It's a cold outside, but warm inside. The fire's burning brightly, and I've just spent three hours with my daughter listening to Focus on the Family's Radio Theater presentation of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
Les Misérables is set against the background of France and the French Revolution. Truthfully, the Revolution had little to do with the story as brought to life in this production. It showed the injustices of the french prison system and the hardness of heart often felt not only by the ex-convicts but by their jailers and the police as well. Imagine serving 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed your sister's child. Then, when finally released, being nearly penniless because of the jailer stealing what wages you made in prison. This was just the position Jean Valjean found himself in as he was released only to be given a yellow passport branding him as a thief for life. With all the cards stacked against him, he tries to find his way in the world only to have doors shut in his face. A single act of kindness from a stranger changes his life.
This is a very very abridged version of the book by Victor Hugo. The original book is over seven hundred pages! That would make a very long audio drama indeed. Having never read the book, I cannot tell how well it follows the tale. I can however say that the themes of redemption, grace, and mercy were well portrayed.
I listened to this with my fifteen year-old daughter. I do not recommend it for young children because the theme is rather dark. Even with the miserableness of the story, it was beautifully enacted. It is a good tale for a cold winter's night.
I received this CD set from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.
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