Being thrilled with the Focus on the Family radio theatre adaptation of the Chronicles of Narnia, I jumped at the chance to listen to their version of Victor Hugo's classic tale. Having seen the musical several times and watched the newest movie, I thought I knew the story well. I was in for a surprise. This radio drama brings in many aspects of the book that are left out of the Broadway and Hollywood versions that better develop the themes of redemption and mercy. I was blown away!
While I realize that this is a family-friendly version of the story, I was disappointed that this adaptation denies that Fantine had to descend to the depths to keep her daughter and herself alive. Fantine and Valjean on several occasions skirt around the issue, lead the listener to believe that she is innocent of any such claim, and never deal with how she survived after being fired from the factory. I would not want graphic details included, but I believe it could have been addressed in a â€˜safe for family listening' way to further develop the themes.
The cast is strong, the background sound effects are not overdone and the score is fitting (although difficult to get used to when you have the original score memorized). There are 3 CDs and the story is 169 minutes long - it could have been longer! It was my middle school children who kept begging to put the story back on while on a recent road trip - they loved it! This is a wonderful adaptation of Les Miserables and is a must have audio book for your next road trip!
I give this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This audio adaptation is fascinating and a delight to hear. It was recorded in London and has a professional cast who did an incredible job.
The main character in the story is Jean Valjean. He is an ex-convict who cannot ever escape his past. No matter what he tries to do in life, he seems to be always hunted and accused, because he was once a prisoner. In the beginning, he meets with a kind couple whose hospitality and compassion help him make a new start in life. Eventually, he builds up a new reputation, under a new name, and has a tremendous influence for good in his community. His riches, and charity in life are amazing. But what is most precious, is his unselfish character and actions.
This is an epic story, highly inspiring and an excellent production. Listening to the story on audio CD was relaxing and a wonderful break from watching a movie on television. I highly recommend this radio theater presentation.
*Disclaimer - I received a copy of this product for review purposes.*
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.