Book Review: Les Misérables

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wrote this review on Goodreads, only seconds, after I finished the novel.

I find my heart still abodes inside these pages, not yet unattached from Marius, Cosette, and Jean Valjean; I continue, even now, walking the streets of nineteenth century Paris, exploring that great city of light, watching carriages clatter over bridges crossing the seine, listening to church bells fill the sky with music.

Les Miserables is long, but your commitment to this, long-drawn-out, masterpiece will be rewarded. Some books are like lovers never forgotten. When we remember time spent together, we can, again, feel their warmth.

This novel is without a doubt the best book I have ever read; Les Miserables, I have decided, is my stranded island book. Inside these pages is all the wisdom a person will ever need: There is religion, philosophy, love. There is all of life encompassed.

I recommend this edition, which I am happy to say I bought in Paris, at Shakespeare and Company; the bookshop across the bridge from Notre Dame Cathedral.

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A note to my readers, whom I love: I am still finding my niche with this blog. I have grown as an artist, a person, and a man over the last year. Sharing writing tips and short book reviews, has made me very happy. I am learning as I go, what works and what does not regarding content. Obviously, I want to get to the place where I share, more often, my own prose, and with each new day, I grow in confidence; I am closer.

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I wanted to add to this post, a personal anecdote. 2020, was the year I got serious about my craft. I returned to college at thirty to study writing; I will complete my degree this December, 2021. My blog, sadly, does not usually get the same attention I give my prose. This brings me to something of a new year’s resolution: To share with you my writing projects, in addition to what I learn in lecture. I want you, my readers, to be a part of my growth. This for me is a brave resolution; my great next step.

I, also, understand the need to build around me a strong writing community, knowledgable artists that can be trusted, friends and colleagues to share in honing our crafts. But I have a confession: I am terrified. Over the last two years, like a pendulum, I have swung from Mr. Extravert, well past Mr. Introvert, and I am, now, a full blown recluse stuck to one side of the clock. Can anyone relate? I am considering pursuing an MFA, because a writing community is built organically. I even have the schools I like mapped out; It is down to three: Emerson College, University of Southern Maine, and New England College. I like them because of their localities, and flexible low-residency/online programs. I am a stay-at-home dad, traditional settings cannot work for me.

It helps that I know, personally, a couple great writers, but I am too shy to reach out and seek collaboration. When I muster the necessary courage, those familiar fears of inadequacy and inconvenience envelope my whole person, and I hide. For now, I will kick that ball down the road. Again. This is a major cause of anxiety: I feel I need to be great, before I can get help.

I will admit, separating myself from the outside world has given me the agency to pursue my dreams. I feel, after a terribly difficult journey, I can see the summit that so long alluded me. I grow everyday, because of the long hours spent improving my craft. And I am grateful for you, the readers, my amazing followers, whom have joined my journey. I ask for your prayers.

Thank you for reading the whole post. It helps to let my thoughts run their course. Please Like & Share my blog post. God bless you all.

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