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Les Miserables

Average Rating 4.5
( 171 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(114)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Amazing!!

As if anyone needed an excuse to read Les Miserables--one of the most fantastic pieces of literature of all time--we now have a wonderfully rendered translation by Julie Rose. Coupled with a wildly intelligent introduction by Adam Gopnik, this is the most complete and ...
As if anyone needed an excuse to read Les Miserables--one of the most fantastic pieces of literature of all time--we now have a wonderfully rendered translation by Julie Rose. Coupled with a wildly intelligent introduction by Adam Gopnik, this is the most complete and informative edition of Hugo's masterpiece to date. With ludicrously complete endnotes, one can read the novel and achieve near total comprehension of the era about which Hugo was writing. We understand through this winning translation and notes why Napoleon was good and evil, why he was such a polarizing figure, why the French Revolution was so important to European and world history. Understanding the world from which Hugo's charaters come helps us relate and identify with them even more. We understand why Enjolras is a zealot, why Javert is dedicated beyond reason to the law, why Fantine felt she had run out of options, to name a very few. Les Miserables, at its core, is a meditation on the human spirit in its idealized form: what Man can achieve through good deeds, dedication, and love of his fellow men. Read and be inspired.

posted by Anonymous on August 16, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Not fair

Abridged

posted by Anonymous on November 21, 2013

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Page 1 of 9
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2008

    Amazing!!

    As if anyone needed an excuse to read Les Miserables--one of the most fantastic pieces of literature of all time--we now have a wonderfully rendered translation by Julie Rose. Coupled with a wildly intelligent introduction by Adam Gopnik, this is the most complete and informative edition of Hugo's masterpiece to date. With ludicrously complete endnotes, one can read the novel and achieve near total comprehension of the era about which Hugo was writing. We understand through this winning translation and notes why Napoleon was good and evil, why he was such a polarizing figure, why the French Revolution was so important to European and world history. Understanding the world from which Hugo's charaters come helps us relate and identify with them even more. We understand why Enjolras is a zealot, why Javert is dedicated beyond reason to the law, why Fantine felt she had run out of options, to name a very few. Les Miserables, at its core, is a meditation on the human spirit in its idealized form: what Man can achieve through good deeds, dedication, and love of his fellow men. Read and be inspired.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2004

    BEST Book Ever

    THis is by far my favorite book! It was outstanding.I read the entire book when I was 14 and still is my favorite.I love all of the detailing Victor Hugo does.He is a Great writer and the book is full of adventure ,I just couldn't put the book down!My favorite character has to be Eponine.I definatly recommend this book!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Inspiring!

    In this epic tale, Hugo has an endless array of characters that are willing to do whatever they have to including sacrificing themselves, to ensure that those they love are happy. The amazing characters are made even more realistic in that Hugo shows that each one of them is human, each one has their own faults, this only makes the novel more inspiring, as it illustrates to us that everyday people, just like us, have the strength to self sacrifice for the greater good. It is a beautiful novel that inspires us to live not for ourselves, but for others.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2003

    Les Miserables is a good book

    Les Miserables Les Miserables is one of the best books I¿ve ever read. It contrasts the hard life of Jean Valjean, a convict, to the sheltered and almost star struck life of Cossette, whom Jean Valjean fosters after her mother, Fantine, dies. When placed against the striking background of a Paris in political turmoil, this story strikes a chord in every person who reads it. I give it an A+, 10 out of 10, 5 stars, whatever I can to express how good this book is.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Not fair

    Abridged

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    C

    I just went to see the movie!Soooooooooooooooooooooooo sad almost everybody died.i cried the whole movie.now i just need to read the book!

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2002

    an eye-opener for the people.

    undoubtedly, this novel is an eye-opener! with the revealing plot and the symbolic figures used, Hugo artistically presented a story of a convict with a touch of the political dilemma of the people during his time. the characters of fantine, cosette and javert add up to the effectiveness of the novel and their stories are somehow affecting the the outcome. Valjean's character is outrageously different , his transformation from a convict into an important man of society makes his character interesting despite the struggles he encountered especially with Javert who appeared as a classical villain although his objectives are just a part of his job. the love story of marius and cosette , on the other hand made a little part boring because the flow of story became slow but still it adds flavor to the completeness of the novel!!! truly les miserables is recommendable and 5 stars are enough to fully recognized the essential points that this eye-opener is trying to implant into our minds.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2014

    Great

    This book is great, I love the storyline too ! It has a lot of pages if you get the paperback version. 1463 to be exaxt. Don't give up keep on reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Awe

    I was cosette on braudway and my great grand mother is katherin grayson.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    THIS IS ABRIDGED!!!!!

    For those of you guys who are wondering if this abridged or not THIS IS ADRIDGED!!!! The real version is over 1500 pages whule this version is only 550 pages! This is a good version for those of you that want to read Les Miserabled but don't want to read all the extra details!!!!
    Oh by the way if you are in Mrs. Kleinman's class in SMS this is the correct version of the book that we are supposed to read for the quizes
    :D hope this helps

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2013

    Text is way too small

    This was a silly purchase. I will not read the story from this book. If you want to read the story, buy a multi-book set. This single book is enormous and difficult to hold. And the text is way too small. Unfortunate. But luckily I only wasted $5

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2011

    For french history lovers!

    This book is a romantic novel, that has much history thrown in. It is highly detailed and full of character depth. Must read, for french history.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2003

    Just the best!!

    When I first have gotten into 'Les Miserables', I was in sixth grade and playing a simple part in the play. I first thought that it was going to be boring. But then I started to understand what is going on and I fell in love with it. Even though I haven't read it yet, I feel that I have already did. I will never forget characters like Jean Valjean, Fantine, Javert, Cosette, Eponine, Marius, and the Thenardiers. This is one thing that I will never forget in my entire life.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2002

    the coolest book

    This book was a really good it was very romantic, some parts of it was sad, if you like books that a really confusing and m,ake you think alot you should read this book. i really don't like reading but this book took up like all my time. but in a good way. if it wasn't for my favorite teacher awould have read this book and would have been doing nothing.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2002

    For Love of 'Les MIserables'

    I find 'Les Miserables' to be one of the most incredible novels ever written! 'Les Miserables' is a wonderful novel about redemption and the analysis of one's own heart. The primary focus shadows upon the life of protagonist, Jean Valjean. Valjean, after many years of imprisonment, sets forth on a journey to give himself a new name and place in society. All of his random acts of kindness are a result of the hospitality of a town priest. The seeds of compassion that were sprinkled on Valjean grow into an array of meaningful lessons that the 'real world' will later find enduring. I believe that 'Les Miserables' is an astounding novel. In fact, I had the entire book read in less than one week. I never wanted to put it down. The plotlines are all about common and perceivable issues, but they are displayed in such an intensely rich, dramatic manner that is extremely mind-captivating. Nineteenth Century France is a very culturally and socially rich place to begin with, but the way Victor Hugo writes makes the entire novel sound that much more impeccable. The creative imagery (to some extent) invokes the reader to feel as if they are a part of the novel. I even found myself yelling at the book at the very exciting parts. Yes folks,I was that drawn into the novel! 'Les Miserables' centers around many themes which I feel that the society of today and the society of tomorrow should start examining very closely. To begin, one common theme is: 'Nothing is more worthy to own that compassion, ' which is also a quote from Bette Midler. This theme is consistantly examplified all throughout the novel. Seemingly, compassion is the key element motivating everything in 'Les Miserables.' If not for compassion, the fate of the characters would seem even more detrimental and depressing that what they already appear. Also, much usage of sensory details enhances the tone of the setting. A Parisian cathedral is no longer looked at as another common church, but as an emmaculate building of devoted worship. 'Les Miserables' is also told from many different points of view, adding more complexity and intenseness to this piece of literary art. The novel is divided into five sections, each with its own morality play essence. Whether it be a story from the devoted Jean Valjean, or the saint-like Fantine, none are forgettable. In order to fully enjoy this novel, one would have to possess a lot of empathy, sympathy, and understanding. If the reader does not dive into the novel with these qualities, he or she will surely finish the novel with them. Personally, I was very moved by the entire work as a whole. The drama, emotion, and most of all, the teachings are heartfelt and inspiring. I strongly recommend this novel to everyone! The climactic adrenaline that the reader feels is enough to last a lifetime. However, do not let the number of pages steer you away from something so prestigious.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    Context of Les Miserables

    I believe Les Miserables deserves four stars. It encompasses the primary historical trends of the nineteenth century. Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables, utilizes some of his personal experiences to create the exciting adventures of Jean Valjean, the protagonist of the novel, provides insight on poignant issues such as universal suffrage, prison reform, free education, and social equality. I recommend reading this novel. Les Miserables not only broadens the mind toward social issues, but the techniques used to form the novel enhanced the theme. The context of this novel was enjoyable because Hugo appropriately used different techniques to intensify the effect of the novel, one of which is symbolism. Three of the main characters symbolize different dilemmas present during the French Revolution, the period in which Les Miserables was written. Jean Valjean symbolizes the degradation of man in the proletariat; once a man has committed a crime, he will always be a convict. Cosette symbolizes atrophy of the child by darkness; women who birth children out of wedlock are belittled. Fantine symbolizes the subjection of women through hunger; women would suffice anything to survive in society. Through Jean Valjean, Hugo implemented satire to provide Les Miserables with moral redemption. In Valjean¿s attempt to redeem his past, he progresses from convict to saint. This ironical situation salvages one¿s view of mankind, that salvation can be acquired and produce a tremendous impact. The satire and moral redemption, in this novel, added immensely to the effect of the theme. It provides a sense of comfort; people make mistakes, but through those mistakes knowledge is gained for them to succeed. Another interesting technique Hugo used consists of a microcosm. He created a world within a world. Valjean possessed his own world that revolved around him and Cosette. Through this microcosm the reader gains a feeling of attachment to Cosette and Valjean. When something happens to either of them it seems as though it has befallen upon a close friend of the reader. Although this novel contains unsurpassable context, it also contains a few minor flaws. The story line for Les Miserables seems to drag out, which makes the book difficult to read. It seems as though the novel may continue forever. If the novel had not tarried along, it may have been easier to comprehend. Unfortunately, I became bored with the novel at times and had to cease reading for a while. Hugo¿s eccentric use of symbolism, satire, a microcosm, and moral redemption, provide a source of exquisite reading material. Hugo used many other techniques to spawn Les Miserables, such as flashbacks, similes and metaphors, irony, monologue, and self-communion. Each technique adds to the exquisiteness of the final product. This novel is distinguished worldwide for its portrayal of France during the French Revolution. Ultimately, Les Miserables subsists of extraordinary context. I highly recommend reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    Les Miserables: Great plot, great story, great read.

    Escape - to avoid capture, danger, or harm. This simple word is the center of life for Jean Valjean, a master of escape in Victor Hugo's novel, 'Les Miserables'. Les Miserables is not only a captivating novel which cultivates and evokes deep thoughts, but it also retained this reader¿s interest. Les Miserables has an excellent mixture of grief, action, suspense, and eventual happiness to please any avid reader. It allows insight into the human soul and gives hope for the future through Valjean¿s actions. The mood in Les Miserables is a constantly changing one. Tension consumed me as the mood changed and made me feel the imminent doom, reconciliation, and hopelessness released by the characters. A sense of mystery and foreboding is emulated through the dark settings. Most of the action occurs in a dark, dreary place, or at night, so as to give off a feeling of bad happenings. One of the biggest reasons for my love of Les Miserables has to be the story line itself. An ex-convict transforms himself from a bitter, angry person to one who sacrifices himself to better others. Stories like this give me faith in the human race and humanity. The characters are what give Les Miserables its power to fascinate readers. Each character plays a specific part in creating the novel. Fantine, a lonely, hopeless prostitute, represents misfortune. Jean Valjean is the savior for all characters. He is the one who nurses Fantine in her time of need, raises the orphaned Cosette, and saves Marius in his time of peril. Cosette is light of Valjean¿s life. Witnessing Cosette make Valjean happy lightens the mood and give Les Miserables appeal to the emotions. Javert, the police investigator, is the stimulant for most of the action and chasing in the novel. Each character contributes his or her personality to the work as a whole. I would recommend this riveting book to people who enjoy action novels with plenty of conflict and pleasing endings. Extreme detail makes Les Miserables memorable. I remembered the smallest detail because of the wonderful descriptions portrayed by Hugo. Relying heavily on justice and morality, Les Miserables kept me in suspense waiting to discover what misfortune would fall upon the next character. I recommend this book to all ardent readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2002

    Les Miserables

    Les Miserables was a truly remarkable book and i loved every part of it. I simply could not put it down once i started. It was a great work of art. And i simply enjoyed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2002

    awsome

    im a seventh grader and im reading this for an honors english class. i will admit it is kinda hard to read but in the end it is all worth while!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2014

    Faith

    She sings out loud, 'Counting Stars' by One Republic.

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