Hearing Hugo's marvelous prose come to life.
Jean Valjean's inner battle as he debates whether he should free the man how stands to be condemned in his place.
Great jobs bringing these characters to life.
It it were possible.
Beautiful, encouraging, enthralling
War and Peace -- such tremendous characters, facing such human issues...
This is a book for every lover of literature. One of my favorite books, ever!
I must confess, I did enjoy the main storyline of Les Miserables. I picked the unabridged book so that I would have many hours of listening enjoyment. However, dashed throughout the book Victor Hugo talks about french society, french politics, and french history in general. Each of these sections were used to reinforce the main storyline as it progressed. However, I found myself lost trying to understand the french history.
I would not recommend the unabridged book to anyone who isn't familiar with french history. I assume that the abridged book has a much more concise storyline and I would recommend the main storyline.
I would listen to Les Miserables again! This story is a classic for a reason. It has everything in it. Love, war, romance, triumph of good over evil.
Most definatly. An all time classic.
The best audiobook reader I have listened to. It is very easy to listen to, while working, running, or anything really.
This is one of my all time favorite books. A classic in literature. Very, complicated story, with many twists and turns, and in the end, all the characters are tied together in a magnificent way.
No. Good story line, but seemingly endless cul de sacs.
Jon val Jon
Victor Hugo's Magnificent Novel, brought to Life, with out the endless detours
I read the first half of this book and just couldn't find the time to finish reading it. I got the audio book, wanting to finish the story, but I couldn't get beyond 4 hours. I love the melody of this book and Hugo's command over words and sentence structure (strange since it is a translation). Unfortunately, the reader never grasped the beauty of the words he was reading. His voice is largely monotone and uninteresting; he sounds disdainful and as if the story was causing a bad smell under his nose. Perhaps it's like Shakespeare -- difficult to read but amazing if performed by someone who both understands and loves it. It's very sad, and I hate to say it, but I don't think this reader does either. Disappointing.
I would listen to another book by Victor Hugo but not by Fredierick Davidson
I'd try another book by Victor Hugo because he is a classic writer - you don't stay popular for hundreds of years for no reason and his books were written to be read out loud.
I would cast a narrator who is skilled in multiple voices and characters. This narrator has a limited range of expression and often sounded haughty and aloof. This did not engage me or help me to empathise with the characters.
Oh no! No follow-up book! 57 hour is long enough for one story. Anyway, the author is dead.
I was not familiar with many of the French terms, geography or history, which affected my understanding. This book may have been better for me to read.
Redemption, heroism, altruism.
The way Victor Hugo built up his characters and background events. The theme of redemption and altruism. The telling of the historical events.
Jean Valjean of course.
The treatment of Cosette as a child filled me with horror and the dying Valjean made me cry. The judicial and penal system of the time appalled me.
Frederick Davidson did an awesome job reading this book. By giving each character their own voice he brought them alive and allowed the listener to respond emotionally to the person or events. As an English speaking listener the names of some of the characters were hard to understand and remember. Giving them their own voice made it easier to recognize the characters. I was especially impressed with the reading of the passing of Valjean. The emotional response stayed with me long after the story ended.
Thank you Mr. Davidson.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
Les Mis', now know for the wonderful musical, remains a masterpiece of drama as this production makes clear. The story is so cleverly constructed it makes one think that Hugo came forward in time and wrote parallel plots, cut and pasted them and, then, returned in time with the finished manuscript. There are lfew more memorable heroes than Jean Valjean or more sympathetic villains than Javert. Even today, many years after I first read the novel in print, it is hard to resist the feeling that Marius does not deserve their sacrifice, albeit made for Cosette by Valjean and for Valjean by Javert, and not for him.
As for the performance, it suffers from the understandable production issues inherent in older audio books. There is a fair amount of Fredrick Davidson's breathing caught on the audio and there are some odd pauses and strange background noise (once sounding like a tap running). Notwithstanding this (and having been spoilt by current production standards, it takes a bit of getting used to) Davidson's range is so vast and his continuity so sustained, one can't help but be impressed overall with his performance.
Like all epic works, parts of the narrative need to be persevered with. It is no different to reading the text in that regard. However, I realized with the audio that I actually took more in because I suspect I did not read the long descriptive bits before. For example, the history of the nun's order came as a surprise to me, no matter the previous readings, as did the famous detail of the Battle of Waterloo. I enjoyed both much more in audio than when reading the novel.
A full listening for me was broken into three sittings, interspersed with other audio books; again, as I might go about reading an epic novel. It worked well splitting the Parts, 1 - 3, 4 - 7 and 8 - 10. I'm confident that other combinations would be equally successful. Although I don't think I could have downed the whole 10 Parts in one sitting, a complete listen over about two months worked for me and was very rewarding overall.