Monday, December 14, 2020

Review: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo,

The first new Penguin Classics translation in forty years of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, the subject of The Novel of the Century by David Bellos—published in a stunning Deluxe edition. Winner of the French-American Foundation & Florence Gould Foundation’s 29th Annual Translation Prize in Fiction.

The subject of the world’s longest-running musical and the award-winning film, Les Misérables is a genuine literary treasure. Victor Hugo’s tale of injustice, heroism, and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him, and has been a perennial favorite since it first appeared over 150 years ago. This exciting new translation with Jillian Tamaki’s brilliant cover art will be a gift both to readers who have already fallen for its timeless story and to new readers discovering it for the first time. 

Paperback, 1416 pages
Audiobook, 65 hours, 41 minutes
Published February 24th 2015
 by Penguin Classics (first published 1862)

4/5 stars

Well I did it!  What a monster sized book.  But did you know if you read a chapter a day you can read it in a year?  That's the push I needed when a group started on Instagram, it's great support and accountability.  I did hover between the book and audio book (which comes in at over 65 hours).

There really isn't much to say other then it was wordy though well written, different from the movie, rich in historical details and well deserving of being a classic.  

I loved at the end of the audio which gave a 56 minute bio of Victor Hugo which I found just as interesting as the book itself. It told of his personal life, exile from France and tragedies that happened.

The size of the book is daunting, I'll admit to having my mind drift a number of times at some of the fillers but all in all I'm glad to have read this one (happy to be done also) and recommend it both in book and audio format.

My print copy was part of my 2020 Reading off my Shelf challenge with the audio book via my Audible library.

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