Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2014 01:45 pm
Into this tome at 83 helping gain a slight feeling of literacy, I'm wondering if I'm alone

(1) Under what circumstances did you read it and how long do you suppose it took

(2) Did you honestly enjoy the experience

(3) Did you look up every unfamiliar word

(4) Around 1/3 of the way through in a few pages with paragraphs each hundreds of words long Fauchelevent agrees with Reverend Mother to encrypt an empty casket (whereupon he suggests a dirt deposit to give the coffin equivalent weight). After having read it 5 times I'm still not quite sure why she requires this. Can you remember
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Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 2,944 • Replies: 39
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victorcarjan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2014 03:20 pm
@dalehileman,
(1)-- Read it for my own pleasure at home, I'm not sure how long I spent.

(2)---Yes and No----I didn't finish the book because I started to get annoyed when the author would pause the story to talk about The War, or to tell us about Nuns. I enjoyed the story, but there was too much diversion into other crap that truly made it unbearable for me to continue. However, I will finish the rest someday so I can see how the actual story finishes.

(3)-- Yes.. most times you can figure out what a word means, but otherwise I look it up, how else can you understand what you're reading?

(4)--- It was Reverend Mother's dieing wish to have her body resting in that sacred prayer room of the Nuns. So since the nuns don't lie or break the law, they had to sneak around. If they did not put dirt inside the coffin, the funeral leaders would have noticed the coffin weighs exactly the same as when they brought it there.
They had to encrypt the empty casket so that the funeral leaders actually think Reverend Mother's body is being buried where it's supposed to be buried. Otherwise, they would go around looking for her body, which is going to be in the Nun's place.



dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2014 04:19 pm
@victorcarjan,
Quote:
(1)-- Read it for my own pleasure at home
I find the admission astounding in view of the typical American's literacy

Quote:
I didn't finish the book because I started to get annoyed
To me the feeling came on much earlier

Quote:
I look it up, how else can you understand what you're reading?
Astounding for much the same reason. I wonder how many more responses we'll see

Quote:
It was Reverend Mother's dieing wish to have her body resting in that sacred prayer room of the Nuns. So….they had to sneak around….. so that the funeral leaders actually think Reverend Mother's body is being buried where it's supposed to be buried.
Thanks much Vic for that rundown; so I shall read it again knowing this, maybe understand it. However, whom did they think they were encrypting
victorcarjan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2014 06:30 pm
@dalehileman,
"I find the admission astounding in view of the typical American's literacy"

There was so much hype over this book, as though it was one that must be read as one of the best classics of all time....I got swept up into the praise. You are right, many people don't read today, and it's a shame because you can't get the detail in movies that you get from books. I think books really have a way of sharpening your intellect because Author's pour the best of their heart and soul in their work.


"To me the feeling came on much earlier"

Oh me too. I was dragging my feet through the parts that had nothing to do with that actual story. Then I just snapped, could not take it anymore. There was 50 pages of story, and then 50 pages of total diversion. I looked ahead, and saw this process repeats. I have a problem with skipping any words, so I can't read the book unless I read it all. Glad to see you felt the same, I'm sure many others did too, but that would have been bad publicity for sales.



"Thanks much Vic for that rundown; so I shall read it again knowing this, maybe understand it. However, whom did they think they were encrypting"

The funeral people really thought it was Reverend Mother. I think, only a few of the higher up nuns knew the truth. They needed the old guy (forgot his name) in the garden's help, so they told him everything. He told Jean because it was the best way to sneak him out, and then bring him back in officially.
The people at the graveyard also thought it truly was Reverend Mother in the casket, but it was Jean. That is why they had to get rid of that new gravedigger so Jean could jump out unseen by only the old guy (Flaucelvent? maybe), and the plot would be buried so nobody would ever think to check or question if the Coffin is empty.
The nuns however, had no idea Jean was in the coffin. They thought the old garden keeper was filling it with dirt. It was a series of lies and secrets because so many people had to be kept from a certain variable of truth in order to achieve everything they wanted. In the end, it all worked out because Jean came back in officially, the funeral people thought Reverend Mother was buried in the cemetery, and the Nuns had fulfilled Reverend Mothers death wish of her body being placed in that sacred Prayer Room.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2014 06:34 pm
@dalehileman,
I read it in Comic Book Classics. It was pretty cool.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2014 07:55 pm
Here is Ann Hathaway singing "I dreamed a dream"...from the Broadway production of Les Mis....
I cannot take my eyes off of her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyQ-0JOF1Qk

Joe(truly masterful performance)Nation
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2014 08:24 pm
@dalehileman,
I read it in a high school english class. Hated every page of it. Felt the same way about A Tale of Two Cities which we also had to read in that class.

At the same time in my life I was reading Science Fiction novels like they were candy. One or two novels a week for over a decade. I loved 90% of them but I was always very careful about the ones I chose to read.

What I learned from that english class was that if I hadn't already been exposed to the joy of reading by reading those stories which appealed to me, my entire literary experience would have been poisoned by those "classics". And since most of my friends were not reading as much external material as I was, I realized that high school english classes were probably damaging early reading behaviors more than benefiting them.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Oct, 2014 11:45 pm
@rosborne979,
We had to read it at school as well, in French classes. (Makes me somewhat wonder that you read it in English classes - here, it's a French classic.)

I didn't like it all - even not the German summary which I used to get the story.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 02:51 am
I'm surprised that Les Misérables was an assignment in an English class. It's not great writing either in French or in English translation. Nevertheless, 19th century literature is almost opaque to modern readers, usually because of greatly differing tastes and different social sensibilities. When i was young, say 11 or 12 years old, i read The Count of Monte Cristo, and loved it. I recently tried to re-read it, and couldn't get all the way through it. When i was a boy, i didn't see how improbable it was.

Novels were in the place of radio and television in the 19th century. They were far more important as entertainment than they are today, and were often a family entertainment activity, being read aloud at home. How the publishing business worked then is also significant. Established authors were paid by the word, and novels were serialized. So a novel of 50, 60 or even 70 chapters was not unusual, and each chapter would be an installment in a literary magazine. The author, getting paid by the word, had a steady source of income, the magazine had a "draw" for its sales, and upon the completion of the serialization, the entire book would be published, and usually enjoyed robust sales despite having been serialized. Authors of the 19th century spoke to a society unfamiliar to us, in language which often seems stilted and unnecessarily prolix to us. For the modern reader, 19th century novels really are an acquired taste.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 03:03 am
By the way, Les Misérables was not serialized, and Hugo's insistence that no excerpts be released in advance of publication, along with the publicity campaign he directed were pure genius. He was about a century ahead of his time in his plan for the promotion of the novel.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 04:24 am
I am happy to learn I am not the only one here who cannot make it through some of those old novels. I was a bit worried it might just be me.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 04:26 am
As much as I love Dickens, there are instances in which he is playing word games, merely to dazzle his audience.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 06:26 am
I read Les Misérables a couple of years ago during my "year of big books," which also included War and Peace and David Copperfield. I read it during my morning and evening commutes, so I devoted about 90 minutes each weekday to it. Nevertheless, it took me about two months to finish. I enjoyed it, despite its occasional diversions, but then I like 19th century literature. I've even read some books by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 06:57 am
@joefromchicago,
I greatly enjoyed War and Peace, but remained perpetually annoyed with Pierre.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 11:01 am
@victorcarjan,
Quote:
I think books really have a way of sharpening your intellect
Mine Vic I'm not so sure of

Quote:
I have a problem with skipping any words, so I can't read the book unless I read it all.
I do intend to do so not out of a feeling of superiority but sheer doggedness; hoping thereby to live at least to 98

Quote:
The funeral people really thought it was Reverend Mother.
Jolted--as reading those pages again last night I concluded that the outsiders must think it's Mother Crucifixion in the box. But that conclusion leaves unanswered another q: Since she had been deceased for some time prior, how did they suppose the latter body had been transferred to the new coffin

Quote:
The people at the graveyard also thought it truly was Reverend Mother in the casket, but it was Jean.
Omigod Vic now I have to read it for the sixth time
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 11:08 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Hated every page of it.
Ros can well understand tho trying hard not to, myself

Quote:
I realized that high school english classes were probably damaging early reading behaviors more than benefiting them.
Wouldn't be the least surprised. Thanks Ros for your participation
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 11:10 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
I didn't like it all -
Walt join the club

So there are at least three of us amongst 100,000 a2k'ers

Code: even not the German summary....
Ye Gods Walt, and you read German also????
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 11:14 am
@edgarblythe,
Wow, four

Of course counts 'em all, Ed, even us who quit partway thru

Not sue about S. though continually astounded at his literacy in spite of his feelings about some of us
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 11:21 am
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:
Ye Gods Walt, and you read German also????
You caught me. (But don't tell everyone about it!)
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2014 11:26 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Razz Razz Razz Laughing Laughing Razz Razz Razz
0 Replies
 
 

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