Saturday, January 05, 2008

I've Finally Finished Les Miserables

... and it's only taken three months or so. Part of that is because Victor Hugo's writing was so richly layered that I could only read twenty pages or so without needing to stop to reflect on what was just written and catch my breath again. Part of it had to do with the vicissitudes of life and the fact that sometimes the opportunity to relax and read doesn't always avail itself. I must say that it has felt like quite a marathon and that I'm relieved I can get onto reading something else, preferably somewhat lighter. Crime and Punishment shall have to wait a little while, I think ...

I don't want to give anything away, but the ending was absolutely incredible. I've never read anything so powerfully bittersweet and I don't remember the last time I was so moved by a novel. So much better than the whole "And they lived happily ever after" cliche - it's more true to life to my way of thinking. Mind you, the depressing ending of Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" simply made me feel incredibly ripped off, despite the fact that it was beautifully written. I wonder why this is? Why is it that people instinctively crave the happy ending? Any thoughts?

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