Mara Call's Reviews > Les Misérables

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
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's review
Aug 03, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: just-couldn-t-get-into-this
Read in June, 2012

It is pretty obvious from the get go that Victor Hugo meant to "say something" through out this entire book. Les Miserable is not merely a story about one "convict" turned "saint", named Jean Val Jean (a.k.a. Madeleine), but is also a verbose philosophical read.

Now that I have stated that, beware to all readers that they should choose to read this during the day time, as pre sleep reading will definitely put you there. I like his fine statements about morality, social ills (he would have been a democrat in America), and about true love and peace towards mankind. Hugo has a heart of gold and sees the world through eyes of reality and hopes for a better place. He even outlines how one can achieve a close to utopian society through the actions of M. Madeleine in how he transforms the city he moves into-creating jobs and helping as many as possible to achieve a better life. I also like how he makes an example of Javert, in pointing out that human kindness comes before the letter of the law. That laws, judging and the keepers of the law should have a basis of human kindness paired with common sense and wisdom.

The main thing that irks me about his writing is that he has a hard time getting to the point. He spends whole chapters describing what his characters look like and goes into such great detail that it borders on tedious. This is a book that is ideal for skim reading, as was that hideous "Dracula" tale. The whole story could be told in about 1/2 the length, even if he included all of his philosophical rants. Another major negative is that it is Les Miserable. It is the most depressing tale I have ever read. Needless to say, it did not help my mood any, so I had to shelve it. I would further suggest a strong dose of prozac as this book will put you into a deep depression, if you weren't already there.

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