Review: Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Stacy King

21433251Manga Classics: Les Miserables
By: Stacy King, Tszmei Lee (Illustrator), Victor Hugo (Original author)
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Published: Aug 19, 2014
Genre: Manga

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Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.


1thoughts This is a great manga. I will admit that I’ve never read the story by Victor Hugo but I like Stacy King’s adaptation. For those of you who are like me and have never read the story, it’s not just about the French Revolution. Sure there is part of that in here but a lot of the story revolves around Cosette and Jean Valjean. You see, Jean is a convict. A man who is shunned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s family. So he’s constantly on the run but manages to make a life for himself as a town mayor under an alias. Meanwhile, Cosette’s mother is in the same predicament. Because she had Cosette out of wedlock, she is turned away at every turn. Soon she finds herself giving her daughter to some innkeepers so that she can be raised appropriately while her mother does what she needs to for money (which are some pretty horrific things). But when she falls ill, she asks the Mayor to bring her daughter to her. Which is where Cosette and Jean’s paths cross.

I may not have read the novel but I think the author did a great job adapting this into a manga. Sometimes with mangas you feel left out or the story feels rushed, and I didn’t get that with this story. I felt like I had just watched a movie after finishing it. There were moments where I held my breath while the story unfolded. Stacy King did a great job with this, and so did Tszmei Lee.

Whether you are a fan of the classic or not, this is a great manga. I never had any intention of reading the classic or watching the movie but I may have to rent it now.
LMCosette was treated as a slave while being “cared for” by the inn keepers. When Jean Valjean shows up, he sees how mistreated she is and how crappy of a life she’s had with these people and makes sure that she’s happy. First, starting with what appears to be her first gift while living there.

2 Thoughts on “Review: Manga Classics: Les Miserables by Stacy King

  1. I’m familiar with the story and it sounds like the writer stayed true to the classic. I’d like to see the illustrations, I’m a fan of manga art.

  2. I loved this adaptation too. I read the novel, but this is a great shrunken down version, and the art was so cute.

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