I almost hate to confess that I have never read Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Miserables before. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for years. I have intended to read it at some point. I have a vague knowledge of the story, but I haven’t even seen the musical or movie yet. So I was excited to have the opportunity to review an audio CD of the radio dramatization.

We listened to the three CDs on the way to visit family during Christmas vacation. Our six- and eight-year old sons didn’t get into the story (though I suspect from some of their questions that they were more interested in it than they let on), but my wife and I fully enjoyed it. The voice actors were top notch, and the sound effects and music score were good, too. I didn’t get out my novel to compare how closely the dramatization followed it, but it claims to be true to the story (though abbreviated some). I know that the over-arching themes of forgiveness, mercy, and how God changes lives is still intact. 

Les Miserables is a great story. I recommend this radio version to those unfamiliar with the story, to those who enjoy stories on CD, and anyone who wants a little inspiration in their lives. If you have a family with older children this is a great CD to listen to on a long trip (the story is almost 3 hours long). Great actors like Brian Blessed and Geoffrey Palmer provide voices.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a copy of the CD. Nonetheless, my review is unbiased.