Manga Classics: Les Misérables by Stacy King (English Script), SunNeko Lee (Art), Crystal S. Chan (Adaptation) & Victor Hugo (Original Story)
My Rating: 4 Stars
I’m not a fan of romantic tragedies but Les Misérables is a classic that needs to be read at least once for the people that studied literature, which was my case. I read it during my bachelor degree and I didn’t like it at all, it was a long, boring read. Still, in the end, I was able to appreciate the magnificent style of one of Victor Hugo’s finest works. Like all the manga classics I’ve read so far edited by Stacy King, I wasn’t disappointed and I was actually able to like the story of Les Misérables. The story is well known if not for the play, for the films. The 19th-century tale, centres on Jean Valjean a peasant released from the galleys after 19 years of imprisonment and his path to becoming a wealthy man and a better person. It’s a story about unconditional love, tragedy, second-chances and redemption.
The manga adaptation has a length of 350 pages and the original story is very well adapted just like all the previous ones. For someone that wants to know the story of Les Misérables, I definitely recommend this adaptation. The drawings match perfectly the dark atmosphere of 19th century France with the coldness and cruel reality of the period but also the light that comes with hope and redemption. All the emotions of the original novel are there and for me, it was even more emotional since it’s not just descriptions but illustrations as well.
A moving story that shows the dark parts of French society for those that weren’t born with privileges and that suffered the injustice of society and life. Valjean that was arrested for 19 years for stealing bread to feed his family; Francine, abandoned by the man she loved to face the judgement of society for having an illegitimate child, only to die after a battle that she could never win.
A beautiful classic adaptation of a classic made simple with all the emotions of its original. I highly recommend it!
Thank you to Udon Entertainment and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
There aren't enough words to describe how much I enjoyed reading "Coriolanus".
Caius Martius is a character that struggles with the image of himself and what others what him to be. I see a strong, hotheaded, blunt soldier that falls victim of a conspiracy led by a government that is afraid of his power, the strength of character and popularity. Coriolanus is arrogant proto-fascist that fails to become a politician, as his mother and the Roman government want him to be. Consequently, he walks right into a trap in which he falls victim. At the same time that he is a brute, he's also modest and honest with his comrades and himself until the very end. Furthermore, he had the courage to choose that was best for his family despite his thirst for revenge and knowing that his life was on the line.
In the end, his mistake is to remain himself no matter how much the people around him try to make him something he is not. Death seems
This play is definitely on my top favourite of Shakespeare's works!
My Rating: 5 Stars
A powerful and fantastic play by William Shakespeare.
In the story of Macbeth, ambition, obsession and lust for power are the main themes. It's also about trying to escape fate and in the end making it happen exactly as it was predicted. Macbeth, the main character, is the villain of this story. For me, I could never consider him a hero since he was only loyal to the king in hopes to get a higher position. After receiving the warning of the three witches of the prophecy that was to fall on him, Macbeth is drawn to a dark plot and fatal ending in an attempt to fulfil his thirst for power and escape death.
Along side Macbeth, there is the main female character, his wife, Lady Macbeth, a powerful and manipulative woman that shares the same ambitious as her husband. In truth, it was her that implements the seed of the plan that would, in the end, condemn her and her husband. She knows no bounds but in the end, it's the only character that shows remorse.
Highly recommend it!
My Rating: 3 Stars
I'm a fan of Shakespeare and I have been since I read Hamlet when I was 18 years old.
But this story, even though it's a very famous one, both for the book and the several movies made of it, it just doesn't work for me. Even so, I gave it 3 stars for the writing style (a masterpiece).
In the end, I thought that the story is not just about love and the consequences of falling hard in love, too quickly and too young. It's also about the restrictions that came with a title in the 16th century England. It was a period that the poor plebe had more freedom of choice than the nobility.
I also noticed a lesson that parents are still faced with nowadays: the more you tell a child or a teenager not to do something, that's exactly what she/he will do.
My Rating: 5 stars
Another brilliant play by William Shakespeare, this time focusing on the destructive power of jealousy, lack of communication, suspicion, insecurity and the grave repercussions of it all. A villain with a great power of manipulation, using that power to fuel jealousy in Othello to get that his revenge.
On the contrary of what I was expecting from the main character, Othello revealed himself to be a petty and very insecure man that didn't really understand the meaning of trust. His insecurity reveals itself to be fatal when Iago starts to poison his mind against his wife, motivated by jealousy of his friend's life, status and his marriage. Unfortunately for Othello, he misinterprets every move of his faithful wife as a sign of treason and understands too late his fatal mistake, that his unreasonable suspicion fell on the wrong person.
I must say that my favourite character his Iago in this play. He is a complex character and I did enjoy that he won in the end, proving that good doesn't always triumph over evil and that there are consequences when we act on the influence of others.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This was the first play I read from Shakespeare and to this day, it's my absolute favourite. For me, this is play is one of the most brilliant.
The characters are very complex even we the reader thinks he was everyone figured out. In Hamlet, we have the tragic hero trying to deal with his beloved father's death and the marriage of his recently-widowed mother to his uncle, Claudius. When he's confronted by the ghost of his father, Hamlet's struggles with his duty: to avenge his father by killing his uncle. The way I analysed it, Hamlet knows that killing his father's killer is part of his responsibility as the heir of the king and his honour demands it, but at the same time, he knows that his soul will be condemned to hell if he goes through with it. Being so deeply involved in his inner turmoil, Hamlet fails to notice the growing depressive state of his once beloved Ophelia, daughter of Polonius and sister of Laertes.
Claudius is the villain of this plot and is driven by the need to be the centre of attention. The way I see it, the murder he committed wasn't just for power, but also to stop being the shadow of his brother. It might be my interpretation but I would say Claudius was already in love with Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, motivating his actions even more.
Hamlet's mother is the picture of the naive and unaware woman that doesn't grasp the gravity of the situation and refuses to see her new husband for that he is. I think that she is in deep denial and the fact that she married so soon is a sign that didn't really deal with her first husband's death. She is determined to move on, even if it costs the relationship with her son. Gertrude clearly favours Claudius and at some point even considers Hamlet to be mad.
In the end, Hamlet's tragedy sets in motion the tragedies of the other characters, including Laertes, who plays a key role in the end of the play.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.