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Les Miserables Audiobook

Les Miserables

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Publisher's Summary

Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

Hugo describes early 19th-century France with a sweeping power that gives his novel epic stature. Among the most famous chapters are the account of the battle of Waterloo and Valjean's flight through the Paris sewers.

(P)1996 Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1361 )
5 star
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4 star
 (302)
3 star
 (161)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (766 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (753 )
5 star
 (408)
4 star
 (162)
3 star
 (94)
2 star
 (31)
1 star
 (58)
Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-26-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    23
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Greatest Story of All Time"

    This is the greatest story ever written and the audio version is unbelievable. If you are looking for an amazing story and incredible substance this is the book for you .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. 05-23-17
    J. 05-23-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    67
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    9
    18
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    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible Narrator"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book is well loved for a reason.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a timeless story, but the one with Fantine at the beginning is what drew me in.


    What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

    I didn't trust my gut with the sample and paid the price with a credit. Trust your instinct from the sample because if you first think it isn't for you, it will only get worse as it continues. I could not get past a few hours. This performance is everything I hate with any type of reading...it is nasal, uppity and self righteous. I stopped listening and went back to reading.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No. I have seen the musical 3 times with the national touring company. I have no wish to see any of the film versions.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is great and I can't condemn the overall story. I did give it 2 stars overall for the story only, because it is universal. The narration was not to my liking. Again, trust your gut instinct on whether or not you can live with this narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krzysztof 04-16-17
    Krzysztof 04-16-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    RATINGS
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    61
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "It is a timeless moral tale"

    Aftee watching excellent Broadway production of Les Miserables, I was hooked to read the novel. it is serendipitous story, somewhat dated in terms of social concerns, but timeless as a mitral tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bksellerguynj new jersey 02-18-17
    bksellerguynj new jersey 02-18-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heartbreakingly beautiful"

    Heartbreakingly beautiful recording unforgettable performance by Frederick Davidson don't miss out on this amazing experience

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mackenzie 12-06-16
    Mackenzie 12-06-16 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "a masterpiece of Romantic Era thought and art"

    this reading of Victor Hugo's Les Miserable was pleasant to listen to, and the narrator of the story Lively and varied. However there were times when I could tell it was only a semi-professional production, as I heard Pages turning or the narrator fumble. Nevertheless, the pacing was good, and he did voices for the characters, which I tend to enjoy. The story itself is an absolute treat to read. You get the best aspects of Storytelling and Hugo's philosophy. it is an intellectual and lyrical story, challenging both the mind and the spirit. However, it is not difficult to digest or understand, Hugo is a master Storyteller. I highly recommend anyone who is a poet at heart, and anyone who loves to think critically and seize life by the reins.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tony 08-24-16
    tony 08-24-16 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    63
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Worth the listen for sure"

    It's a long listen but you won't be disappointed. I am not normally a person who prefers classics

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Smith 04-17-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Done already"

    the reader makes 50 hours feel so short in this fantastic work of lasting literature

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jana 04-09-16
    Jana 04-09-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Much more humorous than I imagined"

    Being completely new to Hugo's work, having never read abridgments or seen the movie, I was truly delighted with Wilber's translation and the English turn of phrase common to the 1860s.
    Hugo had a fantastic sense of humor that Fredrick Davidson really maximized with a dry, satirical presentation.
    The unabridged edition is long. Very long. But the history and commentary on the era sprinkled with humor then masterfully woven into the turn of the plot are worth every minute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean C. 01-15-16
    Jean C. 01-15-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    "Classic story is a must-read."

    I've listened to this book at least four times. Frederick Davidson's performance makes it come to life. One of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramona Jordan 09-10-15
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To love another"

    There is a reason when a book written over 150 years ago is still loved today. I never tire of reading or listening to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Nick
    kings lynn, norfolk, United Kingdom
    2/20/09
    Overall
    "Epic journey through life."

    This audiobook is very long - but not at all tedious!
    The narratrive is fast paced, well read and a pleasure to listen to.
    This epic page turner really did have me enthralled and rooting for the antihero of this classic tale.
    Highly recommended!

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    Lamlash, United Kingdom
    6/7/11
    Overall
    "A slog but well worth it."

    So I finally finished Les Miserables. It took me five months to listen to the whole thing, a 60-hour audio book. There were several points where I nearly gave up, and one where I actually announced on Facebook that I had given up. But I went back to it and I'm ever so glad that I did.

    Let me start by saying that this is a fantastic book. There were times when I was slogging through some of the digressions that I wondered just how this could possibly have been considered a classic. But now I know.

    At first, I sensed a similarity with Crime & Punishment, which just happens to have been published in the same decade as Les Miserables, as indeed was War & Peace, which I have also read. The part where Jean Valjean, as Monsieur Madeleine, is fighting with his conscience about going to rescue the man who has been arrested as Jean Valjean and then his journey there, fraught with difficulty.

    It's been interesting to read some of the reviews on Goodreads after finishing the book. They are almost all five stars and there are a few instances where readers have read the abridged version and then gone back to read the unabridged and enjoyed it ever so much more. As I was listening to it, there were many occasions when I wished I had downloaded the abridged version instead. I mean come on, pages and pages of description about the Paris sewers? The whole Waterloo bit? I honestly struggled through these parts. I wonder if it would have been easier to read than to listen to.

    Anyway, I listened to the last 8 hours or so in a couple of days, at first because I just wanted it finished and out of the way, but then because it was just so good that I didn't want to stop. I had guessed how the novel would end, but that didn't spoil the ending at all. It was so well written that I was left with a feeling of elation that has lasted through to the following day as I write this.

    Suffice it to say that I am very glad that I persevered with this and got to the end. I actually would quite

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Karen Williams
    5/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wait for a better narrator"
    Where does Les Miserables rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Magnificent as a work of literature - the language, detail and scope are breath-taking - but made a real test of listening endurance by the narration.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I constantly marvelled at Hugo's breadth and depth of knowledge. I know some listeners have complained about the "asides" lasting an hour, and I confess my own heart sank at times when I realised Hugo was going off at a tangent, but I couldn't help but be amazed at how much he KNOWS about everything and the way in which he covers his subjects from every angle. What an incredible mind. I was fascinated by the data on the French sewer system! I should also say that I am a professional translator and I was constantly stunned by the quality of this translation - so poetic and flowing and such a wealth of rich vocabulary.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Yes, it's a marathon and of course I respect him for his staying power, but the narrator at times drove me mad. He reads with a cynical or (as others have commented) bored tone, and has an irritating habit of letting his voice go UP at the end of a sentence so it sounds like a question ("Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo?"). I really recommend other listeners to wait until a better reading is released. It's only because the book is so good that I stuck with it. I will definitely avoid all other readings by this narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I am giving this this 2 stars overall purely because of the narrator.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Lesley
    Isle of Skye, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "It's what your ears have been waiting for....."

    At over 66 hours of listening, this is a lot of book for one credit. I was taking my 80 year old father to see the live show in London and wanted to get a handle on the story before we went - I was blown away by it - a huge story of an immense character, of love, loss, sacrifice, intrigue - you name it this book has it. I wasn't sure of the narrator at first, but soon grew to love his voice and it suited the story so well. I can't rate this book highly enough - but be prepared to have to put your life on hold while you immerse yourself in this truly astonishing novel.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ehab
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    7/24/10
    Overall
    "What a very pleasant surprise..."

    I admit I was sceptical about Frederick Davidson's voice and style. In fact, I only bought this book because it was the only available unabridged version, and I am so glad I did. The book itself, this timeless masterpiece, hardly needs recommendation or introduction. The wonderful surprise, for me, was the delightful, intelligent, vivid and character-faithful narration of Davidson. Thanks Audible!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Charlotte
    Bedford, United Kingdom
    8/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't get on with the reader - a great shame"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I'm sure there are better readings and adaptations of this book for audio - the novel is huge, sprawling and endlessly detailed, and requires a storyteller of real talent to bring it to life. The performer reading this version veers between sounding bored or like a grotesque pastiche. Utterly ruins the narrative and made me lose any sympathy or empathy with the characters featured.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I've read this book and hoped that hearing a reading would add to my understanding. I don't think that it did. What I like about the story is the way that it immerses you completely in what France was like at the time - this reading, however, jolts you out of any such escapism with a lacklustre approach and bizarre delivery.


    What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

    The story was just badly told. It sounded bored at points, at others like he was giving a very self serving performance that bordered on pastiche. It was distracting and made me cringe.


    Could you see Les Miserables being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Oh sweetie, there's already been quite a few adaptations of this story. It's been a musical for years.


    Any additional comments?

    Find another performer to do this story justice. Tempted to ask for my money back.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • S. Matthewman
    UK
    6/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story but a delivery that makes me miserable"
    Would you try another book written by Victor Hugo or narrated by Frederick Davidson?

    Victor Hugo remains one of the greatest masters of European literature. Unfortunately, I really struggled to get through Davidson's awful style of delivery.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The character of Javert and Valjean, and the way they circle each other over the decades, is as compelling as ever.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Davidson wheezes and rasps – every inhalation is picked up. He has a habit of finishing sentences as if he is only pausing, full stops replaced by commas,

    When he continues at a different scene, it's quite, quite jarring and very annoying.


    Was Les Miserables worth the listening time?

    It's absolutely worth sticking with for the story. But you'll want to inflict every form of physical violence imaginable on the narrator.


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    1/18/13
    Overall
    "Misleading audio sample"

    I didn't like the audio sample but it was the only unabridged version and lots of reviews said they didn't like the audio sample but enjoyed the book. I have to say I agree. It's a wonderful book and wonderfully read. I'm going to miss it when I finish it!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Zoe
    PeeblesUnited Kingdom
    1/23/11
    Overall
    "Fabulous"

    66 hours sounded like a long listen, but this was a book I just looked forward to listening to day after day, never getting bored. A stonking good story, beautifully narrated. I was transfixed and missed it terribly once I'd finished it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Petra
    London, United Kingdom
    10/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Monstrous"

    The story is great, a true epic, but the book would have benefited from a decent editor. The narration was not for me - to be honest I can't stand FD's voice so have a listen before you buy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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