I cannot say enough about this novel. I love the film with Liam Neesen - and set out to read the book. Completed the first part - (though the historical sections are tough) and then realized, with my audible membership - I should just listen. The narrator on this novel is wonderful. It is immensely helpful to have it read to you - and aids with the difficulties in not being a French citizen (unfamiliar with the history of France and the details of Paris). His accent, his voices - everything was wonderful. I am, and will always be - in love with this story of redemption. The book is SO much better than the film (as always)....
The Julie Rose translation is the best English version of this all-time classic. Other translations are more precise, but this one embodies the spirit of the original much better. The prosidy between Hugo's words and Guidall's tone is remarkable.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I like them.
George Guidall is probably my favorite narrator, his voice is expressive, rich, and he develops fantastic voices for various characters. Couple his narration with this epic of a story and you have a real winner.
Yes - George Guidall's narration brings this novel alive. If you enjoyed the recent movie or Broadway show do yourself a favor and listen to the complete novel. The emotions and character development will immeasurably enhance your enjoyment of the movie/show.
Jean Val Jean for his depth and complexity.
I have already recommended this book to my family and friends because this translation by Julie Rose is matchless, like wiping a thick layer of dust off a portrait and Mr. Guidall's narration is engaging and delightful. It's easy to understand why great artists have attempted to bring this to the stage, the movies, and even Orson Welles 7 part radio adaptation.
Allow this book to inspire you as well. I should avoid the cliche that it will change your life but just give it a try. The characters are richly drawn, history and Paris and a people are brought to life.
Hugo's understanding of suffering and redemption is without equal. Such great concepts to pursue between the Privileged vs. the Dispossessed, aptly labeled the party of envy and the party of scorn.
Here the Christian ideal is worked out by Bishop Bienvenu and Jean Valjean, hardly recogniseable these days.
Don't be satisfied with the fast food versions, just mere snacks compared to this magnificent feast.
I can't pick one, beause all the players from the fops to college students and the villains capture our interest and sympathy.
However, Gavaroche proves that Hugo is a master. All these characters have depth and individuality not found in what passes for literature these days. Nothing simple, black and white.
He was able to make the sections on the backstory interesting and if you're open-minded, you'll truly appreciate his patient and imaginative effort.
I bought this book for my kids to read in high school. I'm not sure if either of them finished it. The book sat for years on the shelf and occassionally I would look at it and think I might try it, but being a slow reader I never did. I downloaded the book and within 10 minutes I was hooked. I love George Guidall and he did a great job.
I was always told the story was about a man who went to prison for stealing bread. That was all. This book is so much more. I will never tell anyone it is about a man who stole bread. It is a book about lies, abuse, treachery and plain old meanness. It is about grace, mercy, compassion, loyalty, love and honor.
Highly-Critical PhD Candidate
I will probably listen to this over and over, it is one of those books I could easily read at any point and fall right into the story.
The long discourses and descriptions bring the characters, events, and settings to life in a very sharp and real way.
His pronunciation of the French names, words, and locations further serves to place the listener in the story. Reading these words in my head, I would probably skip pronouncing them completely and subsequently lose that effect.
"Do you Hear the People Sing?" Ha. I admit that I took this from the musical's song- but honestly, it's a story that really makes you root for the people.
IN THE TOP TEN
When javeze comit suicide
The story was too long,took me weeks to listent to
I have put off reading this for 50 years. Now I am so sorry. The narrator was wonderful, phrasing, foreign language facility, emphasis were the best so far. The story had it all politics, intrigue and fraternal, familial and young love. Ok I will admit the 19th century use of every word possible was not my favorite... But I did have to look some up and was pleased to add several to my vocabulary. I am sure seeing any of the movies would be a wonderful addition, Be sure to read before you go.
I listen to this book during my long commute to work, so it's nice to pass the time. Otherwise, the story moves too slowly to listen to it during my leisure time.