Re-Reading Les Misérables

Thoughts and commentary on Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.

Finished reading! Now to write…

Back in January, I decided to re-read Les Misérables. I started the next day, and now, exactly ten months later, I’ve finished. There have been times when I had to force myself to keep going, and others when I couldn’t put it down. Victor Hugo’s prose is sometimes impenetrable, sometimes dark, sometimes light, sometimes witty and sometimes even sarcastic.

I ended up reading in fits, going weeks without opening the book while I read lighter (or in some cases, heavier) fare, and then reading a hundred pages in the space of a few days.

That’s how I finished. A few weeks ago I stalled around page 1110 or 1115, a few pages into Marius’ convalescence, but I picked the book up again on Wednesday and plowed through the last 90 pages in three days of lunch hours, an evening at home sick, and the following morning.

I’m waaay behind on writing commentary, only up to the middle of Part Four. It bothers me that after keeping up so well for the first half of the book, I’ve slipped farther and farther behind. The worst part is that it means I’m commenting on chapters I read weeks (or months) ago instead of days, which I think has hurt my writing. The earlier posts were built around comments I made in the moment, on Twitter and later in notes. Now I’m going back after the fact and looking at highlights and occasional notes to jog my memory.

The sewer chase and Javert’s suicide both inspired me to write immediately, so I have those ready, but I’ve got 225 pages worth of story to look back at before I get there.

Goal one: Read the book. Completed! Goal two: Comment on it all. In progress.

Busy as things are likely to get, I’m still hoping to finish by the end of the year!