Joss Ackland, Roger Allam, and Leslie Phillips star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel.
When poverty drives Jean Valjean to steal a loaf of bread from a baker’s window, it is an action that will haunt him for the rest of his life. A citizen of postrevolutionary France, he is sentenced to nineteen years’ hard labour. On his release his fortunes change, and he becomes a respectable businessman and member of society - and yet his past continues to dog him in the form of the sadistic Inspector Javert, who seems determined to pursue Valjean to the grave.
A student uprising is gaining momentum in Paris, and barricades are being built around the city. Valjean’s adopted daughter, Cosette, has fallen in love with the young revolutionary Marius, and the lives of all three are in peril unless they can flee to safety.
Some of the most significant moments in nineteenth century history form the backdrop for Victor Hugo’s powerful story, in which love and heroism march in the face of poverty and social injustice.
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I read, I write, I listen to books. I have worked as a scriptwriter for many projects some of which you can buy on Audible!
This BBC production is probably the best audio dramatization of Victor Hugo's novel. I have Orson Welles Mercury Theater version, which I love, the Focus On The Family version starring Brian Blessed, which is also quite good, but this adaptation takes more time, includes much more of Hugo's text and captures the characters best.
Redemption. Redemption is a beautiful thing, and though it is carelessly presented in the story (a man, even a priest, cannot redeem a soul- only God can do that), the change in Valjean's heart is staggering to behold. The story is fiction, but it has played out many times in reality. Jesus Christ changes lives. Valjean is an excellent model for that theme.
Grantaire, one of the students and Marius' friend. I believe he was the one that that slept through the "uprising," then stands with his friends as the police arrive.
The story is a roller coaster of emotions, that's why it adapted to musical theater so well. It's easy to feel Valjean's anger at the beginning, Fantine's despair, Thernardier's treachery, Marius and Cosette's intense (but virtuous) love, Javert's misguided passion. It's all right there.
I typically listen to my Audible books/dramas on my iPod while I am walking, driving, exercising. This experience did not feel like it was nearly six hours long. It was told at a comfortable pace and never seemed to drag. It may be because I'm familiar with the source material, but I think it was probably because it was so well done. As a writer of audio dramas I always thought I might have a chance to crack this nut. Now I don't need to! The BBC did a terrific job, which I will listen to again and again.
I normally don't write reviews about anything. I usually keep my personal opinion to myself. However, I was completely blown away by this audio dramatization. The actors are outstanding, bringing the story to life. I truly enjoyed the experience and will be listening again in the near future.
You will not be disappointed!
I read and listen to learn, enjoy and discover.
One of best in literature brought to life with excellent performance. It's easy to lose sense of time griped listening till end.
"Radio doing what it does best"
A superb dramatisation making full use of the sound medium fully rounded characterisations great music
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