It has been an exciting Winter with the musical version of the Les Miserables coming to theaters on Christmas Day and a re-release of the radio drama done several years ago by Focus on the Family.
Though I had heard snippets of the radio drama in the past, I had never taken the opportunity to listen to the entire show. I found the story, as presented by Focus on the Family, drawing me in. Presented as about thirty 3 to 7 minute chapters on 3 CDs, the story moved along quite fast - with enough breaks to allow the listener to maintain his interest while moving through the three hour drama. Occasionally, the breaks between chapters cut through a speakers last syllable, but not so the word was entirely lost.
I began listening to this presentation on an Amtrak train between upstate New York and Atlanta, GA. My wife and I used a splitter with dual earphones - both listening simultaneously. She commented that it was hard for her to follow the story. Later, when I returned to the presentation alone, I found no such problem - enjoying the transition from chapter to chapter.
As always, the story is one of transformation and grace. These are lessons that are harder for some to learn than others - perhaps never learned by others. May Les Miserables, whether on paper, in the theater, on the radio, or via a CD, teach each of us that God can use us regardless of how broken and bitter we have become.
This review is based on a free CD copy of this radio play provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
When I was kid, I was obsessed with the Adventures in Odyssey cassettes (yes, cassettes; not CDs, but cassette tapes!). My siblings and I would listen to them over and over again, in the car, while doing chores, or at night before bed. They were audio-dramas akin to watching a movie, except you had to paint the images in your own mind. The stories were always exciting, and you really became attached to all the characters.
Les Miserables brought back all those sweet memories of Adventures in Odyssey. Focus on the Family did a fabulous job in producing this story into radio drama - I absolutely loved it! All the actors' voices were brilliant, and the sound effects effortlessly brought the scenes to life. And of course, the story itself is AMAZING. It's a beautiful story of mercy, forgiveness, sacrifice, and love. If you haven't listened to radio theatre before, this would be the perfect one to start with!
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this audio-drama in return for an honest review.
I first read Les Miserables in middle school, yes middle school - my mind wasn't capable of handling the books that most of my peers were reading - I need large tomes to keep and garner my attention. I didn't read the abridged version but the whole entire 1,000+ page book. I have taken in the movie version but haven't been fortunate enough to take in a live show but not one to let that get me down - I now can bask in the audio drama version which has a lively full cast, excellent sound effects that rivaled even the movie and a musical score.
In the set you get 169 minutes on three CD's and your attention will be held the entire time as you listen to this audio version of a timeless classic. I had no issues in keeping the voices separated while listening, although my oldest said she did however my 8 year old did not. Yes, I allowed my children to listen to the whole presentation - my 8 year old also wants me to read aloud the book! There was shock when the word prostitute was mentioned but it was to show how low Fantine had sunk in order to provide for Cosette. My children were saddened by the deaths and if I hadn't been driving our van I would have been crying.
Les Miserables isn't something one can read or listen too without a dry eye, unless you're driving, as the emotions are as real as when Hugo wrote it the lessons of redemption, love, loss and forgiveness as well as despair and more are something that we all can relate too whether it's the 1800â€²s or the 2000â€²s. Listening to this wonderful audio from Focus on the Family Radio Theatre will take you on a ride that will ultimately show what God is capable of doing, even if we can't see His work.
**Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of the CD set from Tyndale Media Network in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.
I am a huge fan of musicals and have been blessed to see Les Miserables on Broadway last year. It is one of my favorite musicals and I love the musical score. I was really excited when Tyndale offered me the chance to own Les Miserables Radio Theater Audio CD's. This audio CD tells a beautiful story of forgiveness centered around the life of Jean Valjeen, a convict whose life is changed by one single act of kindness. After serving 19 years in prison for the simple act of stealing bread, he is released but the public still views him as a bitter criminal and his imprisonment haunts him with every turn despite the clean and honorable life he now leads. Overall, the story does have very sad undertones but there are so many powerful lessons (mercy, forgiveness, injustice, love, hatred, etc.) to be learned through this story too.
Produced by Focus on the Family, this Radio Theater version of Les Miserables features 3 CD's and almost 3 hours of listening enjoyment. Recorded in London, England with some of England's finest actors, this audio recording of Les Miserables will be one your family will enjoy listening to time and time again. Our children (who are not used to radio theater) absolutely loved this recording and have listened to it in the car and at home. They keep it playing in the background while they play Lego's or color/draw. Despite the long recording, the actual story is still quite abridged but for younger children this is a great introduction to the story of Les Miserables. You can log on to Radio Theater for sound clips and more information on all their other Radio Theater recordings too!