I started off feeling okay about reading and then subscribing to "Vanity Fair," but soon got to feeling as if it's a more upscale version of a gossip magazine. The stories may focus on people in publishing and regulars in the social scene (this month it's the model who married France's prime minister), but when you actually start reading, the text is about her having posed nude, the affairs with rock stars, yet another story about successful narcissists (she actually said she tried to get past her narcissism).
Once I got the sense that I was reading trash, however well written by reputable writers, I felt guilty about all the weight of the magazine, and the green part of me kicked in to ask, "Is this worth it?" I came up with a "no". Once my subscription ends, I won't renew.
Sure, Domenick Dunne, Maureen Orth and Marie Brenner are talented writers. Their voices are terrific and they write with sizzle. But the topics aren't worth the time and paper so I'm moving on.
The magazine is too heavy to take on a plane, and I now use "The New Yorker" as my travel reading, lighter, more bang for the buck, more fun and smarter.
This is a: Tabloid
Good - but gets cheeky
I have read and loved Vanity Fair for years, but dropped my subscription several years ago when moving and never renewed. Why? Because the magazine varies in quality so much from month to month. I hate the Hollywood and Music issues which play to Vanity Fair's weakness for celebs and telling already known stories of their lives. I love their real articles - focusing on world events or politics from a more human angle. I much prefer at this point to simply buy the VF's that look interesting on the shelf than subscribe and run the risk of being disappointed.
What a mixed bag!
Vanity Fair is by far the most frustrating magazine I know of. On one hand, the brilliance of Christopher Hitchens, the glossy paper, the interesting articles about old Hollywood - on the other, the complete kissing-up to new Hollywood, the endless ads (think Vogue or Modern Bride - I mean, a BUNCH of ads), and the increasingly strident editorial stance. I used to get every issue, but the other day, I saw the new one on the stands...and I just passed it by.
If you want a magazine for fashion, buy Vogue. If you want a magazine for news or current events buy Time or Newsweek. This magazine seems a bit schizophrenic. It just doesn't know its genre. Not bad, but because it is so unfocused it also fails to be great. However, it did arrive in a timely fashion, and as far as light entertainment goes, it's fine.
get out your bifocals!
I have mixed feelings about this magazine. I purchased a subscription because I wanted to read the cover stories several times when I saw it on a magazine rack, not really knowing much about the magazine. Well, the cover stories are great, in fact, there are always several long, in depth feature articles that are wonderful. However, too much society fluff that I don't care the slightest about. Worst though, is the actual magazine--the print size is miniscule!! Very difficult to read, even with the bifocals on! Also, too many perfume inserts.
People magazine for the literate.
Vanity Fair has, in its modern incarnation, always made me feel queasy: it's an odd mix of celebrity gossip, investigative journalism, and smart, literate, incisive writing. It veers, with schizophrenic gusto, between the shallowest kind of obsession with wealth, fame, and celebrity, and superbly-written pieces on politics and social issues.
Regular columnist James Wolcott does some of the most interesting writing out there on popular culture. On the other hand, Christopher Hitchens is bitter, brittle and snotty, month after month. I have never been able to bring myself to subscribe to Vanity Fair -- I am too conflicted -- but find myself buying about half of their issues on the newsstand.
Searching for Content
This magazine has quite in depth articles about a wide variety of `general interest' topics. I found many of the articles to be a bit longer than they should have been and they just drag on towards the end. The content reminds me of Reader's Digest for a slightly younger generation. There are occasional racy topics and cursing, but not enough to turn me off. Examples of topics in one issue: Jewish power and peril, an architect, a sex club, September 11, Vanity Fair covers, and some common monthly features. At least half of the magazine is fashion advertisements, and because of the amount of advertising, the magazine weighs a lot and is not useful for bringing anywhere. If the articles were of a proper length and there was a normal amount of advertising, this magazine would be the size of any normal magazine, the rest is just filler.
Love the Photography
The only reason I like this magazine was because of the photography in it. I find most of the articles boring, or not to my tastes. I do enjoy the photography. There is an occasional interesting article, but I am a photographer, and all that interests me in this magazine are the photos. I like that it is cheap for a year's subscription too.
Don't know the history of this magazine. Thought we would try it for a year. Have been getting "The New Yorker".....so this is quite different. We think it's too heavily based on appealing to those who might want to aspire to the pictures. But it's name is true....vanity. Writing is ok....more self perpetuating....nothing that lifts beyond the realm of materialism.
One of the better glossy magazines out there in the world of make believe
I don't normally like glossy magazines that think too much of themselves, I think that they were invented to be dumped on coffee tables to look good when you have visitors around for coffee but if you want a really good and intelligent read, buy TIME or Newsweek.
However I will make an exception in the case of Vanity Fair, I actually subscribe to it which came about after I read a really good article in it about racism. I was quite impressed, it was well written and quite unbiased, rare in a magazine that is known for its skinny models/actors/musicians who lounge elegantly as they give interviews whilst looking the camera and say in hot sultry voices, "Darling, I'm an artist, it's my passion, my love, that's why I do it!"
I won't say that Vanity Fair has given me too much food for thought but it has been enough for me to take out a year's subscription to see if they can come up with anything else that is remotely intelligent and thoughtful and they haven't done too badly up to now.
If you really want to get a glossy coffee table magazine then get this, it will serve two purposes, one it will look good on your table and two you might just find someting interesting in it to read whilst you are flicking through it.