Books, General

Les Misérables Readalong | Week One: Fantine

Welcome to the first Miserable Monday! For those who don’t know, my friend Emma @ The Terror of Knowing and I are hosting #MiserablesMay, a Les Miserables readalong that is taking place throughout the month of May. We announced it last month, and I wasn’t 100% sure I thought it was a good idea to tackle such a long book that I didn’t have much interest in reading, but I am happy to report that so far I am up to date finishing Volume I: Fantine in time for my post, and I am actually not hating the book at all.

Now, a small disclaimer before I start: Emma is the English student and the more academically minded reviewer out of the pair of us. It’s great, she writes incredible reviews that mix knowledge and academia with humour and gifs, and is the place to go for the more in depth reviews/updates. Mine are going to be a little shorter, and probably lacking an seriousness at all, so strap in!

Things I learnt from Les Miserables: Volume I

  • Don’t steal. It’s bad and you will be punished
  • IF you HAVE to steal, make sure you don’t loudly smash a glass of pane to get in so that you’re done for burglary and theft. It’s bad and you will be punished.
  • Serve you punishment. What’s 3 years when escaping takes it to 19 for a measly loaf?
  • Bishops are good guys
  • NO, scrap that, Bishops are REALLY good guys *cough* 60 pages good*cough*
  • IF you HAVE to steal, make sure you take ALL the silver in the house, cutlery is not enough.
  • IF you HAVE to steal, make sure you steal from a Bishop who will make sure you get ALL the silver in the house. I don’t blame you Valjean, Candlesticks are heavy and in France you never know if they will break out in song and want to serve a 10 course dinner to you.

  • So, you’re a bad guy and everyone senses it, unless the smoke from the fire hides it when you saves lives. The smoke is your mask, you can be anyone then and your criminal past is hidden. Smoke and mirrors (literally).
  • Sooo…don’t sell your kids to the local pub-owner people. They will rinse you. They will mistreat her.
  • Turns out that you may not be able to shine shit, but if you give a pair of awful people a jazzy number in a musical, you will hate them less. Yes, I am talking to you!

  • While your at it, you’re pretty with hair and teeth, so maybe the order should go prostitution, then sell you hair, and then sell your teeth.
  • Did you know that it’s not easy to recognise a man by his face?
  • Did you know that it’s not easy to recognise a man by his voice?
  • Did you know that the easy way to recognise a man is by how he lifts a cart off a trapped man.

  • Want to get out of prison after being arrested for being a toothless, hairless, peasant whore? Spit in the mayor’s face. Works. Every. Time.
  • How to get a promotion: walk into the mayor’s office. Say sack me bitch. Sashay out with a raise.
  • I don’t know who anyone is in this book. No single reference to time this book has worked. A little lesson for you Victor: don’t assume. It makes an ass out of you and me.
  • Who knew horse and carriage ownership was such a time consuming and fickle business eh?
  • Next time Jean, don’t dilly dally, just drive. I mean, just ride. Saves us all a 50 page struggle.

  • Also Jean, next time, just hurry on over, waltz in, and belt at the top of your voice: it me bitchez, I am Jean Valjean, 2460WAAAAAANNNN.
  • Oh, I see you’re game guys. A second ago you were all like I know the guy I’ve lived with in the galleys and no you’re like, I knew it was the well to do mayor all along. Surrrrrrrrre you did.
  • Javert should take spying lessons from Valjean. He disappeared like a puff of smoke. Must have kept it handy from the fire.
  • Who knew members of the Catholic Church were competent liars hey. You naughty gal you Sister!
  • Awww poor Fantine, didn’t even make it out of your own Volume.

And there we have it. As you can tell, I paid a lot of attention and make some really astute observations about Volume I. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting (which isn’t saying much, I thought I would want to hit myself over the head with it 50 pages in!) I actually really think that I will finish this book, and not only do that, I will do it without despising myself.

Are you taking part?

Where are you up to? What are your thoughts so far?

Don’t forget post on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MiserablesMay!

11 thoughts on “Les Misérables Readalong | Week One: Fantine”

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