‘Les Misérables’ by Victor Hugo (Emily’s Review)

If you haven’t heard much from my little helper Emily recently, it certainly has nothing to do with her losing interest in books.  If anything, she’s been reading more than ever – it’s just that not much of it fits in with the direction of my site.  However, a little while back, after her mother managed to get her interested in musicals (yeah, thanks for that…), she came home one day with a book she’d borrowed from the senior section of the school library, a brick of a novel if ever there was one.  To our surprise (and perhaps hers), she sailed through it in a couple of weeks – and here, in her own words, she’s decided to tell you all about it.  Allons-y 😉

Out of all the books I’ve read in my lifetime, which includes five attempts of Pride and Prejudice and all the Cassandra Clare books ever written, Les Misérables (translated by Norman Denny) is probably the hardest, but best one I’ve ever read. After watching the movie, and listening to the soundtrack a GAZILLION times, I decided I just HAD to read the original story, which is a formidable one thousand, two hundred and thirty-two pages. Even though you may find yourself learning every single detail of the Battle of Waterloo, it’s definitely a book you will not regret.

The story follows the life of Jean Valjean, (pronounced John, not Jean, as I realised) as he is released from prison and tries to put his crime behind him. But the past will come back to haunt him, and as “les amis de ABC” plan their revolution, he struggles with an identity crisis lasting 50 pages and breaking all four walls of reality.

And of course, nobody can forget the EPIC love triangle between Marius, Cosette and Éponine, which took “friendzoned” to a whole new level. The other love stories that are happening in the background and are just as tragic, such as Fantine’s helpless affection for Tholomyès, and Grantaire’s adoration of Enjolras, will leave you in tears. But you won’t want it any other way, (except maybe a couple less deaths of major characters), and Les Misérables will soon become your newest obsession.

Unless you read it in French, (like my book-snob dad), it’s actually not that hard of a read, and is extremely satisfying, as you’ll get every detail you wanted, and some you didn’t even know you wanted. Many people find “The Brick” intimidating, but it’s just one of those things you can’t miss, and that you’ll certainly learn a thing or two from.

So, overall, good book, great plot, and detail that leaves no question unanswered. Do you hear the people raving about Les Misérables? It is the book of the July Revolution that you will not want to miss!

Kids, eh?

12 thoughts on “‘Les Misérables’ by Victor Hugo (Emily’s Review)

    1. Emily, I also enjoyed Les Miserables. Like you Dad, I read it in French, but Hugo’s French isn’t difficult. The Waterloo section was loong.


      1. Nanosecond – Apparently, the version Emily read is, not abridged as such, but ever so slightly tampered with by the translator (which she was most indignant about!)


  1. That is a great review. Know how I know? Because it makes me want to read the book, and in fact I’m heading right over to my online bookseller to order it now…Now if you could just get her to review Cassandra Clare’s books, in case I want to get them too.


    1. Firebird – Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I’m not sure Cassandra Clare really fits in with what I do on the blog, but you never know – maybe Emily will have her own site one day 😉


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