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Can someone recommend a could version of Les MIserables?


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My teen, a great lover of the musical Les Mis, chose to read the book in 9th grade from a number of choices that I gave her. It was the first book that we read that really made us aware of the fact that a translator can make a significant difference. The first translation we read was like wading through mud; the book dragged and dragged. Then we tried the translation by Norman Denny which made the book so much more enjoyable.




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Les Miserables is possibly the most remarkable work of fiction I have ever read. I have read it multiple times, including the full text and many different abridgments. I admit that despite it being my favorite book, I do not enjoy reading the entire original text each time. I am not a French scholar, a war historian, nor do I have any particular fascination with the French Revolution or Napoleon.

But I love this story. The first time I read an abridged version, I was shocked to see that Fantine was almost an afterthought; she was barely mentioned in the book. There were many glaring differences that I thought destroyed many of the characters, and thus the true power of this book. I have also read longer abridgments which include all the necessary portions, but still find it necessary to include vast descriptions of the sewers of Paris, and the Battle of Waterloo.


I finally decided to abridge the book myself. I only omitted those parts I found to be completely superfluous, unrelated to the narrative, or distracting from the flow of the story.

The original text contains over 540,000 words. My abridgment contains less than half that at under 254,000.


Here is the link: http://lesmiserablesabridged.blogspot.com/2012/12/les-miserables-abridged-part-1-fantine.html

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