Manga Monday: Les Miserables

Posted 1 September, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Manga Monday: Les MiserablesLes Miserables - Manga Classics by Victor Hugo
Published by UDON Entertainment Corporation on August 19th 2014
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Manga
Pages: 336

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo's classic novel of love & tragedy during the French Revolution is reborn in this fantastic new manga edition! The gorgeous art of TseMei Lee brings to life the tragic stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the beautiful Fantine, in this epic adaptation of Les Miserables!

So. Les Misérables. I knocked reading the original off of my bucket list, last year sometime(?) – and hated it. (Review) But I dislike the book, not necessarily for its length, but because I hate most of the characters. (Exceptions: Eponine and Jean Valjean) It’s also worth noting that I love pretty much every screen and stage adaptation that has been put out there, so a manga version seemed like it could be a lot of fun.

Sadly, I did not find this to be a ton of fun. It’s not awful, it just feels like most of the depth of the original (and the movies) was lost in the adaptation. I completely understand (and it is noted in the book itself) that when you are cutting a 1,000+ page novel down to 360 pages of manga that you’re going to have to leave some stuff out. Still. Perhaps two volumes would have been better to flesh out Javert, Eponine, and Jean Valjean. 
The writing itself was also a bit overly simplistic with this adaptation. Just because its manga or a graphic novel doesn’t give authors a pass on the writing of ‘the script’. 
While the illustrations were pretty, they were seemed standard as far as manga-style goes. (Not that I’m an expert.) Full color might have added a lot to making the artwork more impressive.
I don’t think that I’ll be picking up any other books in this line unless they just jump into my hands at the library. I think that there’s already a version of Pride and Prejudice in the works.

Unless you’re hardcore into manga or you happen upon it at the library or a garage sale I’d probably recommend passing on this one. 

What about you, Reader? Does the idea of Manga Classics seem intriguing to you? I know there are a lot of Austen fans out there, anyone think they might pick up Pride and Prejudice? I’d be interested in hearing about it! 


April @ The Steadfast Reader


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