The characters are so well developed you feel like you know them. There are some great moral players here, starting with the bishop and, eventually, Jean Valjean.
My biggest problem is that Hugo tends to go off on side topics and not come back for awhile. I swear he spent 1 1/2 hours on the sewers of Paris. And while Waterloo is interesting, it's not two hours interesting--especially when it doesn't add that much to the story. There are 1/2 dozen topics that he just goes on and on about without really adding to the story. This added hours and hours to an already long book. George Guidall is one of my favorite readers, but I wonder if the abridged version wouldn't work a little better.
Also, I thought the ending was a bit too much. Almost felt like a Hallmark classic...
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