Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Les Misérables

First and foremost, I want to urge everyone to vote on this very important election day!  David and I just went over his lunch break and happily fulfilled our civic duty.  If you know me very well at all, you'll know that I refuse to discuss politics with most people...I can't really explain how I choose the few I am willing to talk about them with, because they can be on the same end of the swinging pendulum as me or not.

However, whether you are voting for the same guy as me or not, it makes me no difference.  One thing I believe in, emphatically, is how important it is to VOTE.  This is something that people in other parts of the world fantasize and even die for...so, be thankful that we live in a country where you have that very basic privilege (notice I did not say 'right'...though, I wish is were).

I've voted in every presidential election since I became of age and I've voted for winners and losers, everyone does.  What's important is getting out there and doing your part. Here's my sticker that I will proudly wear for the rest of today...

Moving along to what I intended to blog about yesterday...I finally, finally, finally finished Les Misérables!  Yay!  I don't really remember when I started this Victor Hugo work, maybe 6 months ago.  I will say, it's a doozy.  I decided to read it on my iPad and I initially started it during my gym workouts.  I always like to have a gym book...this is a book I read only at the gym, usually just on the stair-stepper or treadmill.  And most of the time, these books I read on my iPad so that I can adjust the text size.  I need a larger print when I movin' around, ya know!

Well, last Sunday I decided that I needed to just finish it; get it over with.  Sometimes I get these last-minute push it feelings when I'm reading a big book.  I got the same feeling right before I finished Anna Karenina.  And I'll say the same thing that I said about it, this book is almost like a fine wine...it needs to be sipped slowly and appreciated.

This story essentially follows the life of Jean Valjean from young adulthood through the rest of his life.  One thing I loved while reading this book was that no one spoiled it for me.  Any time I told someone that I was reading it, I told them to not tell me how it ends.  David said something like, doesn't Jean go to the guillotine for someone?  That was the only semi-spoiler I got...and David was wrong.  That does NOT happen, so no worries there.

The book also follows the lives of Fantine (a character introduced to Jean a few hundred pages into the novel) and Cosette (Fantine's daughter).  The lives of these two young women dramatically impact Jean throughout his life; they give him purpose.

This book was first published in 1862 and has been transformed onto the stage and film, in different adaptions of the book.  Speaking of adaptions, while I loved this book and Jean Valjean's character...if I EVER read this book again, I will be reading the abridged version.  Hugo is rather big on writing tangents and writing these looooong descriptions that involve stage-setting for the next section.  There is a 20-50 page splurge on the specifics of the Battle of Waterloo and how it affects some of the characters...I would have been satisfied with a couple paragraphs' worth of background information.  There are also similar tangents on items like slang (in language) and the sewer system (of Paris, specifically).

Most people know this is a horrendously long book...just over 2,400 pages on my iPad with the text size I wanted.  Needless to say, I agree with the sentiment that Hugo probably could have used an editor that was more apt to trim.  However, the story of these characters is so wonderful and I loved how the book ends.  Seriously, stupendous.

Now, I'm ready for Christmas!  And here's the reason why I decided to tackle this beast as my next classic!  I am so, so, so excited for this (musical) movie!! 

And here's a bonus, the first extended look at how it was filmed!  And let me just say, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway look like their acting/singing of Jean and Fantine, respectively, will be UH-mazing!

1 comment:

  1. I cannot wait for the movie...but I will probably pass on the book.



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