In a world of sound bites & fast reads, this long audio book is a beautiful pattern interrupt. It is beautifully narrated and the characters are fully developed beyond what a couple hour movie or stage presentation can capture. The beginning of the book gives a wonderful insight into the Bishop who gave sanctuary to the escape convict Jean Valjean, which is barely touched upon in the movie. That relationship seeded a spiritual awakening that is central to Victor Hugo's story. The other main characters also come with stories of their own that bring depth in the listening or reading of this book. The movie and the stage presentation of Les Miz are great, I highly recommend them, but the revolting of the youth that preceded the revolution was not the only story in this book. I am absolutely loving listening to this Classic
This is one of the best novels ever written. I was a little wary of starting the unabridged version, but I can't stop listening. Even Hugo's long asides are interesting and entertaining in this read.
When Victor Hugo dives into the character's souls, it's easy to amaze at the depth of understand this writer had for his time.
George Guidall is a fantastic reader. The voices of the characters, the excellent pronuctiation of French words, and the dramatic tones at the right times make for an excellent interpretation of the story.
I would. Les Miserables is an excruciating detailed understanding of the human condition.
Hugo's ability to describe the mundane in exquisite detail. But, most of all I enjoyed how Hugo describes each characters soul, morals, beliefs and emotions. If you put the story in the 21st century and left the characters as is, you be hard pressed to see any difference in the human condition.
One of the greatest stories of all times!
Great performance by the narrator!
It is easy to relate to the inner, emotional battles fought by the characters.
Its George Guidall!... there is no one better, some as good, but no one better.
I did both
This book is over 40 hours long and it seemed like it was over in the blink of an eye. I love the musical and wanted to listen to the book before the movie version hit the screens. I am soooo glad I did. The background information you get on these characters is amazing. To know why the Bishop Myriel is the way he is, to get the background of Fantine how she came to have Cosette and how the Thénardiers are (the are quite despicable in the book, not the comic relief they are in the play) where they are in life and to feel Valjean's anguish and inner turmoil is utterly amazing. Also when Hugo goes on about Paris or the Battle of Waterloo, if you are a history fan, get a map and a lot of what is read will come alive. I just loved the book... so did my kids, my 12 year old daughter is now reading it and my 14 year old son just finished it.
The depth to which each character is described and analyzed made this story extremely enjoyable for me.
I have book marks all over this book so I can go back and visit certain ideas and philosophies that are explored.
The narration was beautiful. It was especially helpful for me in that I do not speak or read French, so to hear the names pronounced perfectly in French was a real gift to me.
I love the character development the most. In any of the movies or abridged versions, the Bishop of Digne is just a passing character, yet hearing the full details (with French names pronounced perfectly) made me realize just how central the Bishop is to the continuing plot in the novel when he barely gets an honorable mention in the other versions.
His pronunciation of the French words with such ease, his tone, his inflection (which told the story with some emotion but without going over the top with it), was incredibly easy to listen to, and the scenes of the story simply appeared within my mind as if I were watching, rather than listening, to the thoughts of the characters and the scenes around them.
There were several, but the first was when I realized that the silver tableware and the silver candlesticks were all that remained of the Bishop's past life of comfort. In giving away them, he was finally and fully giving away himself.
Holy cats. This was my first audible book, but it will not be my last!
So rich in language and imagery and history.
Once again this was wonderful. 60 hours of wonderful energy and perfect French.
How the story continues to be so relevant.
I would - but now I know what parts to skip!!! Don't misunderstand, I appreciate a well written essay and Hugo and I have many points of view in common. However, Les Miserables is mislabeled as a fictional dramatic novel. The novel is IN the text, but there is quite a bit of rhetoric as well. I did LOVE the essays - just not so fully expanded within the text of the novel. Now, to have sat at Hugo's feet for hours and listened........THAT would have been wonderful!!!
No, Hugo crafted the story too well. I could not possibly pick one memorable moment from the many.
Bishop Myriel. The performance was solid throughout, but Guidall made sure the Bishop never became an unbelievable, simpering mass of 'do goodness'. He remained real.
There was no part that did not. It was thought provoking and surprisingly fresh at every turn.
It should be required reading for all, but may be better appreciated in the latter years. It requires a stretch for a young mind to appreciate the nuances that exist within each character.
This is about the best I can imagine audible has to offer. The story is great. The reading was wonderful. I've read reviews about the translation not being so great well all I can say is it shines through for me wonderfully!
There are so many memorable moments it is impossible to pick just one.
I started another book and went back to listen to this a second time. Part of that is because I miss the voice. He has a wonderful storytellers voice. I also liked how he did the characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is hard to believe that a book so long can continue to keep me so engaged but it did right up to the end.