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!
My daughter and friend saw the new movie release... her friend likes the book best, dtr likes the musical best... apparently some differences in pronumciation... wondering how they got a pronuciation standard from a BOOK! Ha HA! I have listened to the CD version from FOF several times and it awakens imagination, freeing me to catch more of those subtle and not so subtle values lessons. worth the listen!
Focus on the Family Radio Theatre's fresh perspect
January 28, 2013
Noelle the dreamer
Victor Hugo's masterpiece 'Les Miserables' has captivated countless generations with its dark tale of Christian love, atonement and forgiveness in spite of the cruel injustice of the legal system of the epoch.
Focus on the Family Radio Theatre's fresh perspective on the fascinating recount of one man's trials after 19 years of inhuman captivity brings to life the story of Jean Valjean, Javert and Fantine!
There have been many movies made of this heartbreaking story of hardships and redemption set in tumultuous France 19th century but Radio Theatre gives yet again a remarkable approach to humanity's frailness in the face of adversity.
As some of you remember I had the opportunity to review another well known title from Focus on the Family Radio Theatre, Oliver Twist (see review HERE) and both offers a remarkable cast.
British finest talents such as actors Brian Blessed, Leo McKern and Geoffrey Palmer's are lending their voices to 'Les Miserables' in an unforgettable reenactment of the well known tale.
The culmination of the story of Jean Valjean hiding from his tumultuous past and Javert's oppressive hunt is the triumph of good over evil despite the many obstacles in his intended path.
It is important to add Radio Theatre's at times graphic details of life in Jean Valjean's era is absolutely stunning. There is little need of visual special Fx to imagine the poverty and degradation in that timeline period!
That said, Focus on the Family took pains in producing a story fitting for an audience of age 12 and over. Whilst some might argue specific elements have been removed for family concerns, the endeavour is to be applauded, particularly for its haunting musical score!
Being a first time listener to Focus On The Family's Radio Theater, I didn't know what to expect for their rendition of Les Miserables. I've heard that Victor Hugo's novel and the recent movie was amazing and since I haven't been able to enjoy either, I hoped that this audio version would be equivalently amazing. It was!!!
Focus On The Family told this epic story in such a way that you have no problem imagining that you are sitting on the sidelines, watching as the story unfolds. The powerful sound effects give eyes to your ears and you become enamored with the "good" characters, even though you are only hearing their voices. Background sounds like horse hooves or gunfire could be heard as well, adding to the feeling of "being there."
Though I cannot give full credit to Focus On The Family for the story, plot and characters, because they were Victor Hugo's original work, I was moved by their take on Jean Valjean's life. I was so inspired to find that a simple act of kindness by Bishop Myriel of Digne was what God used to turn Jean's life around. It encourages me to show the light and love of Christ more often, even to the "least of these."
I highly recommend that you hear Focus On The Family's Radio Theater version of Les Miserables. Listeners become emotionally attached to Jean Valjean, Cosette and Marius. Listeners are taken on and emotional journey as well as spiritual journey toward learning to forgive. I'd rate this audio drama 5 out of 5 stars! I am eagerly awaiting another audio drama by Focus On The Family.
I received this audio drama from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.