Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
How can anyone give just three stars to a classic like Les Misérables? When it takes an avid reader almost six weeks to slog through it. Yes, I love the story! Who doesn’t? But the writing is not only old-world writing, it’s positively sloggy. For instance, there are four or five chapters that simply describe the sewer system in Paris and its history. Okay, Jean Valjean must walk through the sewer, but we don’t need chapters of description. (Tell us what time it is, don’t tell us how to build a watch.) There were also multiple chapters describing the street talk of the homeless youth of Paris. And – no – the reader didn’t need to know any of it. So while the story is excellent and the characters are fascinating, digging them out from amid the dross is a flat-out chore. Even for me … and I love reading the classics.
Now I’m ready to watch the new PBS Masterpiece Theater adaptation and I’m sure I will positively love it!