- Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
- Format: Paperback | 1232 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 52mm | 840g
- Publication date: 1 June 1982
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0140444300
- ISBN 13: 9780140444308
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 6,422
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. 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").
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Victor Hugo was born in 1820. He was one of France's greatest poets, dramatists and novelists. During his lifetime he produced twenty volumes of poetry, nine novels and ten plays. He was deeply concerned with the social and political developments ofhis time and his outspokenness eventually forced him to leave France until 1870 when he was elected to the national assembly. Norman Denny was educated at Radley College.
"Hugo's genius was for the creation of simple and recognizable myth. The huge success of "Les Miserables "as a didactic work on behalf of the poor and oppressed is due to his poetic and myth-enlarged view of human nature." V. S. Pritchett "It was Tolstoy who vindicated [Hugo's] early ambition by judging "Les Miserables "one of the world's great novels, if not the greatest [His] ability to present the extremes of experience 'as they are' is, in the end, Hugo's great gift." From the Introduction by Peter Washington"
One of the few indisputably great novels that can be read as breathlessly as any thriller - because that is what it is! The unrelenting pursuit of Jean Valjean by the police agent Javert, culminating in the desperate escape attempt through the sewers of Paris, is the essence of the book and the vehicle that carries the cargo of psychological, political and moral debate. Whatever Hugo tells us in the novel only possesses the terrible weight of truthfulness because this monumental work is also perhaps the greatest thriller of them all. (Kirkus UK)