

    On being a huge fan of "vanity fair", I bought this in the hope that it would be another "can't put down", humorous book. I have to admit, I gave up half way through reading it, as I just didn't seem to "get it" at all. Sorry Thackeray, despite being a 19th century novels fan, I just wasn't keen on this one.

  • Guilherme d'
    2019-01-25 20:29

    It's a fun book, a compilation of texts from a magazine, maybe because of that it's bette to have it a side and read it from time to time, if not can be a little bit exhausting. But I enjoyed most of it!

  • Natalie Petchnikow
    2019-01-22 00:55

    Lecture délicieuse. L'ironie, la rapidité, l'observation, tout ce que j'aine s'y trouve. Comme on s'amuse avec les auteurs d'autrefois et comme ils nous consolent des ennuyeux doctrinaires de ce pays devenu si sérieux.

  • Yann
    2019-01-23 01:45

    Mordant et rafraichissant, une description au vitriol du snobisme dans l'angleterre de la première moitiée du XIXeme.

  • Pedro
    2019-01-28 03:48

    Good for the occasional reading; satirical and funny exposures.

  • Joseph
    2019-01-21 01:28

    Simultaneously dated and spot on. Which of us, nearing 30 (or knocking it, like I have), hasn't suddenly discovered the flattering joy of a lower watt light bulb in public spaces?

  • Liesl Hathaway
    2019-02-12 22:32

    It had funny illustrations.

  • M.
    2019-01-22 02:36

    Disappointing. In theory it should be amusing but I was yawning and couldn't wait for it to be over.

  • Geraud
    2019-02-09 02:43

    Un petit opuscule admirablement bien écrit et fort bien traduit qui garde toute son actualité.

  • Gwynneth
    2019-02-14 01:55

    An interesting take on Victorian social climbers that's not so different from what happened in the past several years here in America.

  • Akash Goel
    2019-02-11 21:38

    The book is a period piece, hence many of the references and obvious jibes went right past me. Although I didn't finish this, I believe that I'll pick it up some day again.

  • Aadisht
    2019-02-10 22:52

    Just as snarky, but slightly gentler than Vanity Fair.

  • Isca Silurum
    2019-01-28 02:29

    dated vocab. and situations, but spot on with respect to snobs. the resonance with today is striking.

  • Anna
    2019-01-22 23:29

    Good old Thackeray laying down the law. The formula may or may not get old depending on how much of an ax you have to grind.