Les Miserables: The Experience

February 20, 2010
Recently I’ve been reading Les Miserables.


I know, I know, it’s a classic, yes, and it’s a wonderful story and I really do appreciate the depth of it—but twelve. Hundred. Pages. Twelve hundred! Tiny type! Big pages! This is not rocket science! I think Victor Hugo desperately needed a new editor. No way that would have cut it on today’s market. Today you can only market a book over three hundred pages if you’re J. K. Rowling. Scene from today: Victor walks in with his ginormous manuscript that’s ripping his arms out of his socket, and his editor says something like:

“Look, Vic, it’s a good story, and I like the depth and everything, but there’s no plausible way to market a twelve hundred page book. Also….um….fifty pages on a bishop? Really?”

Let’s say that again: Fifty! Pages! On! The! Bishop! A bishop who, might I add, dies less than a hundred pages later! What! The! Fetch!

But it has some good stuff, too. I liked the entire description of Enjolras. And the scene where Eponine says, “And do you know, Monsieur Marius, I think I was just a little bit in love with you.”

All together now: Awwwwwww. Doesn’t that just stretch the heart strings?

No? Just me?

I would like to point out, though, that immediately after that line she…ahem…dies. So maybe his timing was a little off with that one….or! If we want to be optimistic, we could say that it is simply genius and strengthens the sweetness of that scene. Yeah. Let’s go with that.

Long and short of it is: I’m still reading. So I’ll let you know. But once you get past the bishop…and (I’m told) the Battle of Waterloo (I think he spends something like twenty pages describing that in full detail. Raise your hand if you’re looking forward to that! My hand is not up! My hand is so far stretched down my knuckles are dragging on the ground like a Neanderthal!)….

….at the risk of sounding like a geek….


(cue whispering here) (It’s really good.)


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Vagialena said...
May 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm
I hope you've finished reading so that you can appreciate the meaning of what Victor has to tell in 1200 pages.... !
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