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Buddy Reads: Current & Upcoming > A Weighty Tome: 2019 Challenge: Les Miserables

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message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30835 comments Mod



Over in the Cleaning out the closet challenge in 2018 we started talking...

Your know those MASSIVE books that you want to read, but everything else gets in the way?

Well we decided that perhaps the best way to tackle this problem is to pick a book and read it together over a year.

2019 will be the year of Les Misérables!

Anyone is welcome to join. This is essentially an extremely long buddy read :)

There are five volumes within Les Misérables so we will be reading one volume every two months and we will also have two break months ; meaning the read will last the whole year.


To participate, all you need to do is come on over and give your thoughts for the section you are reading. Please make it clear which section you are referring to, and if you are reading ahead of the schedule, put your comments in spoiler tags.

1400+ pages? Meh! We got this! Let the Battle Begin!






message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30835 comments Mod
READING SCHEDULE

January & February 2019

Volume I - Fantine
8 books

March & April 2019
Volume II - Cosette
8 books

==BREAK / CATCH UP MONTH==

June & July 2019
Volume III - Marius
8 books

August & September 2019
Volume IV - set in Paris, in rue Plumet and rue Saint-Denis
15 books

==BREAK / CATCH UP MONTH==

November & December 2019

Volume V - Jean Valjean
9 books


message 3: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30835 comments Mod
Where to get the book at no cost

Ebook and Kindle versions from Project Gutenberg here

English and French audiobook versions from Librivox here


message 4: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30835 comments Mod
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message 5: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30835 comments Mod
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message 6: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14256 comments Mod
Ok, I'm in! Need to work out which version I am going to start with and *gulp* get going in January


message 7: by Keely (new)

Keely (kiwifruit192) | 509 comments I’m in. I’ve had the kindle version for years so I’ll be reading that.


message 8: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 476 comments Count me in!


message 9: by Tahmina (new)

Tahmina (tpopal) I'm In. been meaning to read this for a while.


message 10: by Eldarwen (last edited Dec 05, 2018 10:00AM) (new)

Eldarwen | 9752 comments Mod
Obviously I'm in ;-)

Going to read it in the original French. Aaaand thanks for finding French audiobook versions! I might give that a go for potentially dragging passages if the narrator doesn't suck.

Eta: It's a huge paperback, doorstop size. Really. It's a pile all by itself.


message 11: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14256 comments Mod
:) And I think with the Librivox audio E, most of the time they have different volunteers for the different parts so even if a narrator isn't good, you could go back to it for the next part and a new person!


message 12: by Eldarwen (new)

Eldarwen | 9752 comments Mod
That's definitely a plus!


message 13: by Alison (new)

Alison (a1ison74) | 2506 comments I'm kind of tempted to join but I failed miserably with the Count of Monte Cristo. I'm not very good with big books. I tend to wander off and read something else then never come back.


message 14: by Roz (new)

Roz K (irasobrietate) | 211 comments Ooh I like this idea. I feel like I remember seeing somewhere that the book has 365 chapters, so you could read a chapter a day throughout the year if you wanted.

I've got a physical copy in English that I've been putting off reading but I'm also tempted to find a French copy to practice with. Thus far my French reading has consisted of translations of books I'm super familiar with (the Harry Potter series and the Anne of Green Gables series) so reading more fiction originally written in French would probably be good. Not sure if the brick is a good start though :P


message 15: by Erica (new)

Erica (thebrokenspine) | 22 comments I do believe I'm in on this. It's a manageable way to read this tome; especially since it's 365 chapters. Hmm a chapter a day.


message 16: by Eldarwen (new)

Eldarwen | 9752 comments Mod
Haha, I agree that Les Mis might not be the best way to go if you want to practise French ;-)
From glimpses into it, it isn't the easiest book to read!

Monte Cristo however goes down much easier in French - if you wanted to go with a classic.


message 17: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14256 comments Mod
Welcome!
I hope we can all help each other get through this next year - and Reads are always more enjoyable with people to discuss them with 😉


message 18: by Alissa (new)

Alissa (read-y-picker) | 28 comments Oh man English or French So tough to decide! Definitely in for the challenge though 💪💪


message 19: by Rowena (new)

Rowena Tylden-Pattenson | 22 comments I'm here for this :)


message 20: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 1132 comments I think I can do this. I started the book years ago and read maybe 300 pages. I think I got distracted with an HP re-read and never picked it up again. But I've been wanting pick it up again.


message 21: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (cloaknquill) | 22 comments I am definitely in!
Read this for a Victor Hugo seminar & my senior thesis last year.
Have wanted to reread this for a while now.


message 22: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14256 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "I am definitely in!
Read this for a Victor Hugo seminar & my senior thesis last year.
Have wanted to reread this for a while now."


wow. You can help us all appreciate this then for sure :)


message 23: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (cloaknquill) | 22 comments Karen ⊰✿ wrote: "Elizabeth wrote: "I am definitely in!
Read this for a Victor Hugo seminar & my senior thesis last year.
Have wanted to reread this for a while now."

wow. You can help us all appreciate this then f..."


Definitely! It is an intimidating book, but completely worth it.


message 24: by Eldarwen (new)

Eldarwen | 9752 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "I am definitely in!
Read this for a Victor Hugo seminar & my senior thesis last year.
Have wanted to reread this for a while now."


Cool! :-)


message 25: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  (watchashread) | 3 comments I'm in, what a good way to get through Les Mis. I've wanted to read it for a long time but was so intimidated.


message 26: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14256 comments Mod
Here we are in January! :o

I downloaded the audio from the library today and I'll start it as soon as I've finished my current audio


message 27: by Alison (new)

Alison (a1ison74) | 2506 comments I don't suppose I could just watch the BBCs new adaptation :D

I actually watched the first episode on Sunday and it's very good. It is actually making me want to read the book.


message 28: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14256 comments Mod
Teehee
Well Alison I did notice a BBC dramatisation on audio which is only five hours but I figured that may be cheating LOL 😂


message 29: by Eldarwen (new)

Eldarwen | 9752 comments Mod
I'm having guests over the new year so I won't be starting on time - obviously, since it's late in the evening on the 1st already haha.

I'll hopefully give the first chapter a go this weekend, maybe a little more than that. Will have to see.


message 30: by Alison (new)

Alison (a1ison74) | 2506 comments As there is a new adaptation on TV it looks as if my local supermarket is selling the book for £4 which is a bit of a bargain. I'm tempted to go with the audio from the library though but I'm not sure I'll manage to hold on to it for a year.

It does seem to be available every time I check though. Can't imagine why...


message 31: by Sophie, The other one (new)

Sophie (drsophie) | 3368 comments Mod
Since this is already on my tbr shelf (and my kindle) it seems like a waste not to join in!

Holding on to a library copy for a year might be ambitious


message 32: by Brandy (new)

Brandy (fantasyfan101) | 167 comments This is a great way to get through a chuck steer like this! I’m in. I’ll have to dig out my copy today.


message 33: by Judy (new)

Judy | 1944 comments I'll join you guys as well! Seems like good motivation to finally get around to this... I've been struggling for a few days to get a decent version in German cause finding the only translation I want to read in an actual book somewhere to buy is... not as easy as it should be.


message 34: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 262 comments This is one of my favourite books. I don't want to commit to a re-read as I am already tackling War and Peace but I will definitely be checking in to see what everyone thinks.


message 35: by Marie (UK) (new)

Marie (UK) (mazza1) | 4832 comments i quite fancy this


message 36: by Kate (new)

Kate | 167 comments I think a year long read of Les Misérables is a great idea. I have an ebook version and can begin immediately. It is a re-read for me, but I last read it many years ago.


message 37: by Marie (UK) (new)

Marie (UK) (mazza1) | 4832 comments I have ordered from bookshop hopefully collect tomorrow


message 38: by Sara (new)

Sara | 15 comments I am going to try to read this as well....looking forward to it!


message 39: by Keely (new)

Keely (kiwifruit192) | 509 comments I've been taking the a chapter a day approach (as someone said there was 365 chapters so a chapter a day would still mean that I finish it by the end of the year) for the moment as I've got a couple of other books I am trying to finish as soon as possible.
The chapters have been quite short so far and not much has happened in the few 3 chapters (I haven't read todays chapter yet).

I will probably start reading more than a chapter a day when I get a bit more time, but I've made a start.


message 40: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 1132 comments I'll start reading later this month, once I finish a few other books. I also bought myself a nice Waterstones hardback edition for motivation, it was on the expensive side, but I bought it when Christmas shopping and decided I wanted to buy myself a present instead ;)


message 41: by Marie (UK) (last edited Jan 05, 2019 03:16AM) (new)

Marie (UK) (mazza1) | 4832 comments My copy which i splurged on today Les Misérables by Victor Hugo alongside War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy So two big books this year lol. I am not sure I want to take a year over it but will certainly take a couple of months

SECTION 1 BOOK 1
I have read the introduction - my edition is translated by Norman Denny - his translation is generally thought to be good and he says he has tried to stick to the tenor of the narrative rather than to absolute literal translation. It is therefore classed as abridged - although he says he has jettisoned description rather than narrative.

Each chapter is split into several parts, it is heavy dense prose and I am committing only to 50 pages at a time - maybe daily, maybe not. This first 50 concentrates on the Bishop of Dignes - also known as Monseigneur Bienvenue. He seems to be a thoroughly good egg, modest, of the people and humanitarian but maybe he is not quite as saintly as he seems. He is a thinker rather than a doer and his actions don't always reflect how he thinks. I really enjoyed reading the part about his conversation with G. He raised lots of questions about the rulers and the revolutionaries particularly the idea that man is ruled by ignorance - a fact that remains to some extent today where we take only those facts we are allowed to know or sometimes, want to know and act upon them.

It is a bit early to comment on storyline - we haven't really got any
or narrative power it is still smouldering, but i definitely want to read on, Hugo is wordy but very interesting so far


message 42: by Marie (UK) (new)

Marie (UK) (mazza1) | 4832 comments Victoria wrote: "I'll start reading later this month, once I finish a few other books. I also bought myself a nice Waterstones hardback edition for motivation, it was on the expensive side, but I bought it when Chr..."

is it the same as mine


message 43: by Eldarwen (new)

Eldarwen | 9752 comments Mod
Ah yes, those hardcover editions are quite pretty!! And make me want to get them all haha. Even Dickens, which I hate ;-)

What I was wondering about the translations: did they keep all the original French names? Since sometimes those are translated as well. Marie, you mentioned Monseigneur Bienvenu, so I assume they did?


message 44: by Sophie, The other one (new)

Sophie (drsophie) | 3368 comments Mod
You're making me feel like my kindle copy isn't showing the right respect!

I've got a different translation. So far they are using Monseigneur Bienvenu but the 1st time they used it they put Welcome in brackets after to make sure anyone with no French knew the relevance.


message 45: by Cat (new)

Cat (cat_uk) | 6606 comments Mod
Sophie wrote: "You're making me feel like my kindle copy isn't showing the right respect!"

But Sophie, your wrists will thank you for it!


message 46: by Marie (UK) (new)

Marie (UK) (mazza1) | 4832 comments Sophie wrote: "You're making me feel like my kindle copy isn't showing the right respect!

I've got a different translation. So far they are using Monseigneur Bienvenu but the 1st time they used it they put Welco..."


Eldarwen wrote: "Ah yes, those hardcover editions are quite pretty!! And make me want to get them all haha. Even Dickens, which I hate ;-)


they are using the original french names but they did also explain the meaning of Bienvenue.



message 47: by Marie (UK) (new)

Marie (UK) (mazza1) | 4832 comments Sophie wrote: "You're making me feel like my kindle copy isn't showing the right respect!

I've got a different translation. So far they are using Monseigneur Bienvenu but the 1st time they used it they put Welco..."


Sophie I have been disappointed by bad translations before. I got an awful free kindle copy of Madame Bovary - anything of importance had been taken out so that the most wicked thing she did was show her ankles as she got into a carriage which was later seen to bounce whilst it was not moving. We read it at my real life book group and another member said that she had researched which was the best translation. I now do this.

An internet search said that my translation was NOT the most literal but did keep the Spirit of the book the best. The translator himself admits he hasn't translated word for word. He says Hugo loved words and often uses far too many. He says there are times when Hugo uses multiple adjectives (above 20) for one noun. He has taken some of this out and he has also tried to write with a limited number of footnotes as i struggle with footnotes I felt this translation would work for me.

I buy very few books I am retired and rely heavily on the library and free kindle. I didn't think i could warrant taking a library book for a year and free kindle might give me a less acceptable translation so I treated myself to this beautiful copy which i hope i will dip into again and again.


message 48: by Marie (UK) (new)

Marie (UK) (mazza1) | 4832 comments Jess wrote: "This is one of my favourite books. I don't want to commit to a re-read as I am already tackling War and Peace but I will definitely be checking in to see what everyone thinks."

how far into war and peace are you


message 49: by Sophie, The other one (new)

Sophie (drsophie) | 3368 comments Mod
I've got the free Hapgood translation which reviews seem to say is ok, but nothing special. I'm tempted to get the Denny translation which is £2.99 on kindle at the moment. It's difficult to know which translation to go for as everyone seems to have a different preference.


message 50: by Sophie, The other one (new)

Sophie (drsophie) | 3368 comments Mod
Cat wrote: "Sophie wrote: "You're making me feel like my kindle copy isn't showing the right respect!"

But Sophie, your wrists will thank you for it!"


Not only my wrists but also my son. I get most of my reading done while he naps on me and I don't think he'd enjoy over 1000 pages being dropped on him


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