Les Mis is a classic, but there's no doubt there are parts that can drag. Having George Guidall's amazing voice helps those parts fly by painlessly.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
The book is very complicated - about 1/4 of the book are "digressions" where Hugo discusses topics as diverse as Waterloo, the Paris sewer system, slang, the penal system, politics, cloisters, Paris rich, Paris poor and more. While these passages are hard to wade through - they prepare the reader for later passages, and add a little suspense as we want to get back to the story of Jean Valjean and others.
Nothing is absolute with Hugo, he examines both sides of issues - he may rail on Catholic cloisters, but Valjean's road to salvation starts with an act of kindness by a priest, and later he and Cosette are living in a convent.
Overall, the book is about what is good/evil and the possibility of redemption but how society's conventions may get in the way. While reading the book, I was struck to the similarity in construction to "War and Peace" (a fabulous story with many digressions). This makes sense since Tolstoy and Hugo were contemporaries and "Les Misérables" was published 7 years before Tolstoy's masterpiece.
Number 2 out of all books I've ever read.
Jean ValJean was my favorite character because of his decision to change and to stick to his word
No, because the book is much too long but quite necessary to the story
Listen to this book!
A well known story, but I was glad to hear it all - even the parts about the Paris sewers. There is no way I would have read the book. The audible version is great.
Yes. I listened to Babbit. And this narrator is fabulous in Les Mis. He changes his voice for each character. It's like listening to a stage play. Very engaging.
It actually took me about 5 months to listen to the whole thing. I only listened on my commute to work and back. As you probably know, it's a VERY long book.
George Guidall did a fantastic job of reading one of the best books I have ever read!
Jean val Jon because he is remarkable
The final scene
The entire book
There's probably a great book buried somewhere here, but it's impossible to find. I've never seen such a bloated overwrought mass of verbiage in my life. This novel is in serious need of editing, and I mean brutal trimming.
I cannot understand the reasoning behind the endless meanderings that take place in the story. For example, at one point the two protagonists are forced to take refuge in a convent. Fair enough. At this point the author goes into an extended discourse on the history of the convent, where it originated, it's ties to other religious orders, it's leaders, its rites, practices, and so many extraneous details so as to numb your senses and make your eyes glaze over. And it's all completely irrelevant to the story. COMPLETELY! And it's not a brief sidebar, it goes on for about an hour (at least it seemed that long to me).
The author does this over and over, taking pains to explain details that have absolutely no bearing on the story. If any of these details were in some way entertaining then I guess you could justify it... but they simply aren't that interesting. They are monumentally boring.
I did manage to finish the book, but it was a chore rather than a pleasure. I was just too stubborn to admit it was a waste of money (and time invested).
Do yourself a favor and avoid this, or perhaps try an abridged version. I tend to avoid abridged versions, but this book may be the exception. It needs to be trimmed by at least one third, and maybe one half.
It is a shame, because you can see that he is a great author, some of the passages are simply brilliant. This truly could have been a great novel. It just isn't.
This book was brutally long for me. I love the story, but not the length. The reader was fantastic. So if you are thinking of listening to les mis over reading it yourself, this audiobook did a great job. Be ready for a marathon though.
Maybe the best Audible purchase ever! Victor Hugo may be the greatest novelist to write in any language. Julie Rose's translation is a beautiful work of art. George Guidall couldn't have been better. The long essay sections on Waterloo, convents, slang and the Paris sewers were okay - DEFINITELY not a reason to avoid this moving, funny, riveting masterpiece.
Yes, I would say that it was well spent in that the musical and the movie touched my life so much that knowing the true way that it was written has enriched my understanding of both of those mediums. But the fact is that Victor Hugo was just not a master author and although this is a "classic" it's just poorly written in a lot of places.
I did listen to Victor Hugo again - I listened to the Hunchback of Notre Dame and this is the better of the two.
His characterization is spot on. His consistency in vocalizing the different characters with such accuracy is nothing short of amazing and helps to keep in mind which character is speaking. Guidall is great.
It is a movie and a musical and I did see both - many times.
See the movie first.
Not enough can be said about the spectacle that is Les Miserables. It's enlightened philosophy transcends its 18th century setting and truly makes the reader want to change. The characters of the book (although some are too good to be true) offer great insights into human nature and the transformational power of grace.
George Guidall is truly an outstanding narrator.. so much so that I have searched for audiobooks that bear his name as narrator. Take my advice and buy this book. Make sure you stick it out to the end, it will be worth it!