So I read Les Miserables

Pretty Much.

These last 3 days, I've been doing a lot of page-turning. I have read the colossal thing. It is read. I have done it. It is done.

I'm pretty proud of my Goodreads review, so I'm pasting it here for you.

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My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

I'VE READ IT.

Iiiii've read it!!!!! :-D

Goodness, how to review this! Like many, half of it bored me to death (not literally, although that would be fitting, considering how most of the characters end.) Like many, I thought a lot of it was very beautiful. It's epic. It's far to miserable and long, thus the four stars, but REALLY. Wow. It's a CLASSIC. I'm glad I've read it. :-D

Let me introduce the characters to you.

The Bishop: Kind Man. We know everything about him, even the sizes of all the objects in his bedroom.
Jean Valjean: Other Kind Man. One could call him the main character. Definitely acted by Hugh Jackman. Jean Valjean is SPLENDID. (Weird name to choose though, if that's your last time. That's like me being called Naomi Valnaomi.) (Spoiler: He dies, duh.)
Fantine: Poor Girl. I learnt that she was blonde. I was SO angry at Victor Hugo for making her wait for Cosette and then die before seeing her. This book is UNFAIR. I TELL YOU. UNFAIR. (Spoiler: She dies, duh.)
Javert: The tiger who always pops up. (Spoiler: He dies, duh.)
Eponine: A Rough and 'yet Beautiful' girl who I FEEL SORRY FOR. There wasn't enough Eponine. I have a special bond with Eponine. (Spoiler: She dies, duh.)
Enjolras: Probably my favourite character. Loves the colour red. Likes shouting. He's always shouting. But yet we all love him because he's beautiful and blonde and tall and angelically handsome. *Swoon* (Spoiler: He dies, duh.)
Gavroche: I LOVE THIS BOYYYY. The only miserable and happy person in this book. Obsessed with guns. (Spoiler: He dies, duh.)
Marius: Black hair. Dreamy. He only thinks about Cosette, and that makes him look like a bit of an idiot sometimes. (Spoiler: He almost dies, duh.)
Cosette: Completely adorable and lark-y and sweet. A Very Good Girl. (Spoiler: She DOESN'T die! Like, at ALL! *goes away singing 'wonders of wonders, miracles or miracles.*)

Some random things I liked:

1. The way the characters were described. I LOVED Eponine's description. I'd read it before, on Pinterest, and that's what made me decide to read the book. "But yet, despite all that, she was beautiful." Also, Cosette. She SO looks like she does in the movie. Amanda Seyfried is perfect. Also ENJOOOOOLRAAAAAS. Let me do a faint.
2. WHY DID FANTINE NOT SEE COSETTE BEFORE SHE DIED. I AM FURIOUS FOR EVER.
3. The barricade boys are purty cool.
4. EPONINE. I LOVE HER. The way she bites her lip. (Reminds me of a certain someone who knows who she is.) AND SHE DIED FAAAR TO QUICKLY. I wanted more Eponine and less Cosette sometimes. Although, don't get me wrong I like Cosette.
5. Cosette and Marius were pretty darn cute. Yes it's feverishly soppy, and Betram Wooster would vomit, but it's SO adorable. WHEN THEY ARE MARRIED AND SO HAPPY LIKE THEY CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE IT. Just, awwww.

Some random things that annoyed me to death:

1. I DO. NOT. want to read 20 chapters about the Battle of Waterloo. (Though it was cool recognising the names of the places, because I live in Waterloo, so yeah.) IT'S DEATHLY BORING.
2. I am NOT interested in school essays about Paris.
3. NO I DON'T WANT TO READ THAT LETTER ABOUT THE BISHOP'S HOUSE. I don't want 'a better idea'.
4. I mocked Victor Hugo whenever he said stuff like, 'To give you a better idea...' (I went: NOOO I GET IT ALLREADY.) and (he said this often): 'As it has been mentioned before...' (I went: NO DON'T TELL ME AGAAAAIN.)
5. Seriously. I skimmed SOOOO eternally much. I have spent these last days clicking on 'next page' on my kindle. It's all I've done, basically. (Sliiight exaggeration there, but still.) THIS BOOK IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TOO LONG. *sweats* I'm relieved I'm finished, I must say.
6. Also, it's FAR to miserable. Everyone dies, basically, and everyone's hungry. I think Victor Huge decided to kill everyone off because it was the only way to make them not miserable. Or maybe he had the same problem as Diana Barry - he didn't know what to do with them.

I will finish off with a quote from the book, which kind of describes my negative points:

"... he had nothing to he eat; he remembered that he had not dined on the preceding day either: this was becoming tiresome. "

It was epic though. And it had it's beautiful parts.

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25 comments:

  1. I was not expecting this, I must admit. :-) I want to read this book someday, but one thing puts me off the most - I know there are bad parts in the story, and I don't want to read them, so how do I get around that? Get my Mother to glue the pages with bad stuff together? :-P That's the main reason I haven't read the book. But I love the story, and the musical. Also, I'm going to go see it live this year!! We have a cast of it travelling around Australia, and they're going to be near me soon, and I'm going to go on the 30th of December (3 days after my birthday)! :-D I'm SO stoked!
    ~Miss Meg March

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  2. Miss Meg March, It isn't half as graphic as the movie - the icky stuff isn't described deeply or anything. The main reason *I* would think one put off reading this book is the LENGTH, haha.
    AND THAT'S SO EXCITING. LUCKY GAL. Your birthday is two days after Christmas?! Oh, I'll try to remember that and wish you a happy birthday in the comments or something. :-D

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  3. Oh mygoodness! I'm seeing Les Mis too!! XD Tis brilliant!
    I just love the musical so I will challenge myself to read hte book before hand.. eeeeeeek! xD
    Great review as ever dearie. Urgh Maths homework calls. Byee! *Waves*

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  4. I loved you review!
    Especially the introduction of characters.
    I also have a theory that Hugo just didn't know to do with his characters - in more of his books he invents this huge list of characters who are all somehow connected - and then kills most of them off again!

    Les Mis is just one of those books you have to read for the sake of it. I got through it a few years ago just to find out that I had read an abbreviated version - so now I have to read it again, this time in full length.

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  5. I love this book and movie and musical to bits. I need to read it again!

    Loved your review. :)

    ~Eva

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  6. Congratulations--you finished it!!! That's awesome! I know what a loooooooooong book it is, so really, you should be proud of yourself :)

    I tried reading it this summer and I actually really liked what I read (even the stuff about the Bishop's house--it kind of reminded me of "Death Comes For the Archbishop" and that made me happy). But I had to stop when I started writing my novel, because really, like I said to Heidi: "In this world, Jeeves, you can do one of two things. You can write a novel, or you can read the unabridged version of Les Miserables. You cannot do both." ;) I want to read it someday, but right now I think my writing is MORE than enough to keep me busy and I don't want two big, huge, monumental projects going on at once.

    I know, it's so sad--ALL the characters die, basically. I think Victor Hugo did that because he was trying to "wake up" his audience, which would've been middle- and upper-class French people; he wanted to tell them, "Look, THIS is what's happening all around you--poor people are dying like flies and YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT." If all or most of the characters had survived, the book wouldn't have had the same effect.

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  7. I'm reading it, too! I'm determined to read every single boring description, so I'm only reading 15 pages a day. I agree it's a tad on the depressing side, but terribly impressive with the way he weaves all these characters' stories together. Unfortunately I knew most of the spoilers before starting because I listened to the music practically every day and read song titles like "Javert's Suicide" or "Fantine's Death". :D

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  8. Wow! So proud of you for reading *and* finishing it!!! :D

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  9. YOU READ IT. IT IS READ. YAAAAYYY.

    (And I am having difficulty believing that you read the whole dern thing in three days. That's just, not even funny. Do you KNOW how long it takes me to read an 830 page book? Huh?????)

    That's a great quote to close off your review with. ;-P Haha.

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  10. WOW! YOU READ LES MIS!!! You must feel rather proud of yourself :P

    I haven't read it but Jessica was reading it this summer and I was Just Amazed at how thick it is with Such Small Print! I liked your review :)

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  11. Evie, Maybe you and Miss Meg will be attending the SAME ONE. That would be crazy. :-D
    Thanks!

    Rose, Haha, I know - Like Diana Barry. :-D
    Exactly. Now I have read it I can TELL people, 'I've read Les Mis.' :-) Haha, that's so funny about you reading the abbreviated version. And THAT's even long! :-)

    Eva, I'm not as huge of a fan as you and some (ahem - many) people, but I really did appreciate this book. Such beautiful writing.

    Jessica, That QUOTE. That Quote from Wodehouse is PERFECT. :-) And so true! I understand why you dropped it. Haha. :-D
    Yeah, I know what Victor Hugo was trying to show. But still, I think the dying is tiresome. :-P

    Meredith, you're determined to read every boring description?!!!! Wow, girl, good LUCK. You're going to need it, heehee. :-)
    Yeah. And the title gives it away - it's pretty miserable throughout.

    Chloe, Aww thanks!! I'm pretty proud of meself too. :-)

    EMMA, (I don't know why I typed your name in capital letters, but consider it a compliment) - well, I could have NEVER read it in 3 days had I not skimmed the boring bits. So console yourself with that. (Haha, though. I will never tire from your reactions.)
    I know. That's quote. ("He" is Gavroche, btw. In the quote.)

    ~ Naomi

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  12. Oh, and Emma, what's that movie of your new Reese Witherspoon profile picture? Did you see something new?

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  13. Rosie, Yes, I am INDEED. Very proud. :-) I KNOW IT'S MILES LONG.

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  14. Good night...EVERYONE DIED IN THE BOOK? JEEZUMS, now I'm conflicted to even read this book (though I keep seeing it in the library and GOOD LORD is it big) but I'm gonna read it one of these days to see how long it is. But I am glad that Cosette stayed alive and I've never seen the movie, just bits and peices of it, but I do love the soundtrack of the movie.

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  15. Oh, I was thinking it was Valjean -- in the quote. I love Gavroche. :-D

    I DO consider it a compliment to have my name typed in capitals.

    The Reese Witherspoon picture is from Walk the Line, which I may or may not have mentioned to you before. I've seen it twice, for the first time last winter, so it's not something new.

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  16. congratulations! yup, it is an amazing and deathly boring book but its pretty cool to be able to say "I've read it!". yeeeaaa, i skipped and skimmed lots too, but i did read the little book on the sewers! Eponine is THE best and in my opinion Combeferre and Courfeyrac are cooler than enjo. *ducks the old boots and tomatoes* he he

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  17. Fantastic review! I've been meanint to read this book for a LONG time, but it's jsut so damn big! It's scary! I shall leave it for when I' on vacations. Lol... I don't like the movie. I barely stand musicals, and this one... ehh, not for me, lol, but the book I will read.

    Vane at Books With Chemisty

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  18. Congratulations on reading Les Mis. I am nearly done myself. (I've been forcing myself to read seven pages a day for two months, some days the stuff is good and I end up reading 169 pages, and some days he is describing Waterloo or Parisian slang and I read 7. [I've read history Mr. Hugo! I know about Waterloo! You only needed the last two pages of that eternity of chapters to get the vital story information! And I'm not interested in a treatise on outdated French slang either, sorry.])

    Honestly, I've found it a very good book so far. The writing is fine, not spectacular, but fine. It could have been about two thirds the length (or half. Or one fourth) and been better yet.

    One thing I could do with less of is...well everything, really, but if I had to pick one thing, I'd wish he didn't describe every single unimportant character in excruciating detail, to the tiniest, most miniscule facts about their backgrounds. He does this with just about everyone and so I have a hard time recognizing characters when they reappear. Every time a new character is introduced I think,
    "Okay, is this one important, or is he just a random boot cleaner who doesn't make another appearance ever?" (Actually, he probably will, everybody knows everybody in this book. Every single person is attached to everyone else in some fashion or another. The irony is rather heavy handed.)

    But over all, I like it, even though he has some ridiculous notions of love, he does have some beautiful things to say, and some very precious points to make.
    For instance:
    "The explorer had had the dream of a genius; in that Titanic elephant, armed, prodigious, with trunk uplifted, bearing its tower and scattering at all sides it's merry and vivifying waters, he wished to incarnate the people. God had done a grander thing with it, he had lodged a child in it."

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  19. Oh, so glad you've read it Naomi! Have you seen the movie? I love it soo much. I'm still working on the book....I really want to see the musical live one day!

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  20. Oh bother, Spellcheck has played a dreadful trick on me. That quote was supposed to say "emperor" not "explorer."

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  21. YES. YES, YES.

    I'll admit, I only give this book *cough* 2.5 out of 5 stars *ahem*, but it certainly does have its merits;) That review is sublime. You SHOULD be proud;)

    "Some random things that annoyed me to death" was especially perfect. JUST. WHY. I think Hugo sort of tried to fuse a history textbook with a compelling novel, and it just Did Not Work. Poor guy.

    (I have to admit something. In the book, I preferred Marius to Enjolras. I wrote an entire post kind of defending Marius, actually…but anyway.)

    Eponine's death is so saaaaaaaad!! But I thought it was really well-written: "You know, M'sieur Marius, I think I was a little bit in love with you." GAAAHHH!!!!!

    This was immensely entertaining! Absotivelyposolutely;)

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  22. Yes!!!!!! You finally read it!!!!!!
    ENJOLRAS. :-):-):-)

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  23. Let me just say you have more fortitude than I do! I've had this book on my too read list forever but every time I consider starting just the size of the novel daunts me. Good for you for finishing!

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  24. Hahahaha! I read this one summer between college semesters, in the break room at Walmart, where the cleaning man routinely told me he loved classics too -- especially Batman and Superman -- and then went cackling away. I liked trying to figure out if one of Thenardier's colleagues was a vampire or not, though I don't remember his name anymore. Also, I skimmed all the Waterloo stuff AND the sixty-four chapters on the history of the sewer systems of Paris. I am not ashamed.

    Anyway, this thing you wrote was yup, pretty much my reaction too, and it made me laugh aloud:

    4. I mocked Victor Hugo whenever he said stuff like, 'To give you a better idea...' (I went: NOOO I GET IT ALLREADY.) and (he said this often): 'As it has been mentioned before...' (I went: NO DON'T TELL ME AGAAAAIN.)

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  25. The quote you ended with literally made me laugh out loud (and then I had to explain what was going on to my little brother but he didn't get it... *sigh*)!

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