After avoiding reading or listening to Les Miserables for my entire reading life, I decided I needed a classic to get me through the winter. What took me so long? This is a classic for a reason. And as usual, it is so much more than the story you know from stage and screen.
I don't think I need to rate Victor Hugo's writing capabilities. There is description in here that is so far beyond the pale it is astonishing in its completeness. Astonishing. The description of the battle of Waterloo and Marius' love letter to Cosette should convince you.
I have also come to love the narrator. Mr. Dawson more than narrates - he inhabits the characters and becomes the voice of Victor Hugo. The sardonic commentary sounds exactly like it would sound if you were meeting for coffee with a particularly well-educated friend. I even enjoy the slight breaks as you hear him pause for water or turn a page. He has made me laugh out loud, broken my heart, and nod in agreement as we work through the story together.
Buy it. Listen to it. Enjoy the occasional longish lists of description. Learn a little French along the way (you can't help it...). Transport yourself to early 1800 France and learn how little has changed in the intervening 200 years. It's why you read.
The story line
There were too many to count
Good narrator, his french would have been phenomenal if I new what he was saying.
The only part I found frustrating was the long periods of background information. Riding the crest of the story line spaced out by the monotony of the background info nearly made me seasick. From anger to ecstasy and back. I would get angry and turn it off but a short while later, addicted to the story line or consumed with curiosity, I would come crawling back for more.
Abridging would help a lot.
Honestly I just cannot stay awake long enough listening to this book to follow the story. I have had books that have done this to me in the past but never like this one. A Great Sleep Aid
My 9th grade son was assigned to read the abridged book for English class, which prompted me to download Frederick Davidson's unabridged version for myself, after very careful consideration (listening to the audio samples of the multiple versions offered). "Les Mis" was a missed classic for me. The story is unparallelled - this is now one of my favorite books of all time. Davidson's narration added to it - exponentially - for me. His tone was nuanced, captured the mood and spirit, his French made me feel I was IN France just to listen to it. His singing, criticized elsewhere, felt REAL to me, like the characters in real life might have sounded. I have the paper copy of the book, and plan to "re-"read the ending since I listened through tears. (It took me about 3 months to finish.) But it's Davidson's voice that I will hear when I do so. I have already downloaded other audio reads that he has presented.
I recommend getting the abridged version. The production was lacking, you could here people the background and doors shutting.
Kate Morton's new book.
Not with this narrator. I could hardly understand him and for some reason disliked his tone.
Narrator's tone was always the same whether character was sad, happy or angry.
Blow your mind away, superb, amazing story!!
ALTHOUGH I DIDN'T LIKE THE NARRATOR, THIS IS A STORY FOR THE AGES. YOU WILL LAUGH, CRY, FEEL THEIR PAIN AND THEIR HAPPINESS. LISTEN TO THIS BEFORE YOU SEE THE MOVIE AND IT WILL MAKE THE EXPERIENCE UNFORGETTABLE AND INCOMPARABLE.
The quality of this audio recording is unprofessional.
I don't want to hear the narrator breathing with every sentence.
Unfortunately there are no other unabridged versions available on audible in Australia.
Les Miserables does more than tell it story - it informs about how to live a life!
The wonderful opportunity for all characters to develop!!!
Brilliant ... Way better than Claudius the God
Realisation of the love Jean Valjean has for Cosette
The depth of the characters.
Bishop Myriel, his actions set the story into motion and changes Valjean into someone worth admiring.
If you could find an audiobook with the digressions cut out i would very much recommend listening to it.
Listening was sooooo much easier than reading the book! If one is going to tackle Les Miserables, I highly recommend listening to it! I even enjoyed the 45 minute description of the sewer system of Paris, and the details of Waterloo!
Jean Val Jean was of course the favorite - he is the hero!
I suppose my favorite scene was when Marius figured out who saved him, and he and Cosette went to Jean Val Jean.
Mercy given, victorious, and passed along...
I loved the discourse on priest at the beginning. Others have said he didn't have much to do with the story - but I disagree. He had EVERYTHING to do with the life of Jean Val Jean. He changed the course of history for him, and I am sure for many others!
I loved the voice of Frederick Davidson! Great voices, expression, and pace!