In honor of the upcoming film adaptation being released, and due to my absurdly small knowledge of it, I have undertaken the novel (tome) from which it is based. Yes my little fans I am reading Les Miserables! As you can imagine it is a very steep endeavor, but I am quite excited!
I must be adamant in this: every review I researched was positive, even from those who never read classics. Let me describe, in my little piece of understanding, the general (and I use the term as loosely as possible) idea. I would say story, however, there are many in this single compiling so I address it as I have, an idea. Les Mis is a telling of the lives of many individuals who, for the greater good, are forced into many disagreeable circumstances. It points out the humanity of man and the way we seek to exist. A fine lady forced into prostitution, a thief attempting to better himself falls inevitably short, a child born into hardship is raised to life. There are quite a few different stories all of which are linked to one another. Showing how our lifestyles as well as our actions effect not only ourselves but flow out to encompass many others.
This compilation of stories, this novel, this tome, is a classic. A classic which has been translated from french and often abridged. Now, I have great respect for those who have worked so hard to translate this classic and also retain the spirit of original intent. If you so decide to trek through the greatness Les Mis with me I implore you to consider the translation you choose with care. Some are as true to the text as can be, meaning a bit more difficult to read , while others are more plain. Personally I have the Norman Denny version to read. I have found his reasoning for his translation to be well thought out and sensible.
This book, if it can so be called without loosing its value, is divided and subdivided. It has stories, chapters, and sub-chapters leading it to have very brief segments. They do, no matter the translation, take a bit of thought to read through. You may have to re-read a portion or eight to fully grasp the context. It is such in any classic I assure you.
So the big question, will I review and rate this book? Well… I do hope to. I see it as being very difficult to review such a complex novel fairly and give it a rating based on that. But I will try. I always encourage you to read, especially classics. So, take the next month or so and pick one up!