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Summary

Joss Ackland, Roger Allam, and Leslie Phillips star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel.

When poverty drives Jean Valjean to steal a loaf of bread from a baker’s window, it is an action that will haunt him for the rest of his life. A citizen of postrevolutionary France, he is sentenced to nineteen years’ hard labour. On his release his fortunes change, and he becomes a respectable businessman and member of society - and yet his past continues to dog him in the form of the sadistic Inspector Javert, who seems determined to pursue Valjean to the grave.

A student uprising is gaining momentum in Paris, and barricades are being built around the city. Valjean’s adopted daughter, Cosette, has fallen in love with the young revolutionary Marius, and the lives of all three are in peril unless they can flee to safety.

Some of the most significant moments in nineteenth century history form the backdrop for Victor Hugo’s powerful story, in which love and heroism march in the face of poverty and social injustice.

©2015 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2015 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Markie
  • Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom
  • 22-11-15

Radio doing what it does best

A superb dramatisation making full use of the sound medium fully rounded characterisations great music

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nigel
  • Berkshire, UK
  • 03-03-18

C’est magnifique!

I was apprehensive regarding ‘Les Miserables’ as my French is abysmal and I don’t like singing in stories. Okay to address the first point, nope you don’t need to know le Francais (or should that be la Francais?). Secondly my expectation has clearly been clouded by the West End musical and film adaptation. Thankfully there’s no singing!

Moving on from my ignorance, what you do get is an engaging story lead by the marvellous Roger Allam who plays the lead role of Jean Valjean, and the wonderful tones of Joss Ackland who narrates.

A really enjoyable dramatisation.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic

Probably the best performance I have ever listened to, very much enjoyed indeed. Made my walks very easy and very far. Thank you BBC for that

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Engrossing

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jean val jean prisoner 24601 who else? Actually, I love them all, the master of the house de Nadia. Marius, Marius's grand father.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Did not want to stop listening, more so second time round

Any additional comments?

Love it, would listen again yet I've already listendit twice! Love it! Etc...etc...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent a brilliant dramatisation

this was brilliantly done an engaging performance of one of the great novels. I enjoyed the characterisations and very well produced. well done bbc

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  • DARBY KERN
  • 02-08-16

Possibly the best audio version of Les Miserables?

Where does Les Miserables rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This BBC production is probably the best audio dramatization of Victor Hugo's novel. I have Orson Welles Mercury Theater version, which I love, the Focus On The Family version starring Brian Blessed, which is also quite good, but this adaptation takes more time, includes much more of Hugo's text and captures the characters best.

What did you like best about this story?

Redemption. Redemption is a beautiful thing, and though it is carelessly presented in the story (a man, even a priest, cannot redeem a soul- only God can do that), the change in Valjean's heart is staggering to behold. The story is fiction, but it has played out many times in reality. Jesus Christ changes lives. Valjean is an excellent model for that theme.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Grantaire, one of the students and Marius' friend. I believe he was the one that that slept through the "uprising," then stands with his friends as the police arrive.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The story is a roller coaster of emotions, that's why it adapted to musical theater so well. It's easy to feel Valjean's anger at the beginning, Fantine's despair, Thernardier's treachery, Marius and Cosette's intense (but virtuous) love, Javert's misguided passion. It's all right there.

Any additional comments?

I typically listen to my Audible books/dramas on my iPod while I am walking, driving, exercising. This experience did not feel like it was nearly six hours long. It was told at a comfortable pace and never seemed to drag. It may be because I'm familiar with the source material, but I think it was probably because it was so well done. As a writer of audio dramas I always thought I might have a chance to crack this nut. Now I don't need to! The BBC did a terrific job, which I will listen to again and again.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Michole
  • 30-07-16

One of the Absolute Best!!

I normally don't write reviews about anything. I usually keep my personal opinion to myself. However, I was completely blown away by this audio dramatization. The actors are outstanding, bringing the story to life. I truly enjoyed the experience and will be listening again in the near future.
You will not be disappointed!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Ibrahim
  • 14-07-16

Great capturing story with fantastic performance

One of best in literature brought to life with excellent performance. It's easy to lose sense of time griped listening till end.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-05-16

Beautiful narration and dramatization

One of my favorite stories... Revealed in a short and sweet way. The narrators have done an excellent job!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 09-02-16

Beautifully done!

This was my first exposure to Les Miserables and I couldn't be more pleased!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicente Requena
  • 14-12-16

Amazing!!!

I truly enjoyed this full cast dramatized audiobook, love the story and the dramatization of the cast. Thank you very much!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Babak S.
  • 29-05-17

Radio is great

Any additional comments?

This radio performance is really neat...It's a better compromise to the book then film could ever be, you get the dazzle without sacrificing too much imagination.

Definitely go for it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Josiah
  • 10-04-17

Phenomenal

This story is a classic. It is such an amazing story, but ends very sad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria Dryna
  • 09-08-17

I'm going to look for more Full Cast stories!

I loved the full cast. I always said there should be audio with at least a male/ female combination. nothing is more distracting than a man using high falsetto tone for women and a female sounding like the big bad wolf for ever male character. done can pull off the duel tones but not everyone.
Full cast was wonderful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • P, Louis Dubois
  • 07-07-18

Les Miserables my all time favorite

Classic literature. I read the book several times throughout my life time, its one of my all time favorites. The moral of this story is that your mistakes can follow you for life, as it did with Valjean. Even though he tangled himself up in the mess he was in, he still managed to change his life for the better and succeeded. The BBC done a great job with this dramatization. This is an excellent audiobook.