Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Les Misérables" (the book)

After I saw Les Misérables in the theater last December it piqued my interest in the book. I've never considered reading it before since I know it's an extremely long book, but after seeing the movie I wanted to know exactly what happens in the book, not just what is portrayed in the play/movie.

I noticed that iTunes was selling the unabridged audiobook of Les Misérables for $5.95 so I decided to buy since it was only a few dollars. That's really inexpensive for an audiobook (especially one as long as Les Mis) and I knew if I didn't like it I wouldn't feel guilty for wasting money.

As I said, I opted for the unabridged version of the book; all 58 hours of it! (That's 1463 pages.) I started listening to Les Misérables in mid-January and I finally finished it Tuesday night. I would've/could've finished the book a lot sooner, but I don't have near as much time for leisure reading these days since I have lots of other projects and activities taking up my time. (One of these things is teaching Sunday school. Even though I only teach once a week, I devote a lot of time trying to do the best job I can for the kids in my class.)

I decided to read the synopsis and analysis for each section of Les Misérables on the Spark Notes website in order to get the most out of the book as I could. The things I read on Spark Notes were tremendously helpful for someone like me who isn't very good at connecting the dots and looking for deeper meanings. There was so much in the book that I failed to pick up on that became a lot more clear after reading the Spark Notes. The vague/complex parts of the plot made a lot more sense, and I also learned about the intricate literary devices that Victor Hugo used.

My mom, sister and I watched the movie this past Monday and I picked up on lots of things that I completely missed the first time around, or didn't fully understand. I also realized just how much of the story is left out of the play/movie. It's understandable, though, since this book is so long and spans several decades. That being said, I think the play and the movie both do a really good job telling the most important parts of the story in a way that makes sense.

I read the entire book, boring parts and all, which is pretty impressive, if you ask me. I'm glad I read it because it's such a wonderful story of redemption and love. I'm glad to be finished with Les Mis after working on it for three months, and I'm looking forward to starting something new... a quick, lighthearted read this time!


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