I cried at the end of this book. I don't cry when I read books. I rarely even laugh. This is monumental for me. I've never seen the musical. I had no idea of what the story was about, other than the recognition of Cosette as "the picture of that girl from Les Miserables."
I wouldn't have believed I would have become so attached to Jean Valjean and the other host of characters as I was, but somehow, as it was all drawing to a close, I realized - all those long hours, ponderous passages - this book latched onto me. Even Marius grew on me by the end.
Throughout this read, my opinion of this book wavered back and forth. There were times were I was like "Good god, this is really boring right now. I get the point Mr. Hugo, let's just move on." Yet, the other times, I was engrossed in the action that I forgave him for all of his lengthy pontificating. It's a really, really long book. I'm glad I read it though. Don't get discouraged if you are currently reading! The end result is worth it all.
As I said, I actually cried reading this, so it gets an automatic five stars.