Originally Posted by hyperskeptic
I read the (unabridged) novel quite a long time ago, and mostly enjoyed the experience. Victor Hugo novels take some digesting, what with all the interesting historical digressions, and so on, including a long recounting of the Battle of Waterloo and the history of the sewer system of Paris.
I used to like the musical, of which I had the original New York cast recording, but eventually cooled on it. I haven't seen the movie, though I suspect it earned the award bestowed upon it by The Onion: the Academy Award for Most Sound . . .
[EDIT:] P.S., that other thread really is painful to read, isn't it? I'm not sure anything any of us can say would do any good.
I'm reading it for the first time now, also an unabridged version, the Rose translation, which has a ton of historical footnotes. I'm halfway through the Waterloo section now. WOW, it's a lot, but I'm loving it.
I recommend the new movie, but then my recommendation is biased because I've loved the musical all my life and will never not love it.
And yeah, as for the other thread... I realized that I was probably identifying with it more than was necessary/reasonable, and once I stepped back a little mentally it was better. There are relatively few models for the lives we're living, so I think it becomes easier than it ought to be to project when we see a situation that reminds us of our own.
Of everyone, you were probably the best positioned to possibly help, but, yeah, help wasn't actually possible. If the thread had started where it is now, we'd still try to help but it wouldn't be difficult to witness in the same way. It's just watching that moment of dramatic disintegration, that tipping point, and feeling like maybe you could do something in some small way to arrest it, except you can't, that's really hard.