It provides background for their actions and gives us an emotional attachment to them good or bad that we can build on. And those attachments are strong, let me tell you. In a nutshell, if you are a fan of the musical version of Les Miserables but haven't read the book, you are limiting yourself. I've only listened to the musical once before, and I saw the Albert Hall version on DVD, but I didn't really understand what was going on. That version has new life for me now, because I actually know these characters. I know their struggles, backgrounds and the grinding sadness and poverty that is keeping them enslaved.
As I said before, this book has made me a better person, and has the potential to change a person's life. I almost never write reviews but this work was so great I felt that I owed it to honor, post-mortem the author, the translator, and last but not least the narrator. Yet how do I write a review on a book that is a Literary Classic already and has been reviewed by countless individuals certainly more qualified than myself?
LES MISERABLES Official Trailer (2018) Lily Collins, Olivia Colman Series HD
How could I bring anything new to this work? I won't try to attempt this other than point out the excellence of the narrator and some other aspects. In such an epic masterpiece you need a masterful narrator and I've found George Guidall to be top of his class, par none. Guidall drew out each character, adding subtle inflections, cadences that brought life to the story in what I imagined Victor Hugo intended when he wrote the book. There was no evidence whatsoever of weariness, he was in a word, awesome.
We all are familiar with movies we've seen that are much longer than the traditional 80 minutes, that perhaps were 3 hours but the time just flew by. This is how I see this version. I have a long commute and with a companion like this audiobook I was taken away to a time long ago, to a character of the highest nobility with a heart as tender as they come - Jean Valjean, a nemesis representing the anthesis of grace - Javert, and redemption all played out on a scale as large as life itself.
I was never anxious for it to end and was left feeling like I was leaving someone I got to know that I wouldn't see again. I didn't want to go, I didn't want it to end. This is and will be I suspect, one of the best audiobooks I have listened to. I have listened to quite a few up to this point. Thank you Mr. Hugo, Julie Rose, Mr. George Guidall and finally Audible. I remember the first time I read the unabridged version in high school, I was stunned that Hugo could engage me with such force. I practically read it straight through. Listening to Rose's relatively new translation and Guidall's audio version, I was transported back to the emotions and engagement I felt 20 years ago.
All those memories and I was again anchored to my pro-unabridged novel bias. If you are going to attempt this work, please go the unabridged route, you will NOT regret it. When you begin this novel it DOES looks like a beast pgs or Dollar per page or dollar per minute, you can't get much better for its price, unless you steal it.
Nothing to add to the glowing recommendations from so many other readers. Brilliant story, excellent narration. George Guidall is a master at this kind of epic storytelling. I would only note that there are a few passages in the book and the audiobook that discuss the patois of the French criminal class. These passages are probably untranslatable, and I found listening to them baffling and frustrating.
Reading them in the print edition, with notes, is less baffling but equally frustrating. My advice is to close your ears and ride these passages out, or speed up to 3x in the Audible app till you get past them. You won't miss anything important to the story. Note that this is NOT a suggestion to skip past the histories of convents, Waterloo, and the Paris sewer system. I love the opera version of Les Mis.
I was hesitant to read the book because I did not think it would be as entertaining. If anything, Victor Hugo paints the characters and the scenes so vividly, I can't stop listening! This is easily becoming my favorite book. This is not a book for the average reader. I love this story, but this book is long. I had to work at finishing this. However, this is one of the most profound and insightful books on humanity and our connection with God.
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If God is not your thing, then you and victor Hugo would be friends. He was a agnostic pessimist. However, his insights on humanity and their connection with God are miles beyond other writers. The reader is one of my favorite. Although Hugo can be exceptionally wordy, the reader's voice, inflections and style make it easy to listen, enjoy and just absorb the intent of what the author is communicating. Which scene was your favorite? When Jean Valjean meets Cosette in the woods and rescues her from the Thenardier's. Any additional comments? This story cannot be abridged and still possess the same power.
By today's standards, Hugo can be difficult to read as he is very wordy, and the historical narrative is long and detailed. However, it is integral to understanding the significance of why the characters were motivated to do what they did. The story, the characters - everything about this book is phenomenal. Those who are diligent and listen to the entire story will reap the rewards. Also, the narrator must be given major credit for making the experience so enjoyable.
This is the best reading of this great tale out there. Les Miserables is more of a quest than a book. It is a huge book that meanders along taking many long detours but eventually arriving at its destination. You must be prepared for a long journey, don't be the child who continually asks "are we there yet? Along the way we get long discourses on slang, politics, the street urchins of Paris, the sewers of Paris, and the Battle of Waterloo to name a few there are many long detours.
There are also many subplots and stories, such as the Bishop of Digne which opens the book. There are many long detours, many. Is the book worth the time? I think it is, it is a wonderful story and the long detours add much to the experience. It is named Les Miserables for the portrait of the poor that it gives, but it does not idolize them, it shows the good and the bad, the weak and the strong. It should encourage you do go out and help some one.
This particular translation is advertised as being more earthy and closer to the French of Hugo than the more staid traditional translations. It is more earthy, more sprightly and not academic, but not knowing French I can't say if it is actually closer to Hugo or not.
Some translation choices seem odd to me clink for jail but once you get into the flow of the story it works. The narrator is one of the best in the business and he does a commendable job here. So, should you read this book? I think so, I highly recommend it. Would I read it again? Yes I will, in a while, when I'm ready for a long, long journey.
At first I was not familiar with Victor Hugo's style of writing. It would start to get very interesting and then all of a sudden he was off on another topic. That knocked me for a loop, until I got into the swing of things, and treated each new topic as a new book. In the end it all came together and was an amazing experience. Out of both unabridged versions of this book on audible, I found George Guidall to be the better narrator. I had the opportunity to listen to the first few hours of the other version, and could not understand the narrator very well.
I was very happy to get this one where I had no problem understanding the English. Great book.
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Nothing compares to this book. Don't miss this one I have purchased over books thru Audible. This is by far the best. The story and the narration are incredible. Your audiobook is waiting…. By: Victor Hugo , Julie Rose translator. Narrated by: George Guidall. Length: 60 hrs and 26 mins. People who bought this also bought The Silmarillion By: J. Javert orders her to be quiet, and then reveals to her Valjean's real identity. Weakened by the severity of her illness, she falls back in shock and dies.
Valjean goes to Fantine, speaks to her in an inaudible whisper, kisses her hand, and then leaves with Javert. Later, Fantine's body is unceremoniously thrown into a public grave. Valjean escapes, is recaptured, and is sentenced to death. The king commutes his sentence to penal servitude for life. While imprisoned in the Bagne of Toulon , Valjean, at great personal risk, rescues a sailor caught in the ship's rigging. Spectators call for his release. Valjean fakes his own death by allowing himself to fall into the ocean. Authorities report him dead and his body lost. Valjean arrives at Montfermeil on Christmas Eve.
He finds Cosette fetching water in the woods alone and walks with her to the inn. Valjean leaves and returns to make Cosette a present of an expensive new doll which, after some hesitation, she happily accepts.
He informs Valjean that he cannot release Cosette without a note from the child's mother. Valjean and Cosette flee to Paris. Valjean rents new lodgings at Gorbeau House, where he and Cosette live happily. However, Javert discovers Valjean's lodgings there a few months later. Valjean takes Cosette and they try to escape from Javert.
They soon find shelter in the Petit-Picpus convent with the help of Fauchelevent, the man whom Valjean once rescued from being crushed under a cart and who has become the convent's gardener. Valjean also becomes a gardener and Cosette becomes a student at the convent school.
Lamarque was a victim of a major cholera epidemic that had ravaged the city, particularly its poor neighborhoods, arousing suspicion that the government had been poisoning wells. One of the students, Marius Pontmercy , has become alienated from his family especially his grandfather M. Gillenormand because of his liberal views.
At the Luxembourg Garden , Marius falls in love with the now grown and beautiful Cosette. To impress him, she tries to prove her literacy by reading aloud from a book and by writing "The Cops Are Here" on a sheet of paper. Marius pities her and gives her some money. The philanthropist and his daughter enter—actually Valjean and Cosette. Marius immediately recognizes Cosette. After seeing them, Valjean promises them he will return with rent money for them. Javert gives Marius two pistols and instructs him to fire one into the air if things get dangerous.
Marius returns home and waits for Javert and the police to arrive. Valjean tries to escape through a window but is subdued and tied up. He also orders Valjean to write a letter to Cosette to return to the apartment, and they would keep her with them until he delivers the money. It is during this time that Valjean manages to free himself. Valjean manages to escape the scene before Javert sees him. She leads him to Valjean's and Cosette's house on Rue Plumet, and Marius watches the house for a few days. He and Cosette then finally meet and declare their love for one another.
One night, during one of Marius's visits with Cosette, the six men attempt to raid Valjean's and Cosette's house. Hearing this, they reluctantly retire. Meanwhile, Cosette informs Marius that she and Valjean will be leaving for England in a week's time, which greatly troubles the pair. The next day, Valjean is sitting in the Champ de Mars. Unexpectedly, a note lands in his lap, which says "Move Out.
He goes back to his house, tells Cosette they will be staying at their other house on Rue de l'Homme Arme, and reconfirms to her that they will be moving to England. Marius tries to get permission from M. Gillenormand to marry Cosette. His grandfather seems stern and angry, but has been longing for Marius's return. When tempers flare, he refuses his assent to the marriage, telling Marius to make Cosette his mistress instead.
The following day, the students revolt and erect barricades in the narrow streets of Paris. Gavroche spots Javert and informs Enjolras that Javert is a spy. When Enjolras confronts him about this, he admits his identity and his orders to spy on the students. Enjolras and the other students tie him up to a pole in the Corinth restaurant. Later that evening, Marius goes back to Valjean's and Cosette's house on Rue Plumet, but finds the house no longer occupied. He then hears a voice telling him that his friends are waiting for him at the barricade. Distraught to find Cosette gone, he heeds the voice and goes.
When Marius arrives at the barricade, the "revolution" has already started. When he stoops down to pick up a powder keg, a soldier comes up to shoot Marius. However, a man covers the muzzle of the soldier's gun with his hand. The soldier fires, fatally wounding the man, while missing Marius. Meanwhile, the soldiers are closing in. Marius climbs to the top of the barricade, holding a torch in one hand, a powder keg in the other, and threatens to the soldiers that he will blow up the barricade.
After confirming this, the soldiers retreat from the barricade.
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Marius decides to go to the smaller barricade, which he finds empty. As he turns back, the man who took the fatal shot for Marius earlier calls Marius by his name. As she lies dying on his knees, she confesses that she was the one who told him to go to the barricade, hoping they would die together. She also confesses to saving his life because she wanted to die before he did. She also confesses to have obtained the letter the day before, originally not planning to give it to him, but decides to do so in fear he would be angry at her about it in the afterlife. With her last breath, she confesses that she was "a little bit in love" with him, and dies.