nous sommes les miserables

15 December 2014

In mid January, I picked up my big, thick, beautiful copy of Les Miserables, and on November 4, 2014 I turned the final page accomplishing what many have tried, but only few have succeeded at.

Yes, I read all 1,232 pages of my copy of Les Mis (even the boring history chapters were read thoroughly. Yep, I'm Super-Reader!), and I enjoyed every second of it.
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

This is a truly incredible book, and I honestly believe with everything in me that if every single person on this planet read this book, the world would be a better place. That might seem like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.

While the new movie version is superb (*fangirl jazz hands*) and stays true to the book most of the time, you really don't get the full experience. I watched the movie before reading the book, and I realized quickly as I was reading how the characters had way more depth than is portrayed on the screen.

You really get to see how Jean Valjean struggles with himself, especially towards the end, how terrible the Thenardiers are, and how Marius and Cosette's love-at-first-sight thing isn't quite so cheesy after all (it's quite adorable, actually). 
“The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables 
I'm not here to bash the movie. I understand that turning 1,232 pages of pure gorgeousness into a three hour long movie (with music and singing) is no easy task, and they did fabulous with what they had.

Again, this is a phenomenal book. I felt for the characters, I cried. I laughed. I could see it all vividly. (Try reading the revolution scenes on The Forth of July, the sound of the fireworks makes it seem so realistic!) 

This is a book that can't only be read once, there is far too much in it and you would be sure to miss something your first time through. I can't begin to tell you how many times I had to stop reading because I came across a quote, or a profound thought that I needed to read again and again. 

I shall definitely pick it up again someday. Maybe the French version this time! :)

Up next on Hannah's ventures through books that are over a thousand pages in length: War and Peace! (Um... no, just kidding... ;)


  1. I. Loved. This. Book.

    So. Much.

    It wrecked me and it made me whole. There were so many quotes that I couldn't keep track of them all, couldn't hold them all in my head. And I totally agree, reading the book makes the movie so much better. (I watched the movie first, too.) I loved the added depth, loved how it made everything more real and it validated how much I wanted to believe in the love story.
    However, I liked the movie ending better. And I get why Hugo ended it the way he did, totally, but I just prefer the movie ending where my heart is only broken into like six pieces instead of six million.

    Wow the fact that you read this and we have the same thoughts just makes me happier than a clam.

    1. This totally makes up for our differences on Gatsby ;)

  2. I don't think I could ever do this. >_< I am just not that good and strong enough of a reader! I am really all for short and sweet books and mostly YA. Hehe. I've watched bits and pieces of the musical and totally enjoyed it! My sister absolutely LOVES it.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. It's great! I bet you could definitely do it, girl!

  3. FELLOW BOOKISH THEATRE KIDS UNITE! :D Ha! You have no idea how happy I am to find your blog! I love discussing with bookish folks, but it's always a special treat when I find someone who shares my passion of theatre and books. :)

    And I'm actually reading this right now! I'm on page 200 (#fail), but I absolutely adore it. The writing is obviously wordy, but it is wordy in an extremely eloquent and beautiful manner, and I'm glad you felt the same way. <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    1. Your comment made me smile big! ^_^ Theater and books > everything else! So glad you stopped by, Zoe

  4. Wow, that is a huge accomplishment. Also, your copy is beautiful.

    1. Thank you :)
      Isn't it!? Penguin Hardback Classics make me beyond happy. Someday I shall own them all.