Jean Valjean emerged from prison a most transformed person. His heart was cold, his life hopeless. After attempting to steal bread to feed his starving nephew and nieces Jean was sent to prison where he lived out the better part of his life. Upon gaining his freedom Jean became a true thief. But after the kindly actions of a priest Jean is put on a new path in life; one that shows more hope and joy ahead. And so begins the epic story of kindness in the midst of darkness.
Do you ever come across a book that seems like everyone but you has read? It’s received rave reviews and you half-heartedly add it to the to-read list but you don’t consider it high priority. You’ll get around to it…eventually. Well that’s the way I have felt about Les Misérables. And to be honest, when I see the majority going googly-eyed over a book I tend to avoid it as it usually isn’t my cup of tea. However when the opportunity presented itself to read this French classic in the form of an abridged edition I jumped at the chance. And I have no regrets. While there was no doubt a good deal that I missed out on I found this modern edition of a timeless story very well done. Very few classics I come across fall under the “page-turner” category but in my own humble opinion Les Misérables was excellent. It reveals the triumphs and fall of mankind and how one decision can set into motion a whole series of incidents that have both positive and negative effects.
There is one thing I’m curious about though. As I read a book that had been condensed down to about 1/4 of the original I could not say if this was the way it was with the original, but Cosette seems to be the driving force behind the story yet the edition I read really didn’t have much to do with her at all. If this is the way the story is indeed told, I find Victor Hugo’s talent with the pen most fascinating.
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” we would like to note that we received an electronic copy of “Les Misérables” from Netgalley.com provided by the publishers, Barbour Publishing, Inc., in exchange for our honest review.