The first scenes with Valjean and Cosette are my favorite. Very emotional and well read by Guidall.
George Guidall does such a great job reading this book! He has a really familiar voice and he made this very long book easy to understand for me. I did end up taking some of the previous suggestions and skipped over some of the long-winded passages where the author gets on his soapbox and gets a little preachy.
The translation is also fantastic. I have one of the free Kindle versions of Les Miserables and this translation by Julie Rose is so much better.
Near the top!
Jean Valjean and Eponine
Easy voice to listen to, especially for such a long book.
The basic plot is familiar and the back story to so many of the characters is nice to learn but... three hours of the battle of Waterloo or over an hour on slang and its effect on language and society put me over the top.
It has not.
I really looked forward to the challenge of Les Mis however the constant detailing of flaws in society got to be preaching to me. Hugo is certainly a master and I wonder how many people could actually read this book in the late 1800's when few were educated to read.
for the past 30 years since audiobooks became popular,this trully GREAT novel has had one and only one unabridged reading available,that of fredrick davidsons terrible narration.His reading was sooooo bad I could only listen to abridged readings and that is enouph to make a lover of this book weep[or screem].finaly,here is a great novel read by a great reader translated by a great translater...all the gods are alighned with this audiobook..YOU WILL LOVE ALL 60+ hours OF IT.....if i were stranded on a diserted island with only one audiobook[ loaded in my atomic powered ipod],it would be this .ENJOY
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I have been wanted to read/listen to Les Mis for years, having seen the musical production a dozen times or more. It was not until the recent movie that I was inpired to delve into Hugo's thome.
I liked it, a lot, but I didn't quite love it. There was lots I learned, the deeper story, connections between characters, etc., that is not included in the musical & movie, and I enjoyed understanding that back story more. That's one of the many reasons books are generally better than movies. I appreciated the depth of character development and story. What I didn't appreciate were details of the battle of Waterloo or the instracacies of the Paris sewer system that didn't really move the story forward.
I think there was also something lost, for me, in listening to this book. The narration was lovely, including the French names & places spoken with a beautiful accent. And that was my problem. I don't know the French language and when the narrator spoke the name of a person or place I didn't recognize from one time to the next; it just didn't stick with me, which left me confused at times as I wasn't sure if we were talking about a person or place that had already been introduced. I think had I read it, I would have at least recognized those names/places, even if I couldn't say them.
I am looking forward to revisiting both the stage production and movie to see if I can find things that I hadn't noticed before, but now know they reference the book.
Should you listen to this? Absolutely.
Les Miserables is a great and timeless classic and the reader in this case did a good job, but, let's face it; it is a really long book and often times I was frustrated with his many diversions into side-topics. I found I kept wanting him to "get back to the story." If you have plenty of time and don't mind alot of digression, this is the book for you.
I listen to books while I do the repetitive part of my job and while I do yard work. I can't use audiobooks that require strict attention.
If I was editing this book now, I would take Hugo's soapbox away. Every day, there was a new rant about education, politics, religion, a new topic, a new rant. And they lasted for 2 hours.
The narrator was good and I found the characters engaging. I finally gave up on the book because my interest in the characters was outweighed by the tedium of the sermons.
No better book!
The lecture on thievery that Jean Val Jean gives to Montparnasse about the difficulty behind stealing. After that speech, it's unthinkable that anyone would rationally turn to a life of stealing that wasn't at the last threads of desperation.
I haven't heard George Guidall's readings before, but he did a marvelous job. I was clinging to every word.
This book will take weeks to get through, but you'll wish it took longer.
They just don't write with this kind of education and insight anymore.
I might condense some of the digressions from the main plot by the author. The major change would be a translation that reflects the language used in the 19th century, not one that reflects useage at the middle school level in the 21st.
I find the scope and subject matter similar to that of several works of Tolstoy. In both cases, a sweeping saga but with major segments reflecting the authors philosophy, perspective, and love of their country.
Really can't chose a single character; I thought he did a good job with many of the characters.
I am inspired to learn more about France in the 1800s-whether I actually am able to take the time to do this remains to be seen.
I should have chosen a different translation. Perhaps listening to a few pages would have directed me to one more in tune with the times described in the book.