Tolstoy is said to have called Les Miserables the greatest novel ever written, and it exerted a powerful influence on the creation of War and Peace. ...Show synopsisTolstoy is said to have called Les Miserables the greatest novel ever written, and it exerted a powerful influence on the creation of War and Peace. At one level a detective story in which the relentless Inspector Javert obsessively pursues the escaped convict Jean Valjean, culminating in a dramatic chase through the sewers of Paris, at another level Hugo's masterpiece is a drama of crime, punishment and rehabilitation set against a panoramic description of French society in the years after Napoleon's fall from power. But this book is also about the metaphysical struggle between good and evil in the soul of every man and every community. Coloured by Hugo's distinctive philosophy, it is a plea for social justice, political enlightenment and personal charity which continues to speak with the undiminished authority more than a century after its first appearance.Hide synopsis
Les Miserables (Penguin Books) – Trade paperback (1982)
Victor Hugo, Norman Denny (Translator)
Trade paperback, Penguin Books 1982
ISBN: 0140444300 ISBN-13: 9780140444308
Now a major musical film from Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"), starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, and also featuring Amanda Seyfreid, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen, Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is one of the great works of western literature. Now in a new translation from the French by Christine Donougher, "Les Miserables" is at once a thrilling narrative - part comedy, mystery, romance and tragedy - and a social document of France's turbulent revolutionary history ...Show moreNow a major musical film from Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"), starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, and also featuring Amanda Seyfreid, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen, Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is one of the great works of western literature. Now in a new translation from the French by Christine Donougher, "Les Miserables" is at once a thrilling narrative - part comedy, mystery, romance and tragedy - and a social document of France's turbulent revolutionary history. Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine (Anne Hathaway), driven to prostitution by poverty. Victor Hugo (1802-85) wrote volumes of criticism, Romantic costume dramas, satirical verse and political journalism but is best remembered for his novels, especially "Notre-Dame de Paris" (1831), also known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" and "Les Miserables" (1862) which was adapted into one of the most successful musicals of all time. "All human life is here". (Cameron Mackintosh, producer of the musical "Les Miserables"). "One of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world". (Upton Sinclair). "A great writer - inventive, witty, sly, innovatory". (A. S. Byatt, author of "Possession").Hide
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Les Miserables :
One of my all time favourites!! So beautifully written, this book got me reading again after 15 yrs.
I found the parts about the revolution etc. a little hard to follow at first?but I would say to anyone ?don?t put it down!!? The book is kind of dark and dreary. But those were the times. There are many sad characters and many sad story lines. But you love all of the characters and if you have the tiniest bit of compassion you feel for them all... even Javert!! It is a reminder of the terrible times, the dirty, grimy factories, consumption, the poor and the starving people?the injustice.
On the up side, it is a book about love, a mother?s love, a father?s love, and a grandfather?s love. Jean Valjean is a hero beyond compare, and the beautiful characters, Eponine, Fantine and little Gavroche steal your heart!! The Grandfather?s love for Marius was for me one of the most moving parts of the story. I think this was the first time that I sobbed when reading a book! Ha! Ha!
??so long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which in the face of civilization, artificially creates hell on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine, with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age- the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night- are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless.? V.H. 1862
There is a reason it has been made into a movie and play over and over again.
It will always be a favourite of mine. I say ?read it, read it, read it!!?
For ten years after reading Les Miserables I took inspiration from it in regard to how I
treated other people. The unabridged version has some places that are hard to
understand why Hugo included them but in all it was a superb read and I recommend
to anyone who wants to understand redemption.
Excellent Book. Victor Hugo is a remarkable author easily compared to Henrik Sinkewitz in his writing style. The book is historically accurate which adds to the value of reading the book and following the storyline. Hugo does an excellent job depicting the Battle of Waterloo and takes a whole chapter to do so. Do not which to ruin the story so I will say that the story line is brilliant showing True repentance of a man who was once a sinner as we all are.
I had to read this for a class and while not as exciting as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" it was a pretty good book. Hugo took a social issue and wrote an epic story. Expressing the plight of the poor in this beautifuly constructive narrative it opens ones eyes to important issues. Alot of the complaints can still be seen it today's word, which is why "Les Miserables" is a timeless tale.
Its nice to see a story concerned with redemption. Jean Valjean starts out as a criminal an rises as a politician and even raises a foster daughter. He is a compassionate man haunted by his past life.
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