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From Library Journal
Hugo's classic tale set against the backdrop of political upheaval in 19th-century France retains its timeless appeal in this notably condensed rendition of the struggles of former convict Jean Valjean. While the abridgment inevitably cuts many of the intricate subplots and minor characters who enrich Hugo's vast tome, this suspenseful central plot tracing Valjean's endeavor to emerge from desperate circumstances while being pursued by the duty-obsessed Inspector Javert remains intact and comprehensible to listeners. The principal characters retain their epic proportions, and the major themes of redemption through good works and the importance of authentic charity are undiminished. Narrator Michael York adds vigor and distinct characterizations to the broad cast of characters in this fittingly dramatic performance. Suitable for collections that do not already contain one of the many audio versions of this work (e.g., Audio Reviews, LJ 5/1/93).?Linda Bredengerd, Hanley Lib., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Bradford
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The classic story of kindness, love, honor and poverty is not as depressing as some of Hugo's other works. Its historical sweep, during the brewing of the French Revolution, is large, and its emotional sweep even larger. British actor Michael York throws his considerable histrionic skills into the task--each character is carefully articulated, both by tone and pacing. Having played classic French characters before--notably D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers and its sequel--York knows how to manipulate scene and feeling in this type of ambiance, and he performs effortlessly and superbly. D.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP
An ex-convict struggles for redemption in the punishing world of post-Napoleonic France.
A concise introduction that gives readers important background information
A chronology of the author's life and work
A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations
Detailed explanatory notes
Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work
Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON
Since geniuses, like demons, recognize the presence of a superior God by certain signs, Thenardier comprehended that he had to deal with a very strong person. It was like an intuition; he comprehended it with his clear and sagacious promptitude.
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