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Publisher's Summary

Joss Ackland, Roger Allam, and Leslie Phillips star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel.
When poverty drives Jean Valjean to steal a loaf of bread from a baker’s window, it is an action that will haunt him for the rest of his life. A citizen of postrevolutionary France, he is sentenced to nineteen years’ hard labour. On his release his fortunes change, and he becomes a respectable businessman and member of society - and yet his past continues to dog him in the form of the sadistic Inspector Javert, who seems determined to pursue Valjean to the grave.
A student uprising is gaining momentum in Paris, and barricades are being built around the city. Valjean’s adopted daughter, Cosette, has fallen in love with the young revolutionary Marius, and the lives of all three are in peril unless they can flee to safety.
Some of the most significant moments in nineteenth century history form the backdrop for Victor Hugo’s powerful story, in which love and heroism march in the face of poverty and social injustice.
©2015 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2015 BBC Worldwide Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By DARBY KERN on 08-02-16

Possibly the best audio version of Les Miserables?

Where does Les Miserables rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This BBC production is probably the best audio dramatization of Victor Hugo's novel. I have Orson Welles Mercury Theater version, which I love, the Focus On The Family version starring Brian Blessed, which is also quite good, but this adaptation takes more time, includes much more of Hugo's text and captures the characters best.

What did you like best about this story?

Redemption. Redemption is a beautiful thing, and though it is carelessly presented in the story (a man, even a priest, cannot redeem a soul- only God can do that), the change in Valjean's heart is staggering to behold. The story is fiction, but it has played out many times in reality. Jesus Christ changes lives. Valjean is an excellent model for that theme.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Grantaire, one of the students and Marius' friend. I believe he was the one that that slept through the "uprising," then stands with his friends as the police arrive.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The story is a roller coaster of emotions, that's why it adapted to musical theater so well. It's easy to feel Valjean's anger at the beginning, Fantine's despair, Thernardier's treachery, Marius and Cosette's intense (but virtuous) love, Javert's misguided passion. It's all right there.

Any additional comments?

I typically listen to my Audible books/dramas on my iPod while I am walking, driving, exercising. This experience did not feel like it was nearly six hours long. It was told at a comfortable pace and never seemed to drag. It may be because I'm familiar with the source material, but I think it was probably because it was so well done. As a writer of audio dramas I always thought I might have a chance to crack this nut. Now I don't need to! The BBC did a terrific job, which I will listen to again and again.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michole on 07-30-16

One of the Absolute Best!!

I normally don't write reviews about anything. I usually keep my personal opinion to myself. However, I was completely blown away by this audio dramatization. The actors are outstanding, bringing the story to life. I truly enjoyed the experience and will be listening again in the near future.
You will not be disappointed!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Nigel on 03-03-18

C’est magnifique!

I was apprehensive regarding ‘Les Miserables’ as my French is abysmal and I don’t like singing in stories. Okay to address the first point, nope you don’t need to know le Francais (or should that be la Francais?). Secondly my expectation has clearly been clouded by the West End musical and film adaptation. Thankfully there’s no singing!

Moving on from my ignorance, what you do get is an engaging story lead by the marvellous Roger Allam who plays the lead role of Jean Valjean, and the wonderful tones of Joss Ackland who narrates.

A really enjoyable dramatisation.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Markie on 11-22-15

Radio doing what it does best

A superb dramatisation making full use of the sound medium fully rounded characterisations great music

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dean Spilias on 05-14-17

Brilliant Adaptation!

Clearly adapted by someone who knows and loves the book of Les Miserables, there are many interesting points which do not usually make it into movies or musicals! The voices are all perfect and the sound effects bring the whole to life! Highly recommended!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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