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... ;)