Les Miserables

Les Miserables

Book rating: 05 Paperback Penguin Classics

Translated by Norman Denny, By (author) Victor Hugo

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 1232 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 60mm | 840g
  • Publication date: 1 January 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141392606
  • ISBN 13: 9780141392608
  • Edition: Media tie-in
  • Edition statement: Film Tie-in ed
  • Sales rank: 36,601

Product description

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. 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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Author information

Victor Hugo (1802-85) was the most forceful, prolific and versatile of French nineteenth-century writers. He wrote Romantic costume dramas, many volumes of lyrical and satirical verse, political and other journalism, criticism and several novels, the best known of which are Les Miserables (1862) and the youthful Notre-Dame de Paris (1831). A royalist and conservative as a young man, Hugo later became a committed social democrat and during the Second Empire of Napoleon III was exiled from France, living in the Channel Islands. He returned to Paris in 1870 and remained a great public figure until his death: his body lay in state under the Arc de Triomphe before being buried in the Pantheon.

Customer reviews

By Jasmine Bajada 23 Aug 2013 5

Visit my book blog for more reviews: www.thefictionologist.tumblr.com

I watched the movie first and I loved it so much that I just had to read the novel. The plot is truly worthy of being that of a classic. The events that take place regarding different characters and times are all interlinked. Descriptions were sometimes long but not necessarily boring as they made sure that no question that the reader may conceive in his mind is left unanswered. Morality is a large theme in this classic along with atonement, forgiveness, rehabilitation and a whole lot more. I also adored the love theme in this book, both between girl and boy as well as father and daughter. Nearly all the themes culminate in the figure of Jean Valjean whom I admire greatly. Hugo's writing style is one of the finest I've encountered. The themes were mostly exposed due to philosophical thoughts expressed by the author apart from actions. I also admired Hugo's debating. He talked about both pros and cons of different subjects in such a good manner that I sometimes couldn't choose sides. Also, the characters were all interesting to read about. As previously mentioned, Jean Valjean is the character which impressed me most due to his self-development. His transformation from a vile and revengeful ex-convict into a generous and forgiving Christian is awe-inspiring. It is amazing how one act of kindness among contempt from the rest of society can change wholly a person's life! I also liked Enjolras, the rebel who conveys love for one's country, or patriotism, in an admirable way. The antagonists were also cleverly written and although I couldn't like them for their personality they were fun to follow. Last but not least, I loved reading about the young love between Marius and Cosette. Victor Hugo can be quite romantic!