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Yes I'm a glutton for punishment. I started listening to this last week before the PJC musical opened, in which I played Madame Thenardier. Partly because in some ways I'm OCD - I have to do everything I do all out, so I found I could not read anything other than something from this time period during that last month before we opened. So why not just revisit the book? And partly because our Javert, aka Walters, kept asking me esoteric questions I could not answer ( we've always competed for the prize of being the most well read Les Mis fan). So I found a short version to listen to. This one was only 12 hours long, and you'd be amazed how easy that goes by in the car or while doing chores at home, even when you are super busy in a production.
Honestly, I was really unhappy with this version, because although it was abridged, it has great ratings, so I thought I would get the meat of the story. I was surprised when huge important chunks were completely missing. There is really nothing about Fantine, the rescue of Cosette, the students, the build up to the battle, and there's quite a bit of material that didn't seem necessary.
HOWEVER, I have to confess this delivers AT THE END. I did not realize how much the final part of the musical comes directly from Hugo's pen, particularly the death scene which made me cry.
Bottom line: I only recommend this version for hardcore Les Mis fans who want a bit of a refresher and don't mind important chunks being left out. If you really don't know anything about the book, you'd probably be better off going with at least the 30 hour abridged version. Absolutely do not go for the 2 hour version. If you've only seen the musical, and you want to dig a little deeper, this version will be fine but you'll be sad about the lack of Fantine's story and little Cosette, and you won't gain an understanding about the student rebellion, although Eponine and Gavroche's deaths are exquisite.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Les Miserables?
There was no unabridged version available when I downloaded this. On re-listening, I realize that despite the fact the first volume of the novel is titled “Fantine” - read out at the start of the audiobook, her story is more-or-less cut,and in a choppy and unsatisfactory manner. She is mentioned about twice, then we see her as a dying woman as Jean Valjean promises to take care of Cosette. I think Victor Hugo was sympathetic to the fate of “les grisettes“, and we should hear about it, so I wouldn’t recommend this version.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful