Re-Reading Les Misérables

Thoughts and commentary on Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.

The Brick…and the Cinder Block

I finally decided to pick up a print copy of Christine Donougher’s translation, which is my favorite of the modern English versions. I couldn’t find it in hardcover, but I did find a paperback that was bigger than I was expecting. Here it is next to my old, yellowed, falling-apart copy of the Denny translation that I picked up in the early 1990s.

Two paperback books, one about the size of a standard brick, the other both wider and thicker.

It’s bigger in all three dimensions, and weighs more than twice as much. Seriously, I weighed them. The old one is 0.59 kg and the new one is 1.45 kg.

If the old copy was the brick, this is a cinder block.

I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d bought the hardcover, but the paperback?

I guess using higher-quality paper and normal-sized type will do that.

New Manga Release

While I was looking for the book, I discovered that Takahiro Arai’s manga adaptation, originally published in Japan from 2013-2016, is being translated into English! The first of four volumes is coming in December 2022. I, uh, may have pre-ordered it within a few minutes of discovering it.

This is a different adaptation than the single-volume Manga Classics version, an English-first production that I reviewed a few years back. This one looks amazing, and I’m really looking forward to reading it!


And that discovery reminded me to look up Shōjo Cosette again. The 52-episode anime series adapts the book with Cosette as the main character, and ran in Japan in 2007. But as near as I can tell, it’s never been (officially) translated into English or even (officially) released in the western hemisphere.


Gotta be some fan subs out there…