Book Review, Books!, Manga, NetGalley, Signal Boost

Manga Review: Manga Classics – Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Hey all, Dani here.

Good morning! Though for me right now this definitely has the feeling of evening/bed time. That’s what happens when you work night shift. It throws off your internal clock, especially when you eat breakfast when you get home from work and then go to sleep and eat dinner after you wake up. It’s just weird. I just need to get through this work week and then next week, and then I’ll be back on day shift in June.

And I’ll be honest…I haven’t been doing much reading the past few days…but I have been doing some writing. I’ll talk about it more in my Weekly Wrap-Up on Wednesday, so that’s something to look forward to.

For now though, let’s jump into the first review for this lovely Manga Monday. This is the last of the Manga Classics I was approved for on NetGalley, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to try this adaptation of classic pieces of literature. So, thank you to UDON Entertainment and NetGalley for granting me access to these stories. Receiving the digital copy did not influence my rating or review in any way.

All right, let’s get started.

Les Miserables Manga

Book Details

Original Story by: Victor Hugo

Adaptation by: Crystal S. Chan

English Script by: Stacy King

Art by: SunNeko Lee

Format: e-book

Pages: 337

Publisher: UDON Entertainment

Publication Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 1927925169 (ISBN13: 9781927925164)

Summary

Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo’s classic novel of love and tragedy set in 19th century France is reborn in this fantastic new manga edition!

Gorgeous and expressive art brigns to life the unforgettable stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the tragic Fantine in this epic adaptation of Les Misérables!

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

The first and only time I read Les Miserables was in grad school. I had a very boring cataloging class that was four hours long once a week, and the professor spoke in a dull monotone. I always had to swing through the campus convenience store to pick up a Mountain Dew and some sort of sugary gummy candy to get me through the lecture. Well, there was also the fact that we were encouraged to bring our laptops with us to take notes and such. Except I didn’t take notes the whole time. “Les Mis” was one of the free classics I had on my NOOK app on my laptop, and I knew it was a lengthy book, so I would read a chapter here and there while sitting in the class.

I also saw the theater production, once at my high school when I was a sophomore, and once in 2013 as a local theater production that my best friend was involved with. And I’ve also seen the movie adaptation.

But, I’ll be honest…I had forgotten some of the elements of the story…despite reading the System Divine series by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell (which I definitely recommend because it is “Les Mis” set in space.

This volume took the behemoth that is the original story and condensed it to just a few hundred pages that is a great deal less words to read, and a whole lot more art to look at. I think UDON Entertainment does a great job with adapting these long dense classics into an easier to read and much more manageable and approachable for the non-literature nerds out there. Don’t get me wrong; I love classic literature and have read a lot of it over the years, but the older I get, the more I want to just read for fun, and these manga volumes make it fun to enjoy the classics again.

The artwork was cute, and you could really see what all Fantine lost when she cut off her hair, because in true manga style her hair was pretty much down to her ankles. And Cosette just looked so sweet and innocent and naive through the whole story.

Honestly, I don’t know that this story is one of my favorites. Pretty much all of the characters seemed to just have a couple of personality traits and that was it. It’s like the only one who really showed growth through the story was Jean Valjean. But maybe I would see that differently if I read the source material again. I don’t know.

Reading this was still a good way to pass an hour or so, and I’m glad I read it. I can say that I will probably pick up more UDON Entertainment Manga Classics in the future because I have enjoyed my time reading Sense and SensibilityJane Eyre, and Les Miserables.

Where to Get a Copy

You can pick up your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound.

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