Les Miserables (in French) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, LES MISERABLES is not only superb adventure but a powerful social document. The story of how the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to escape his past and reaffirm his humanity, in a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance, became the gospel of the poor and the oppressed.

Trying to forget his past and live an honest life, escaped convict Jean Valjean risks his ...

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Les Miserables (in French)

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Overview

Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, LES MISERABLES is not only superb adventure but a powerful social document. The story of how the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to escape his past and reaffirm his humanity, in a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance, became the gospel of the poor and the oppressed.

Trying to forget his past and live an honest life, escaped convict Jean Valjean risks his freedom to take care of a motherless young girl during a period of political unrest in Paris.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
As part of the "Bullseye Step into Classics" series, this book offers young readers a simplified version of the classic tale of the haunted and hunted man relentlessly pursued by the unforgiving police inspector. The opening scenes of the story, depicting the desperate poverty that drives Jean Valjean to steal a loaf of bread and, after his release from prison, to treat his benefactor dishonestly, are passed over quickly in narrative form and don't engage the reader on an emotional level. However, once Jean Valjean rescues Cosette from a terrible life and takes her as his daughter, the story becomes more and more compelling. This version will hold the interest of young readers and it is to be hoped that, when they are a few years older, they will search out the original masterpiece and become immersed in the drama of Jean Valjean, the hunted and Inspector Javert, the hunter. 1995, Random House, $3.99. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
Library Journal
Hugo's classic tale set against the backdrop of political upheaval in 19th-century France retains its timeless appeal in this notably condensed rendition of the struggles of former convict Jean Valjean. While the abridgment inevitably cuts many of the intricate subplots and minor characters who enrich Hugo's vast tome, this suspenseful central plot tracing Valjean's endeavor to emerge from desperate circumstances while being pursued by the duty-obsessed Inspector Javert remains intact and comprehensible to listeners. The principal characters retain their epic proportions, and the major themes of redemption through good works and the importance of authentic charity are undiminished. Narrator Michael York adds vigor and distinct characterizations to the broad cast of characters in this fittingly dramatic performance. Suitable for collections that do not already contain one of the many audio versions of this work (e.g., Audio Reviews, LJ 5/1/93).--Linda Bredengerd, Hanley Lib., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Bradford
Library Journal
Hugo's standard is being reprinted to tie in with the Disney animated feature. Though the average kid is not likely to wade through this epic, Hyperion's illustrated edition is actually quite nice if you're looking for a quality hardcover at a good price.
Kirkus Reviews
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (40 pp.; Sept. 1997; 0-531- 30055-2): A storybook retelling of Hugo's classic of the lonely bellringer and his hopeless love for the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmerelda, whom he rescues from hanging and the evil archdeacon Dom Frollo and reunites with her mother. While remaining relatively faithful to the original, this version from Wynne- Jones (The Maestro, 1996, etc.) is always competent, but never compelling. Slavin creates lovely illustrations, but his pale washes leave even the most festive scenes sedate. The volume lacks power or emotion; adults seeking an alternative—any alternative—to the Disney film may find that this one hardly competes for the hearts and minds of the target audience.
From Barnes & Noble
A rousing adventure story peopled with heartbreaking, unforgettable characters and a powerful allegory about the good and evil lying beneath the surfaces of human beauty, ugliness, and superior intellect.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455404902
  • Publisher: B&R Samizdat Express
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Language: French
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 176,478
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (1802-85), novelist, poet, playwright, and French national icon, is best known for two of today’s most popular world classics: Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, as well as other works, including The Toilers of the Sea and The Man Who Laughs. Hugo was elected to the Académie Française in 1841. As a statesman, he was named a Peer of France in 1845. He served in France’s National Assemblies in the Second Republic formed after the 1848 revolution, and in 1851 went into self-imposed exile upon the ascendance of Napoleon III, who restored France’s government to authoritarian rule. Hugo returned to France in 1870 after the proclamation of the Third Republic.

Julie Rose’s acclaimed translations include Alexandre Dumas’s The Knight of Maison-Rouge and Racine’s Phèdre, as well as works by Paul Virilio, Jacques Rancière, Chantal Thomas, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN medallion for translation and the New South Wales Premier’s Translation Prize.

Adam Gopnik is the author of Paris to the Moon and Through the Children’s Gate, and editor of the Library of America anthology Americans in Paris. He writes on various subjects for The New Yorker and has recently written introductions to works by Maupassant, Balzac, Proust, and Alain-Fournier.

Biography

Novelist, poet, dramatist, essayist, politician, and leader of the French Romantic movement from 1830 on, Victor-Marie Hugo was born in Besançon, France, on February 26, 1802. Hugo's early childhood was turbulent: His father, Joseph-Léopold, traveled as a general in Napoléon Bonaparte's army, forcing the family to move frequently. Weary of this upheaval, Hugo's mother, Sophie, separated from her husband and settled in Paris. Victor's brilliance declared itself early in the form of illustrations, plays, and nationally recognized verse. Against his mother's wishes, the passionate young man fell in love and secretly became engaged to Adèle Foucher in 1819. Following the death of his mother, and self-supporting thanks to a royal pension granted for his first book of odes, Hugo wed Adèle in 1822.

In the 1820s and 1830s, Victor Hugo came into his own as a writer and figurehead of the new Romanticism, a movement that sought to liberate literature from its stultifying classical influences. His 1827 preface to the play Cromwell proclaimed a new aesthetic inspired by Shakespeare, based on the shock effects of juxtaposing the grotesque with the sublime. The great success of Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) confirmed Hugo's primacy among the Romantics.

By 1830 the Hugos had four children. Exhausted from her pregnancies and her husband's insatiable sexual demands, Adèle began to sleep alone, and soon fell in love with Hugo's best friend, the critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve. They began an affair. The Hugos stayed together as friends, and in 1833 Hugo met the actress Juliette Drouet, who would remain his primary mistress until her death 50 years later.

Personal tragedy pursued Hugo relentlessly. His jealous brother Eugène went permanently insane following Victor's wedding to Adèle. His daughter, Léopoldine, together with her unborn child and her devoted husband, died at 19 in a boating accident on the Seine. Hugo never fully recovered from this loss.

Political ups and downs ensued as well, following the shift of Hugo's early royalist sympathies toward liberalism during the late 1820s. He first held political office in 1843, and as he became more engaged in France's social troubles, he was elected to the Constitutional Assembly following the February Revolution of 1848. After Napoléon III's coup d'état in 1851, Hugo's open opposition created hostilities that ended in his flight abroad from the new government.

Declining at least two offers of amnesty -- which would have meant curtailing his opposition to the Empire -- Hugo remained in exile in the Channel Islands for 19 years, until the fall of Napoléon III in 1870. Meanwhile, the seclusion of the islands enabled Hugo to write some of his most famous verse as well as Les Misérables (1862). When he returned to Paris, the country hailed him as a hero. Hugo then weathered, within a brief period, the siege of Paris, the institutionalization of his daughter Adèle for insanity, and the death of his two sons. Despite this personal anguish, the aging author remained committed to political change. He became an internationally revered figure who helped to preserve and shape the Third Republic and democracy in France. Hugo's death on May 22, 1885, generated intense national mourning; more than two million people joined his funeral procession in Paris from the Arc de Triomphe to the Panthéon, where he was buried.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Good To Know

Hugo was seen by his fans as a grand, larger-than-life character -- and rumors spread that he could eat half an ox in one sitting, fast for three days, and then work without stopping for a week.

Hugo owned a pet cat named Gavroche -- the name of one of the primary characters in Les Misérables.

The longest sentence ever written in literature is in Les Misérables; depending on the translation, it consists of about 800 words.

When Hugo published Les Misérables, he was on holiday. After not hearing anything about its reception for a few days, Hugo sent a telegram to his publisher, reading, simply:

"?"

The complete reply from the publisher:

"!"

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    1. Also Known As:
      Victor-Marie Hugo
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 26, 1802
    2. Place of Birth:
      Besançon, France
    1. Date of Death:
      May 22, 1885
    2. Place of Death:
      Paris, France

Read an Excerpt

I. Monsieur Myriel

In 1815, Monsieur Charles-François-Bienvenu Myriel was bishop of Digne.1 He was an elderly man of about seventy-five and he had occupied the seat of Digne since 1806.

There is something we might mention that has no bearing whatsoever on the tale we have to tell—not even on the background. Yet it may well serve some purpose, if only in the interests of precision, to jot down here the rumors and gossip that had circulated about him the moment he first popped up in the diocese. True or false, what is said about people often has as much bearing on their lives and especially on their destinies as what they do. Monsieur Myriel was the son of a councillor of the Aix parliament, a member of the noblesse de robe.2 They reckoned his father had put him down to inherit his position and so had married him off very early in the piece when he was only eighteen or twenty, as they used to do quite a lot in parliamentary families. Charles Myriel, married or no, had, they said, set tongues wagging. He was a good-looking young man, if on the short side, elegant, charming, and witty; he had given the best years of his life thus far to worldly pursuits and love affairs. Then the Revolution came along, events spiraled, parliamentary families were wiped out, chased away, hunted, scattered. Monsieur Charles Myriel emigrated to Italy soon after the Revolution broke out. His wife died there of the chest infection she’d had for ages. They had no children. What happened next in the destiny of Monsieur Myriel? The collapse of the old society in France, the fall of his own family, the tragic scenes of ’93,3 which were, perhaps, even more frightening for émigrés4 watching them from afar with the magnifying power of dread—did these things cause notions of renunciation and solitude to germinate in his mind? Was he, in the middle of the distractions and amorous diversions that filled his life, suddenly hit by one of those mysterious and terrible jolts that sometimes come and strike at the heart, bowling over the man public calamities couldn’t shake, threatening as these did only his existence and his fortune? No one could say; all that was known was that, when he came back from Italy, he was a priest.

In 1804,5 Monsieur Myriel was the curé of Brignolles.6 He was already old and lived like a real recluse in profound seclusion.

Around the time of the coronation, a small parish matter—who can remember what now?—took him to Paris. Among other powerful persons, he called on Cardinal Fesch,7 Napoléon’s uncle, to petition him on his parishioners’ behalf. One day when the emperor was visiting his uncle, the worthy curé, who was waiting in the anteroom, found himself in His Majesty’s path. Napoléon, seeing the old boy give him the once-over with a certain curiosity, wheeled round and said brusquely: “Who is this little man staring at me?”

“Your Majesty,” said Monsieur Myriel, “you see a little man, and I see a great man. Both of us may benefit.”

That very night, the emperor asked the cardinal what the curé’s name was and some time after that Monsieur Myriel was stunned to learn that he’d been named bishop of Digne.

But, when all’s said and done, what was true in the tales told about the first phase of Monsieur Myriel’s life? No one could tell. Few families had known the Myriel family before the Revolution.

Monsieur Myriel had to endure the fate of every newcomer in a small town, where there are always plenty of mouths blathering and not many brains working. He had to endure it even though he was the bishop, and because he was the bishop. But, after all, the talk in which his name cropped up was perhaps nothing more than talk; hot air, babble, words, less than words, pap, as the colorful language of the Midi8 puts it.

Whatever the case, after nine years as the resident bishop of Digne, all the usual gossip that initially consumes small towns and small people had died and sunk without a trace. No one would have dared bring it up, no one would have dared remember what it was.

Monsieur Myriel arrived in Digne accompanied by an old spinster, Mademoiselle Baptistine, who was his sister and ten years his junior.

They had only one servant, a woman the same age as Mademoiselle Baptistine, called Madame Magloire. Having been the servant of Monsieur le curé, she now went by the double title of personal maid to Mademoiselle and housekeeper to Monseigneur.9

Mademoiselle Baptistine was a tall, pale, thin, sweet person, the personification of that ideal expressed by the word respectable; for it seems a woman must be a mother to be esteemed. She had never been pretty, but her entire life, which had been merely a succession of holy works, had ended up laying a sort of whiteness and brightness over her; as she aged, she had gained what you could describe as the beauty of goodness. What had been skinniness in her youth had become transparency with maturity; and this diaphanous quality revealed the angel within. She was more of a spirit than a virgin. She seemed a mere shadow with scarcely enough of a body to have a gender; just a bit of matter bearing a light, with great big eyes always lowered to the ground, an excuse for a spirit to remain on earth.

Madame Magloire was a little old lady, white skinned, plump, round, busy, always wheezing, first because of always bustling about and second because of her asthma.

When he first arrived, Monsieur Myriel was set up in his episcopal palace with all the honors required by imperial decree, which ranked bishops immediately after field marshals.10 The mayor and the president of the local council were the first to visit him, and on his side, he made his first visits to the general and the chief of police.

Once he had moved in, the town waited to see their bishop on the job.

II. Monsieur Myriel Becomes Monseigneur Bienvenu

The episcopal palace of Digne was next door to the hospital. The episcopal palace was a vast and handsome town house built in stone at the beginning of the previous century by Monseigneur Henri Puget, doctor of theology of the faculty of Paris and abbé of Simore,1 who had been bishop of Digne in 1712. The palace was truly a mansion fit for a lord. Everything about it was on the grand scale, the bishop’s apartments, the drawing rooms, the bedrooms, the main courtyard, which was huge, with covered arcades in the old Florentine style, and the gardens planted with magnificent trees. It was in the dining room, which was a long and superb gallery on the ground floor opening onto the grounds, that Monseigneur Henri Puget had, on July 29, 1714, ceremoniously fed the ecclesiastical dignitaries, Charles Brûlart de Genlis, archbishop prince of Embrun, Antoine de Mesgrigny, Capuchin bishop of Grasse, Philippe de Vendôme, grand prior of France, abbé of Saint-Honoré de Lérins, François de Berton de Crillon, bishop baron of Vence, César de Sabran de Forcalquier, lord bishop and lord of Glandève, and Jean Soanen, priest of the oratory, preacher in ordinary to the king, lord bishop of Senez.2 The portraits of these seven reverend fathers embellished the dining room and the memorable date of July 29, 1714, was engraved there in gold lettering on a white marble panel.

The hospital was a low, narrow, single-story house with a small garden.

Three days after his arrival, the bishop visited the hospital. When his visit was over, he politely begged the director to accompany him back to his place.

“Monsieur le directeur, how many sick people do you have in your hospital at the moment?”

“Twenty-six, Monseigneur.”

“That’s what I counted,” said the bishop.

“The beds are all jammed together,” the director went on.

“That’s what I noticed.”

“The living areas are just bedrooms, and they’re difficult to air.”

“That’s what I thought.”

“Then again, when there’s a ray of sun, the garden’s too small for the convalescents.”

“That’s what I said to myself.”

“As for epidemics, we’ve had typhus this year, and two years ago we had miliary fever—up to a hundred were down with it at any one time. We don’t know what to do.”

“The thought did strike me.”

“What can we do, Monseigneur?” said the director. “You have to resign yourself to it.”

This conversation took place in the dining-room gallery on the ground floor. The bishop fell silent for a moment, then suddenly turned to the hospital director.

“Monsieur,” he said, “how many beds do you think you could get in this room alone?”

“Monseigneur’s dining room?” cried the astonished director.

The bishop sized up the room, giving the impression he was taking measurements and making calculations by eye alone.

“It could easily hold twenty beds!” he mumbled, as though talking to himself. Then he spoke more loudly. “Look, my dear director, I’ll tell you what. There has obviously been a mistake. There are twenty-six of you in five or six small rooms. There are three of us here and we’ve got enough room for sixty. There’s been a mistake, I’m telling you. You’ve got my place and I’ve got yours. Give me back my house. This is your rightful home, here.”

The next day, the twenty-six poor were moved into the bishop’s palace and the bishop was at the hospital.

Monsieur Myriel had no property, his family having lost everything in the Revolution. His sister got an annuity of five hundred francs, which was enough for her personal expenses, living at the presbytery. Monsieur Myriel received a salary of fifteen thousand francs from the government as bishop. The very day he moved into the hospital, Monsieur Myriel decided once and for all to put this sum to use as follows. We transcribe here the note written in his hand.

household expenditure

For the small seminary 1500 livres

Mission congregation 100 livres

For the Lazarists of Montdidier 100 livres

Seminary of foreign missions in Paris 200 livres

Congregation of the Saint-Esprit 150 livres

Religious institutions in the Holy Land 100 livres

Societies of maternal charity 300 livres

For the one at Arles 50 livres

For the betterment of prisons 400 livres

For the relief and release of prisoners 500 livres

For the release of fathers of families imprisoned for debt 1000 livres

Salary supplement for poor schoolteachers in the diocese 2000 livres

Upper Alps public granary 100 livres

Ladies’ Association of Digne, Manosque, and Sisteron,3 for the free education of poor girls 1500 livres

For the poor 6000 livres

My personal expenses 1000 livres

total 15000 livres

The whole time Monsieur Myriel held the see of Digne, he made almost no change in this arrangement—what he called, as we shall see, “taking care of his household expenses.”

Mademoiselle Baptistine accepted the arrangement with absolute submission. For this devout spinster, Myriel was both her brother and her bishop, the friend she grew up with and her superior according to ecclesiastical authority. Quite simply, she loved him and revered him. When he spoke, she listened, and when he took action, she was right behind him. Only the servant, Madame Magloire, grumbled a bit. As you will have noticed, the bishop kept only a thousand livres for himself which, added to Mademoiselle Baptistine’s pension, meant fifteen hundred francs a year. The two old women and the old man all lived on those fifteen hundred francs.

And when some village curé came to Digne, the bishop still managed to find a way of entertaining him, thanks to the assiduous scrimping and saving of Madame Magloire and Mademoiselle Baptistine’s clever management.

One day, when the bishop had been in Digne for about three months, he said, “With all that, things are pretty tight!”

“They certainly are!” cried Madame Magloire. “Monseigneur hasn’t even claimed the money the département owes him for the upkeep of his carriage in town and his rounds in the diocese. In the old days, that was standard for bishops.”

“You’re right, Madame Magloire!” the bishop agreed. And he put in his claim.

A short while later, after considering this application, the department council voted him an annual stipend of three thousand francs, under the heading, Bishop’s Allowance for Carriage Upkeep, Postal Costs, and Travel Expenses Incurred in Pastoral Rounds.

The local bourgeoisie was up in arms over this and an imperial senator,4 who had been a member of the Council of Five Hundred5 promoting the Eighteenth Brumaire and was now provided with a magnificent senatorial seat near Digne township, wrote a cranky little private letter to the minister of public worship, Monsieur Bigot de Préameneu.6 We produce here a genuine extract of a few lines:

“Carriage upkeep? Whatever for, in a town with less than four thousand people? Travel expenses incurred in pastoral rounds? To start with, what’s the good of them anyway? And then, how the hell does he do the rounds by post chaise in such mountainous terrain? There are no roads. One has to proceed on horseback. Even the bridge over the Durance at Château-Arnoux7 can barely take a bullock-drawn cart. All these priests are the same. Greedy and tight. This one played the good apostle when he first turned up. Now he acts like all the rest. He must have a carriage and a post chaise. He must have luxury, the same as the old bishops. Oh, these bloody clergy! Monsieur le comte, things will only come good when the emperor has delivered us from these pious swine. Down with the pope! [Things were not good with Rome at that point.]8 As for me, I’m for Caesar alone.” And so on and so forth.

Madame Magloire, on the other hand, was delighted.

“Hooray!” she said to Mademoiselle Baptistine. “Monseigneur put the others first but he’s wound up having to think of himself, finally. He’s fixed up all his charities. Here’s three thousand livres for us. At last!”

The same night, the bishop wrote a note, which he handed to his sister. It went like this:

carriage upkeep and travel expenses

Beef broth for the sick in the hospital 1500 livres

For the society of maternal charity of Aix 250 livres

For the society of maternal charity of Draguignan 250 livres

For abandoned children 500 livres

For orphans 500 livres

total 3000 livres

And that was Monsieur Myriel’s budget.

As for the cost of episcopal services, redemptions, dispensations, baptisms, sermons, consecrations of churches and chapels, marriages and so on, the bishop took from the rich all the more greedily for giving it all to the poor.

It wasn’t long before offerings of money poured in. The haves and the have-nots all knocked on Monsieur Myriel’s door, some coming in search of the alms that the others had just left. In less than a year, the bishop became treasurer of all works of charity and cashier to all those in distress. Large sums passed through his hands, but nothing could make him change his style of life in the slightest or get him to embellish his spartan existence by the faintest touch of the superfluous.

Far from it. As there is always more misery at the bottom of the ladder than there is fraternity at the top, everything was given away, so to speak, before it was received, like water on thirsty soil. A lot of good it did him to be given money, he never had any. And so, he robbed himself.

The custom being for bishops to put their full baptismal names at the head of their mandates and pastoral letters, the poor people of the area had chosen, out of a sort of affectionate instinct, the one among all the bishop’s various names that made the most sense to them, and so they called him Monseigneur Bienvenu—Welcome. We’ll do likewise whenever the occasion arises. Besides, the nickname tickled him.

“I like that name,” he said. “Bienvenu pulls Monseigneur into line.”

We are not saying that the portrait of the man we offer here is accurate; we will restrict ourselves to the claim that it is a passing likeness.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 346 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    READ THE UNABRIDGED VERSION!

    The unabridged version is what you should read. That's what the author Victor Hugo wanted us to read. He did not write 1463 pages for people to butcher it up to an abridged version. And with the abridged version you don't fully get the affect of the book. I know people don't have a very good attention span these days but it's so worth it to read the unabridged version. The abridged version takes alot of important parts out. If you are in a hurry and need a quick read for school or something like that get the spark notes or cliff notes. Please show the author respect by reading the unbutchered version. I'm dissappointed in BN for publishing the abridged version. Les Miserables is one of the most greatest books on the world. Don't let the size of the book discourage you. When you look at it like this some of us read 1000 some pages a month when we add up all the books we've read.

    50 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 4, 2008

    A True Classic

    I've read both the unabridged version and this abridged version. This version summarizes parts of the book where Hugo gets a bit long winded and spends several pages just to make one point that could easily be made by one paragraph. I prefer this version. <BR/><BR/>Hugo's Jean Valjean will have you sharing his feelings as society both praises and condemns him. Society praises his accomplishments yet can condemn him for past mistakes and for which overrule anything he did or could have done to better himself and those around him. While reading this novel I often wonder how close to the truth this treatment was. I suspect, very close.

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 26, 2008

    How can I describe it?

    I loved this book. It is skillfully written and truly a classic. I would recommend reading the full version, not the abridged because there is a lot that you miss. A wonderful book full of action and love. It is now my favorite book ever!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 11, 2008

    This is the best book I have ever read

    This is my favorite book of all time. It is filled with great characters that one would sincerily care about, and has an unforgettable, yet sometimes misunderstood hero. I VERY highly recommend this book to all!!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A True Classic Masterpiece & a must read.

    Les Miserables is my new all-time favorite books. I love the richness of the story, the grandness and generosity of the sentiments, and the deep human insight. I find this old translation to be just lovely. I can open it to many a page and just read, like lovely poetry, for the beauty of the language. But it is most worthwhile for the depth of humanity that Hugo shows thru his precious character. Such Jean Valjean who stole my heart.

    As I mentioned in my headline the book is a must read. It would be a crime to miss this wonderful - you are among the miserable of the earth in a very different sense if you don't take the time to read it.

    Another wonderful element is the sense of history that you get from it. The Napoleonic wars still inspired passion. It's great to see the battle of Waterloo recounted from the French side. There a forty or fifty page chapter that is worth reading for the history alone - all triggered as an aside to explain why Valjean was convicted a second time despite his good works, because, in court, he referred in passing to Napoleon as "the Emperor." It brings history alive in a way that history books alone do not at times. And I usally look for those since I am a huge history buff. For anyone else who luvs to jog back into history pick up this book. It's definately worth the read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    Les miserables

    French version. Wish it would say that in description!

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Abridged???

    I keep missing parts of the book. This is no good for someone who already loves great literature and is trying to re-read.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    "Not like the play." You're joking, right? You do rea

    &quot;Not like the play.&quot;
    You're joking, right? You do realize the play was based off the novel (which was written approximately a hundred and fifty years ago) and not the other way around? Les Miserables is quite possibly the most brilliant work of all classic literature. Personally, I prefer the unabridged version, but I can understand why people would want the abridged, as Hugo does tend to get a bit long-winded... I was told once that authors back then were paid by the page or the word.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Amazing!

    I bought this after enjoying the movie, unaware of its size. It took me a month to complete. Excepting this fact, and a few confusing tidbits here and there, this book is astounding. Hugo's writing is amazing, and I grew attached to every single one of the characters. It is most definently worth the time and money. And its not too terribly hard to understand- I was 12 when I read it and understood it fine. You have no excuse to not buy it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 1999

    Absolutely outstanding

    Despite a large number of typos in the 1996 B&N unabridged edition, every word in it marks two masters--Hugo as editor, and Wilbour as translator. Don't lose out by choosing an abridged edition! All 1222 pages of the 1996 ed. are worth reading--twice.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Barnes & Noble really should not sell a classics edition of

    Barnes &amp; Noble really should not sell a classics edition of an abridged novel. If they want their classics books to be authoritative, they need to be unabridged. Nobody should read an abridged book, and nobody should be accepting of having other people make the decision for them of what is important and not.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2012

    Why are people saying this is in French? Barnes & Noble (who

    Why are people saying this is in French? Barnes &amp; Noble (who publishes this edition) does not publish in French.

    I'll throw in a 5 star because it's a great book. I would recommend the unabridged but if 1463 pages is a bit daunting to you, at least pick up this version.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Help?

    I need to know whether this has any typos.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    Victor Hugo is to France what Abraham Lincoln is to the United S

    Victor Hugo is to France what Abraham Lincoln is to the United States, What Mohandas Ghandi is to India. Les Miserables is not a work of Fiction in the simple sense - It is a vision from the mind of the great French Visionary, a tale from the mind of a man made a hero by his own humanity. It may sound cliche, I know - but this book has the ability to change your life...that is, assuming your willing to let that happen.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Amazing

    Read it a few years ago and fell in love w the characters. The situations and the tragities moved me.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    Revisa

    Qwerty

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

    Probably the best book I ever read

    No other story summarises so many human aspects as this one: forgiveness, sacrifice, passion, love, greed and deception. A masterpiece of literature.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Nook

    So cwazy

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2013

    The books are always better than the movie and they're are no s

    The books are always better than the movie and they're are no scenes you've seen coming and you have to think this book deserves a five

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    Free classics

    For what you pay, it's great

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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