I saw Les Misérables on Broadway on Saturday. It was my favorite play growing up and I hadn’t seen it in about ten years. I’m happy to report it’s still amazing (in case you were wondering).
I call myself a bibliophile, but the truth is I’m a story-o-phile (is there a word for that?). I love well-told stories in all forms—books, TV shows, movies, plays, songs, you name it. And Les Mis is such an amazing story—beautiful themes, a character-driven plot, with singing to boot!
I love this story. I want to insert myself inside of it. I want to get inside Javert’s head, I want to fight at the barricade, I want to fall in love with Marius, I want to be Eponine.
(Side note: What does it say about me that I identify much more with the girl who gets rejected and dies over the one who falls in love and lives happily ever after? Maybe it’s because I find people down on their luck much more interesting than happy people. It’s like Julian Fellowes said: “Nothing is harder to dramatise than happiness.”)
However—however—I tried to read the book several years ago. And I couldn’t get through it. It’s the same with a lot of those really verbose novels of yore (or maybe it’s the lack of singing—I do love the singing). I made it about a quarter of the way through Anna Karenina (it actually gave me one of my favorite beautiful sentences) but ended up ditching it for something snappier. I only made through any Charles Dickens because I had to write papers about it.
Has anyone read Les Mis and really enjoyed it? Should I give it another chance?