Les Misérables

Les Misérables

Audiobook CD - 2011
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Trying to forget his past and live an honest life, escaped convict Jean Valjean risks his freedom to take care of a motherless young girl during a period of political unrest in Paris.
Publisher: Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books, p2011
ISBN: 9781440755880
Branch Call Number: COM Unabridged Fiction
Characteristics: 51 sound discs : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Guidall, George
Recorded Books, LLC.


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Sep 09, 2013

At the heart of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo lies an endearing, larger-than-life tale about the redemption of a fallen man. But good luck soldiering through everything else.

The main story, the one directly related to our protagonist, Jean Valjean, by way of characters Fantine, Javert, Cosette or Marius, is buried deep under the biggest heap of literary filler I have ever encountered in a book. I'm talking hundreds of pages of backstory for minor characters, places they inhabited, prior military battles they fought in, miscellaneous cultural commentary, and on and on. Hundreds. Of. Pages. To call it expositional stalling, I think, would be too forgiving. Though in spite of this rambling abyss, Les Mis is still an elegant experience. It's like listening to a beloved professor's lecturing voice, never mind the content.

Like many, I discovered Les Misérables through the Broadway musical, which is easily one of my all-time favorites. So let's be honest, how many of us would be here praising and critiquing this book if it weren't for "I Dreamed a Dream," "On My Own," "One Day More" and "Who Am I?"


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