I love the opera version of Les Mis. I was hesitant to read the book because I did not think it would be as entertaining. Wrong! If anything, Victor Hugo paints the characters and the scenes so vividly, I can't stop listening! This is easily becoming my favorite book.
Hugo's sympathy with the oppressed; the grand scope of the novel; Hugo's gift for fine metaphors and aphorisms; some of the dramatic scenes; the sensitive narration.
Absurdly long, detailed tedious digressive essays on things like the battle of Waterloo, the history of convents, the history and geography of the Parisian sewers; hard-to-believe characters who act in unbelievable ways; corny melodrama and sentimentality; excessively long and repetitious accounts of almost everything due, it seems, to Hugo's sheer delight in showing off his poetic inventiveness.
I have great tolerance for long 19th century novels. But so often I found myself thinking: come on Victor, you've said everything you've got to say abou this event, character, situation, action, motivation, relationship, dilemma. All you're doing now is just repeating yourself using alternative metaphors. Let's get moving! I also found the plot pretty silly in places; a lot depends on coincidence and people acting in unbelievable ways.
Hugo's philosophical reflections, which abound throughout, are sometimes interesting; but he's too much in love with paradox and coupling unexpected antitheses--a tendency which has bedeviled French writing ever since.
The narration is good. I liked the translation: it employs up-to-date language which makes the novel less stodgy than it might otherwsie be.
I was delighted to find an unabridged version. Unfortunately, after listening for 10 minutes and comparing it to the Signet Classics version, it was clear that the Rose's transition detracted from the experience. I realize now that it is possible to make translations too modern. More respect for linguistics and the history of the English language would have been appreciated.
Say something about yourself!
I bought this audio book as my favorite movie of all time is Les Mis with Liam Neeson.(no singing) I finally gave up after I listed to several chapters of war background. This is 60 hours but is really is 15 hour story with 45 hours of background of all sorts of stuff. Some is interesting but I finally stopped listening after about 24 hours.
The reader is one of my favorite. Although Hugo can be exceptionally wordy, the reader's voice, inflections and style make it easy to listen, enjoy and just absorb the intent of what the author is communicating.
When Jean Valjean meets Cosette in the woods and rescues her from the Thenardier's.
This story cannot be abridged and still possess the same power. By today's standards, Hugo can be difficult to read as he is very wordy, and the historical narrative is long and detailed. However, it is integral to understanding the significance of why the characters were motivated to do what they did. The story, the characters - everything about this book is phenomenal. Those who are diligent and listen to the entire story will reap the rewards. Also, the narrator must be given major credit for making the experience so enjoyable. This is the best reading of this great tale out there.
Amazing character development and wonderful story telling
60+ hours so no, but I've listened to 10 hours straight and really didn't want to stop
...I guess I can't, in all fairnes, say this, since I flat quit listening about halfway through the book. After 30+ hours of listening, I just couldn't bring myself to sacrifice another 30 hours of my life to Victor Hugo. I can't honestly report anything terrible about his writing; I know this is considered a classic, and to some, one of the best pieces of literature ever penned. I just don't possess the patience any more to wait for the story to continue to build. As others have said, Hugo's ramblings about certain topics, that truly have no bearing on the story he is trying to tell, go on for way too long. The narrator was great, and I had no issues with his performance. But, for those of you out there who've seen the recent movie or the broadway performance and want to know more, my advice to you is to stick with the visual mediums. Perhaps an abridged version would be better, although I usually shun abridgements; I may have been more satisfied if I'd made an exception in this case. Way, way, way too long for this girl!
I am a Christian young man who loves to listen to audiobooks at work.
This was an amazing book. I usually prefer casual books, that don't require much thought, but are rather read for entertainment purposes. I don't know why exactly I picked this book, other than the fact that I loved the narrator, George Guidall's work on other books and the book was on sale when I purchased it. I won't spoil anyone with plot details, but the book made me a better person. Seeing the change in some of the main characters caused me to be a more charitable person and since reading this book I have started to make plans to bring joy to people's life this Christmas (2012). I praise God for Victor Hugo and the talent that was bestowed upon him. Everything about this book was great. I am a much better person after listening to this recording.
Jean Valjean was my favorite character but I related more to Marius
Guillermond (not sure how to spell it, but the old grandpa of Marius)
If you're looking for something entertaining but with great breadth, this is your book. I found the narrator to be spectacular and obviously, Victor Hugo's writing is superb. Its a long listen, but worth every minute.
Les Miserables is very much akin to scripture, and no doubt inspired from on high! A beautiful reading! Delightful from beginning to end!