Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Les Mis Week 1, The Bishop of Digne

For those of you who missed it, RoB and I have finally decided to start reading Les Miserables.  This will probably take us all year, but since we are both reading we are hoping that we can keep each other motivated throughout the book.  And I'll have to admit that I might've given up in the first book of the first volume, so it's a good thing we're in it together.  The book is split up into 5 volumes, each of those with 8-15 books, and each of those with 5-20 chapters. Here are my thoughts on Volume 1: Fantine, Book 1: A Just Man.

This first 50 pages or so of the book was all about the Bishop of Digne (although in the kindle edition it just says Bishop of D---, anyone know why?).  It is a compilation of his history and all the good things he has done over the course of his life.  There are a couple small events that are explained and some chapters just talk about how he thinks or feels.  These chapters were the ones that made it hard to keep going and I'm pretty sure I skimmed though some of them.  Luckily, Rob finished this part before me and started reading ahead to the next book and informed me that things actually happen!

The Bishop of Digne as depicted by Gustave Brion in the first edition of the novel

So, I continued on through and kept reading about why the Bishop of Digne was A Just Man.  I was not a huge fan of this book, it was slow moving and what I was worried would happen when trying to read a classic like Les Mis. The one thing I do have to say is that you see a bit more charter and almost humor in the bishop and all that he does, the musically never really portrayed him this way, but I feel like in the movie Colm Wilkinson does a great job of showing more of how he is represented in the book (For those of you that don't know, Colm Wilkinson was the original Jean Valjean in the West End and on Broadway).

On the right is Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop

The next part is all about Jean Valjean (or as we've been calling him JVJ), finally!  I hope it starts to read faster because this pace might be tough for over 1000 pages.

How does everyone else out there feel about the start of the book? Anyone else out there reading it now? Eh, probably not and I'm probably talking to no one, but I thought I'd try!


  1. Interesting! I'm not reading the book, but I definitely want to see the film because of the music. I may have to check out the book later, though, because I do love a complex book, unfortunately, I don't think the pace will change. On the bright side, it's easy to put down and do chores when you have to... :D

    New follower. Hope you'll visit my blog and follow.
    P. G. Shriver

  2. Thanks for stopping by! The pace has actually gotten better, now that there is a bit more of a story happening, but every now and then there is a slow chapter... I'll head over and check out your blog!