5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful, except for the digressions,
This review is from: Les Miserables (Classics) (Paperback)
What can I say about this mammoth novel, which has taken me longer to read than any other book of fiction while still reading at least some pages every day?
It is a colossal, moving and colourful work, filled with some of the greatest figures in French literature. It has drama, pathos, love, hate, cruelty, duty, revolutionary excesses and aristocratic narrowmindedness. The features that for me prevent it being a total success are the lengthy digressions, covering Waterloo, argot, monastical conventions and even the history of sewers and the volume of excrement in Paris. These slow the story down and do become tiresome. The tiresome antics of the revolutionaries on the barricades also grated, they seeming to be more interested in the glamour rhetoric and glory of the act of defiance, rather than a genuine drive for social justice. These digressions at one point slowed me down to a point where I was reading barely half a dozen pages a day and I did almost give up on it at one point. But I knew I wanted to find out what happened to Valjean and Cosette and I am glad I did, sad though the ending was. A monumental work.