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Haven't seen the movie yet and never saw the stage version. I loved the book, especially the way that the first 5 or 6 chapters weren't even about Javert & Valjean, they were about the Bishop. And I liked the way that Hugo gets caught up in something he wants to talk about that's not driving the story, like the Battle of Waterloo or the lives of the women in the convent, and just goes with it for pages on end. Apparently he wanted to add another chapter or two on Parisian street slang but his publishers talked him out of it, thinking it would be a bit too much. I think they were right, I don't really think it would have helped the book.

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