It was only six (yes, six) years ago when I started Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, this 1862 classic about Jean Valjean, the noble peasant and prisoner, and the Parisian underworld ripe for another level of French unrest. Add to that the prostitute who breaks your heart, Fantine, her little Cosette, the greedy and scheming Thénardier husband and wife duo, and the relentless detective Javert, who, quite frankly, needs to get a life.
Now, this is a progress report, not exactly a review. Sure, it’s taken me six years to get a third of the way through the novel, but it simply wouldn’t do for me to read an abridged edition. I personally don’t want someone else determining what segments of a classic I need to read, and what big chunks they can cut out on my behalf. I want to experience and come to conclusions over the whole reading for myself, thank you.
But, frankly, since I started book blogging on a schedule, and with my own books I have to write and publish and whatnot, taking time out to work through an entire epic nearly 1,500 (dense) pages long, all at once, would be quite the feat for someone who isn’t a speed reader, as much as she loves books.
And I do love this book so far, and have found something more to love about it every time I’ve picked it up, off and on, over the past few years. It’s the kind of read to get your intellect, reasoning, and convictions involved, as well as your emotions, and I can only imagine what sharp, thought-provoking, stirring nuggets I might have missed by reading a clipped-up version.
No offense meant to anyone who’s read an abridged Les Mis. The 2012 musical adaptation from Universal Pictures is one of my all-time favorite films and is, of course, an abridged version of the story. So, I get it. 🙂
Still, I didn’t want to go any longer without saying something about this extended reading adventure of mine. Perhaps, now that I’ve ventured to post about it on my blog, I’ll find a way to work in the rest of this remarkable novel before another six years go by.
Seriously, I don’t think it’ll take that long.