This isn't in the least bit a quick read. The version I have is in 2 volumes, each of which is a big tome it its own right. The other thing that's rather long are the sentences. I'm fairly sure that I saw a sentence that stretched over a whole page - Mr Hugo is in love with all punctuation - except the full stop. It was an object lesson in how to use colons & semi colons. >:-) It does digress somewhat - at one point there's a fairly long description of the Battle of Waterloo that does little to advance the story, but does provide the back story between two characters in fulsome detail. If you've seen the musical that is, trust me, merely the bare bones of what's in here. Having said that, it was a read that felt worthwhile. Some epic tomes just feel like you're wading through treacle, whereas this was a descriptive treat.