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Welcome to the website for "The Les Misérables Reading Companion," where you'll find all the episodes of this podcast about Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, plus extras relating to what I've discussed there. 

This page is a work in progress. Come back early and often for updates!

The comment function on this page was giving us trouble--comments disappearing, that sort of thing--so I've shut it off...

BUT DON'T BE DISCOURAGED! You can share your thoughts about the book on Facebook or Twitter at the links below.

I still very much look forward to reading your comments! (Unless you're a troll; I will exercise ruthless editorial authority when it comes to trolls!)


Les Misérables on PBS, episode 3

Apr 30, 2019

Some themes seem to be emerging, as we’re half way through the series....

Lily Collins continued to do amazing work tonight, and the headline, I think, was Fantine’s death scene, which was stunning all around. Apart from the metal bar that connects this scene to the one by the Bishop’s bedside in the book, and...

Les Misérables on PBS, episode 2

Apr 30, 2019

I was really interested in how HUMAN the Thénardiers were when we met them tonight. In the book making them monsters has its own advantages (and helps us understand the trauma of being a child misérable), but it makes it hard to see ourselves or people in the real world in them. But the actors must have gotten...

Les Misérables on PBS, episode 1

Apr 30, 2019

Opening at Waterloo, in a HUGE visual spectacle would be Hugo-approved. He saw Waterloo as an entryway into the novel, whereas a lot of adaptations (understandably) leave it out. And making one of the first few spoken lines be Pontmercy’s “It’s all over” was an intriguing choice—for Hugo the Battle of Waterloo...

On Adaptation

Apr 30, 2019

I’m going to be commenting on #LesMisPBS here for the next few weeks, so in preparation, I thought I’d say a few words about adaptation. People who like a particular book often dismiss adaptations, à la, “A movie can never be as good as a book.” And that might be true. Most books, and certainly *this* book, are...

Apr 30, 2019

In which I explain what the holdup is, and what you can do while you're waiting for me to get my act together.