Sure, 'Les Miserables' can be melodramatic. And seeing the musical instead of reading the novel will save you some time and spare you the long part where Hugo goes on and on about the Parisian sewer system. But I would hate for the novel to lose that.
A fragmented film such as 'Babel' gives the impression of 'edginess' but, in its form, tells us nothing we didn't already know.
At 14 and 15, I was sort of my town's resident beatnik.
For some reason, I spent my early thirties reading as much postwar Hungarian fiction as I could get my hands on.
I associated excellence in writing with New York City.