by Victor Hugo
- Date Finished: Nov. 24, 2012
- Genre: Fiction
- Year: 1862
- Project: Big Books Project
- Reading List: Fall 2012; BBC’s Top 100 Books
- Quick thoughts upon finishing: It took me a frustratingly long time to read Les Mis — understandable since it’s more than 1,400 pages. Also understandable was the fact that while reading it, I finished planning a wedding, got married, went on a two-week honeymoon and returned to an almost unbearable amount of work. With planning and dedication, you could finish Les Mis if you read on a schedule — 50 pages a day, say. But I didn’t have that time and so, it took me more than two months. Normally unacceptable to me, but OK considering the circumstances.
- Now, I could talk about reading Les Mis all day. To talk ABOUT Les Mis, though — well, that’s something else. My mom asked me today “what it was about.” What could I say? Life? Humanity? Love? Redemption? Revolution? Good vs. Evil? Absolution? I ended up reading the blurb on the back which is always woefully lame, but so be it. Maybe she’ll see the movie and understand (by the way, I’m now obsessed with watching trailers for said movie).
- I can say that I’m already feeling some post-big book-depression. When you read something as epic, sweeping and LONG as Les Mis, you have to invest a lot of time, energy and thought. You give a lot of yourself to the book. And as to be expected, you’re drawn into these dramas that play out over a lifetime, and understandably, you become emotionally invested in not just the outcomes and the characters, but the entire world. To close Les Mis is to suddenly feel the pang of missing Paris all over again. Before, I shook my fist at Jean Valjean and his long asides. Now, I say his name fondly and miss him just as Cosette and Marius do. I’m not going to try to break down the novel academically, but taken all together, it’s easy to see why Les Miserables is considered a literary masterpiece.
- Now to see the movie and see if Javert singing totally weirds me out…
- Awards: This Wikipedia page lists Les Mis as one of the longest novels ever written. It totally feels that way. (Also, I’ve read THREE books on that list and all for fun: Les Miserables, War and Peace and Atlas Shrugged. Bam.)
- Grade: A
Now, watch the trailer I’ve been obsessing over. I’m not 100 percent sure about the casting, mainly because I dislike Amanda Seyfried. But then, I’m not the biggest fan of Cosette either, so that may be OK.
Now, look at this list of the various adaptations of Les Mis, including TV, movie, animations, radio, plays, GAMES and musicals. This is crazy.