More misérables!

Finally, after FOUR LONG MONTHS, I’ve finished Volume I! 

Okay, so it may have taken my Mormon pioneer ancestors less time to cross the Great Plains than it took me to read the first half of everyone’s favorite eighteen-hundred-page novel.  So what!  At least nobody’s died of cholera along the way.  And besides, we can chalk this up as a faith-building example of “enduring to the end” — because I’ve still got about 900 pages to go. 

My negative opinion of Victor Hugo hasn’t changed much.  I still think he’s incredibly misogynistic, and his penchant for long tangents that do nothing to advance the plot still drives me nuts.  But my positive opinion of Victor Hugo — which exists separately, and in parallel to my negative opinion — has grown tremendously this time around.  Having taken the sage advice of Quynh-Nhu to slow down and take the pace of the novel on its own terms, I’ve grown to appreciate Hugo’s incredibly perceptive eye — and eloquent pen — for capturing social nuances, moral complexity and the simultaneously divine and devilish messiness of humanity.  Those moments don’t come on every page, or even every 50 pages, but when they do come, they’re like little revelations flashing in muddy water. 


  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    Well, good for you! As to the ancestors…I don't remember much cholera, but there were frozen toes and starvation, just sayin'…
    Favorite phrase:”devilish messiness”


  2. I started reading Les Miserables in high school, one section at a time. I'm still not finished. I graduated in 1991. I think I'm going to flunk myself and read something light and airy next…


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