Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!!! (and a review)

Yes, I have been MIA for a few weeks.  Christmas and the New Year have totally thrown off my whole life schedule! But now I'm back.  I've taken down all of my Christmas decorations, put away all of the wrapping paper and boxes, and am no longer listening to Christmas music.  So even though I haven't been posting any reviews, I have been reading...a lot!  I have a few reviews lined up for this month, and one coming in February that I'm very excited about!  Stay tuned for those.
I do have a review today, but it's a little different than what I'm used to.  I was offered the chance to listen to and review a presentation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables from Focus on the Family Radio Theatre.  I was excited about this opportunity for a few reasons.  First, I am familiar with Focus on the Family's radio dramas, and they never disappoint.  My family has been a fan of their Adventures in Odyssey series for years.  Second, with all the recent buzz about the Les Miserables movie that's just come out, I was anxious find out what it's all about.  Having never read the story myself, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
If you aren't familiar with the story, I'll briefly tell you about it.  It's the story of Jean Valjean, a criminal, who after spending nearly 20 years in prison is released into a world in which he has no opportunities because of his past.  One extraordinary act sets him off a new path.  He totally turns his life around, and becomes a new man.  However, his past haunts him all of his life.  He meets every challenge with honesty and integrity, always helping others, even to his own detriment. 
The story itself was was extremely inspiring and amazing, but, even if it wasn't, I am in no way qualified to critique such a masterpiece.  So, let me say about the dramatic presentation, that it was awesome.  This is in no way like an audio book.  With the amazing cast, cinema sound and original music score, it's like watching a movie that you don't have to see.  I really felt like I was there with Valjean as he was in that courtroom trying to save an innocent man.  I cheered him on as he rescued little Cosette and ran for their lives.  I could feel the chill as he ran through the sewers of France, carrying the injured Marius to safety.  Some of the best scenes in the take place during the fight at the barricades.  The sound effects throughout the whole presentation were great, but they were at their best during these scenes. 
I highly recommend this radio drama.  It's about three hours long, so it might be good to listen to in your car on your way to work over a week or so.  It's good for spending a little downtime in the evenings, or while cleaning up the last of that Christmas chaos!  I listened to it over a few days while I made Christmas candy.  I will warn you though, once you start listening, you won't want to stop.  I give this presentation two thumbs up, and if I could give three, I would!  I was provided a copy of this presentation by the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading Listening!

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