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  #1  
Old Feb 22, '06, 10:55 am
JMJ Theresa JMJ Theresa is offline
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Default Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

Our pastor recommended the movie and book in a homily. Now, my kids are dying to see it. Here are my questions:

1. Is it suitable for kids?
2. Is there just one version--if not, which one is the best? Our pastor recommended the non-musical.

Our library only loans videos for three days, so I'm not sure I'd have time to preview it and show it to the kids. So, I'd appreciate the feedback.
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  #2  
Old Feb 22, '06, 5:02 pm
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Adonis33 Adonis33 is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ Theresa
Our pastor recommended the movie and book in a homily. Now, my kids are dying to see it. Here are my questions:

1. Is it suitable for kids?
2. Is there just one version--if not, which one is the best? Our pastor recommended the non-musical.

Our library only loans videos for three days, so I'm not sure I'd have time to preview it and show it to the kids. So, I'd appreciate the feedback.
The new movie version with Uma Thurman and Liam Nielson is really awful, and the book may be a little old for kids to fully appreciate it(How old are they?).
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  #3  
Old Feb 23, '06, 2:55 am
Jaypeeto4 Jaypeeto4 is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

I think the book may turn kids off before they even open it --- it's a HUGE book.

I highly recommend getting the video or DVD of the musical version, which is available from PBS Stores or from PBS online.
It was recorded in 1995 at the Royal Albert Hall in London with an awesome cast, is absolutely gorgeous, and would move even the most stonehearted person to tears. Definitely go with the musical version. Look for it also at www.amazon.com

Love,
Jaypeeto4 (aka Jaypeeto3)
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  #4  
Old Feb 23, '06, 4:53 am
Lischou Lischou is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

I enjoyed the book a lot but I read it when I was in High School. I guess it depends on the age of your children and how much they like to read.

I've never seen the movie, so I don't know about that.

Lisa
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  #5  
Old Feb 23, '06, 6:33 am
Dubervilles Dubervilles is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

I love the musical--and think it would be kid appropriate but perhaps "over the heads" of anyone under say age 13 or so.......
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  #6  
Old Feb 23, '06, 6:50 am
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pnewton pnewton is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubervilles
I love the musical--and think it would be kid appropriate but perhaps "over the heads" of anyone under say age 13 or so.......
I second this. It's great, but too dark for younger kids.
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  #7  
Old Feb 23, '06, 1:08 pm
johnpaullover johnpaullover is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ Theresa
Our pastor recommended the movie and book in a homily. Now, my kids are dying to see it. Here are my questions:

1. Is it suitable for kids?
2. Is there just one version--if not, which one is the best? Our pastor recommended the non-musical.

Our library only loans videos for three days, so I'm not sure I'd have time to preview it and show it to the kids. So, I'd appreciate the feedback.
It's not suitable for anyone.
Bad quality movie. Morals, have to watch again to know for sure.
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  #8  
Old Feb 26, '06, 11:24 pm
nucatholic nucatholic is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

The book is outstanding. One of my favorites. Its too tough of a read for kids (and even some adults) because of the vocabulary, themes, and length. I believe its a little over a thousand pages.
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  #9  
Old Feb 27, '06, 4:10 am
Chickamauga Chickamauga is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

As far as reading material goes, the reprint of the Classics Illustrated comic book edition of Les Miserables is the way to go for the kids. As others have stated the original book is a massive read and difficult even for adults. The reading level for the Classic Illustrated comic is stated at ages 9-12, however teens and adults will also enjoy it.

This edition is a small-format quality reprint on good paper, not the rag paper of most comic books. Academic commentary on the original book as well as the artistic and thematic merits of the comic book is included in this edition. Selling used at Amazon.com Marketplace for as little as $0.01:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157...lance&n=283155



There is also an abrigement of the original novel available:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/084...lance&n=283155

Last edited by Chickamauga; Feb 27, '06 at 4:29 am.
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  #10  
Old Mar 4, '06, 6:21 pm
Unexpected Dawn Unexpected Dawn is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

I'd recommend the musical. My family saw it when I was about 13, and my sister was 11. I think some of it went over our heads, but it was visually and musically appealing.

I think the story does have good morals overall... I remember one time a priest quoted the line, "To love another person is to see the face of God." My sister and I immediately remembered that from the show. The story is overall about love, redemption, charity, compassion for the poor, and mercy.

There are some mature themes:

*Some rather crass scenes with prostitutes and the very crooked Thenardier family.
*Some battle scenes and deaths--nothing graphic, although there is a scene where a child gets shot.
*The scene where Officer Javert commits suicide by jumping off a bridge (again, not graphic, but still clearly a suicide).
*The scene where Marius grieves for all his dead friends and feels guilty that he survived.
*Some pretty mature philosophical/moral themes.

All of these things might need some explanation for your children, depending on how old they are. Seen in context with the whole story, they are necessary elements (i.e. not gratuitous).

The book is definitely for an older audience... it's very slow, long, and dense. The feature film was dismal as I recall.

Hope that helps!
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  #11  
Old Mar 4, '06, 6:31 pm
beckyann2597 beckyann2597 is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

I also think I would go with the musical. I can't wait to take my 9 year old, I think she will love it. I don't think she would understand the prostitution aspect, its brief in the musical anyhow.
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  #12  
Old Mar 4, '06, 7:03 pm
DreadVandal DreadVandal is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

I don't know about the novel, I haven't read it. Personally, I think the musical is wretched. At least the music in it is wretched. When your kids are older, take them to see Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites instead or get an English translation of Bernanos' play (the same work).
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  #13  
Old Mar 5, '06, 2:05 pm
gam197 gam197 is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

Had to read in high school but this book was on the catholic banned book list - Index Librorum Prohibitorum. I believe it was taken off-need to ask an expert. The reason for the banning probably has to do with the French Revolution which needs to be discussed and taught properly. The Catholic church was taken apart along with the catholic leadership in France before and during the French Revolution. I suppose the church was seen as causing the misery.

Most people today have alot of problem with the way the France has been acting for moral and political -not allowing the US to use it's airspace to refuel and then siding against in the Iraq War. Americans changed the name from French fries to Freedom fries.

Yet people have to remember Charlemaine, the French King who save catholic Europe from total distruction after the fall of the Roman Empire. The Frech catholic church gave us people like Saint Vincent dePaul, Saint Therese of Lisieux etc. France helped Americans win the Revolutionary war. I doubt if children would understand the history.
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  #14  
Old Mar 5, '06, 2:21 pm
Jennifer123 Jennifer123 is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gam197
Had to read in high school but this book was on the catholic banned book list - Index Librorum Prohibitorum. I believe it was taken off-need to ask an expert. The reason for the banning probably has to do with the French Revolution which needs to be discussed and taught properly. The Catholic church was taken apart along with the catholic leadership in France before and during the French Revolution. I suppose the church was seen as causing the misery.
I saw the musical during a Broadway tour. I thought it was great. But I agree here and with other posters. IMHO it should be viewed in context of all this history, which precludes anyone under high-school age at least.
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  #15  
Old Mar 5, '06, 4:53 pm
JMJ Theresa JMJ Theresa is offline
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Default Re: Is Les Miserables suitable for kids?

I found an abridged audio version at the library. It was done by Focus on the Family. The kids seemed to enjoy it.

Thanks for all the replies. I'm glad I didn't get the movie.
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