Les Miserables [NOOK Book]

Overview

Les Mis?rables translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, (The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a seventeen-year period in the early nineteenth century, starting in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion.
The novel focuses on the ...
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Les Miserables

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Overview

Les Misérables translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, (The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a seventeen-year period in the early nineteenth century, starting in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion.
The novel focuses on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption. It examines the nature of law and grace, and expatiates upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. The story is historical fiction because it contains factual and historic events. Contrary to what some believe, it does not use the French Revolution as a backdrop. The French Revolution took place in the eighteenth century; Les Miserables takes place in the nineteenth. The only "revolution" depicted is the June Rebellion, a student uprising.
Les Misérables contains many plots, but the main thread is the story of ex-convict, Jean Valjean (known by his prison number, 24601), who becomes a force for good in the world, but cannot escape his dark past. The novel is divided into five volumes, each volume divided into books, and subdivided into chapters (for a total of three hundred sixty-five chapters). Each chapter is relatively short, usually no longer than a few pages. Nevertheless, the novel as a whole is quite lengthy by modern standards, exceeding fourteen hundred pages in unabridged editions (nineteen hundred pages in French). It also contains what has many times, incorrectly, been considered the longest sentence in a published novel. Within the borders of the novel's story, Hugo fills many pages with his thoughts on religion, politics, and society, including several lengthy digressions, one being a discussion on enclosed religious orders, one on the construction of the Paris sewers, another being on argot, and most famously, his retelling of the Battle of Waterloo.

Includes a biography of the Author
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013060999
  • Publisher: DB Publishing House
  • Publication date: 8/31/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,223,862
  • File size: 5 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 288 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(186)

4 Star

(45)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(31)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 287 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 1999

    Would It Be Possible To Love A Book More?

    This book is truly a masterpiece. The reader is absolutely drawn in by the characters. I adore books that make me cry because I know that then, I am definately involved. For this book, I bawled! I have to warn you that I have read a couple of different abridged versions and some of them cut out really crucial parts. Play it safe, pick up the unabridged version! You'll love it!

    38 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    Buy at your own risk!

    I love this book, but I was not at all satisfied with the Nook version. It worked fine at first, but then it would freeze up on me. I would constantly get error messages saying the Activity Reader has stopped working, and then I would have to force close it. Then to top it all off, the last part of the book is missing! Not worth wasting your $ ... even if it's only a dollar.

    32 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2008

    Over-rated

    I'm not sure how this excruciatingly long-winded book managed to achieve classic status. The characters are completely flat, from the relentlessly selfless Bishop of Digne to the reformed Jean Valjean who, though he sometimes doubts himself, always winds up being utterly generous and humble, to Thenardier, the caricature of bottomless greed, and Javert the relentless inspector who instead of pursuing murderers, rapists and con-artists, inexplicably spends ten years obsessing over the capture of a guy who stole a loaf of bread and wouldn't give a kid back a coin that he'd dropped. <BR/>For all its flowery prose, this book doesn't manage to bring much of anything to life. We're told that Jean Valjean has this timeless love for adopted little Cosette, but we never get to see that love develop. We never see any tender and inspirational moments between them. The author just insists that it's an amazing love and we are supposed to take his word for it. Likewise the romance between Cosette and Marius. Not much of anything happens between them. There is never a moment when they are together and we feel like we're seeing two people discover the elements of love buried beneath their outward surfaces. Here everything is surface. VH insists that their love is great; we watch them pining away for each other; but really we wonder why exactly they're pining.<BR/>As for the famous digressions in the book, they aren't the problem. Okay--four chapters on the sewers of Paris and the poetics of excrement were a bit much, but the real problem is that Hugo endlessly repeats himself. It seems like he doesn't think the reader is smart enough to appreciate the sense of what he's saying unless he repeats it three or four or five times. At one point, I put the book down in disgust because he posed the same philosophical question (with slight rewording each time) over and over again till it filled up most of a page. If you read this book, be prepared to mutter under your breath "All right, I get it already...could you move on please" quite frequently.<BR/>I've read some reviews that cite this book as a good lesson in the history of the French Revolution. It's not actually about THE French Revolution, just an uprising in Paris more than forty years later, though echoes of the Revolution and its aftermath are everywhere. Unfortunately for the modern non-French reader, Hugo pretty much assumes you already know everything about the Revolution, the Restoration, the reign of Napoleon and lots of more obscure tidbits of French history. He doesn't often explain, but only rhapsodizes on bygone days so that, if you aren't already steeped in French history, you often have to resort to an online encyclopedia to find out what it is he's actually talking about.<BR/>Speaking of not being a French reader, will someone please tell the idiot translators of these kinds of books that they need to translate everything into English. There are untranslated French and Latin phrases sprinkled throughout every chapter. I realize they may not have an exact equivalent in English, but I could at least get a sense of them if they were translated. Leaving them in French or Latin just leaves me with a bunch of words I have to translate myself.

    20 out of 69 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    Good Book but Glitchy File

    The story of Les Mis is absolutely wonderful. I was drawn to reading the book after seeing the 25th Anniversary production of the musical at the O2 in London (also highly recommended). I like that in the unabridged version, you get more details about the story, but you also get extensive social commentary from Hugo on the world he sees around him. It adds another dimension to the book. That having been said, this particular file works great until you get to 700 out of the 1250 pages. From that point on it continually freezes everytime you try to turn a page. It also frequently kicks you to an entirely different page which may be numerous pages back from where you are currently reading or several chapters ahead.

    17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2011

    Try a different version!!!

    The very ending of the book is missing. It starts freezing towards the end. Loved the story and so upset I couldn't finish it.

    16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2012

    Don't buy this for the NOOK! It's the translation by Fahnestock

    Don't buy this for the NOOK! It's the translation by Fahnestock (as
    advertised). It's the Hapgood translation.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2011

    Do Not Buy THIS Version

    I have spent nearly two hours with customer service because my nook freezes up whenever I try to something unusual like highlight a portion, look up a word, or turn the page. Also got the Activity Reader Error. Final engineering report: we will refund your money. I will purchase another version, but still unabridged as the story is wonderful.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Great Translation - But Abridged

    The misleading title "complete with all 5 volumes" had me thinking this was an unabridged version. It is NOT. Though I enjoy the translation, I wanted to read the WHOLE book.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    Great book, but why pay?

    This is truly a classic. But why pay even $0.99 when you can get it for free at Project Gutenberg????

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    Les Miserables is without a doubt the greatest novel ever writte

    Les Miserables is without a doubt the greatest novel ever written. With 1463 pages, the unabridged version published by Signet Classics is the translation you simply must read. Based off of the classic C.E. Wilbur translation, the voice of Victor Hugo is clear and consistent throughout the novel, and yet the adaptation of the language by MacAfee and Fahnestock makes the story easy to understand and appreciate. While some translations and abridged versions seem to steal away the personalities of the characters and the author, this complete translation makes you feel like you personally know Jean Valjean, Javert, Enjolras, and Victor Hugo.
    Les Miserables isn't like a lot of the classical books that you are forced to read in school, with tragically simple and unsurprising plot lines and blan characters. No, in Les Miserables, there is a surprise in every chapter, and the characters are original and refreshing. (Take Cosette for example: she is not just some boring, preppy 1800's girl. She laughs and jokes with Jean Valjean, and has a bit of a snooty side, very modern and exciting.)
    Victor Hugo included in the novel several poems, songs, and philosophical discussions, which are enlightening and inspiring. In a scene near the beginning of the novel, Bishop Myriel of Digne has a debate with a member of the National Convention, who tells the Bishop why the French Revolution happened, why it had to happen, and why it was a good thing. In no other book is the fight against tyranny expressed as well, save perhaps the works of Thomas Paine.
    And if poetry and philosophy and redemption aren't your thing, there are still the Friends of the ABC. Lead by the brave, Bad-A, Enjolras, this group of quirky students, workers, and misfits take to the streets of Paris in June of 1832, and build a barricade to fight off and over-through the rule of Louis-Philippe. Bravery, action, and explosions fill the later parts of the novel. And yes, even the most manly of men will cry, as our heroes sacrifice their lives for the cause of freedom.
    With its amazing characters, intense plot, and moving words, Les Miserables, written in French by Victor Hugo, and translated into English by C.E. Wilbur, Norman MacAfee, and Lee Fahnestock, is what a novel is supposed to be. You will be spellbound. Though a daunting read, you will not be able to put down what is the greatest novel ever written.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    Crucial parts are unreadable. Don't buy this

    The novel has several poems, songs,and other passages that are essential to the story. In this edition, these passages are truncated on the right side of the page. No matter how small you shrink the font, you can't see the whole line, and the lines don't wrap. Don't buy this edition if you care about the story.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Emotional

    I have read many books before but this one just touched my heart in a diffrent way. It made me think diffrently and Victor Hugo did a very good job! It will make you see a diffrent way of life. I hav only read the free sample but it was just as fasinating.

    P.S- invest in a box of tissues!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    X

    I WENT TO SEE THE THE MOVIE IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SAD BUT SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!z

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    One of the Greatest Classics Ever

    The movie is good, the play is good, the movie based on the play is good, but none of them can hold a candle to the book. It is brilliant and life altering. It is one of my favorite books ever. I have read it many times.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Great book but edition

    Les Miserables is among the greatest book ever written. However, this ebook edition has too many faults to be forgiven. There are several pages that are presented in French with no translation. The last 20 or so pages of the book are missing. The ebook itself bogs down about midway through. Pages become VERY slow to turn. Barnes and Noble should stop selling this edition. The book deserves a five star rating but there are too many problems with this ebook edition.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Good Story, but cannot open Sample

    Although I am somewhat familiar with this story through theater, I wanted to see how much more the book went in detail, etc., but the sample will not open. BUY WITH CAUTION.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Unabridged

    This is the unabridged

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Les Miserables

    Although this isnt the right one, i still love the story. I saw a nonmusical version of the movie and it was good so i cant wait to see the new one soon. My dad espesially... you shouldve seen his face when he found out its been released X-mas day. XD

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    This version, translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee, i

    This version, translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee, is my favorite, and is NOT available on Nook. I bought the one that was shown with the paperback version, thinking it was the same, and it is NOT. I am so angry right now! Talk about misleading &amp; false advertising, Barnes &amp; Noble! Please don't ever do this to your customers again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2012

    won of the best books ever! as long as you keep in mind when it

    won of the best books ever! as long as you keep in mind when it was written and the state literature was in at the time. absoulutly his masterpiece. very long book though and at times he went so far of the subject at times that it got frustrating but i was still satisfied with the book. though it it extremely long and quit intimidating at times, i had really no problem reading it. it took me about 2 weeks to read it. i really loved the characters of Jean Valjean, Eponime, Fantine and Javert.....these characters i was absolutly absorbed by i was with them every step of the way and when they all died i felt like i had lived their entire lifetimes. Marius and Cosette were my least favorite characters i felt they were put too high on a pedestool and inspite all they went throughout their lives together and separately they somhow managed to mantain their innocence which i find very hard to believe (which is why i put up on top - as long as you keep in mind the times it was written and the state of Lit. then) i found Cosette boring and Marius surprising cruel. and when he wasn't he always seemed aloof. however without them there is no novel such as this. so i could live with them. the rest of the characters i was indifferent too but again without them the heroes of the book wouldn't be so heroic.
    everyone complains about the addingof Waterloo, the Sewers and other &quot;Books within a book&quot; that deviates from the points that Victor Hugo is trying to make. i too found them distrating. however you find out later how inportant it is too the novel in explaining why a certain character(s) do somthing or in their thinking. think of them as tools you can use if you wish to elp you understand the book. if you skip them, i don't think that it will deminish from you enjoyment of this novel at all. read them after you read the story. i might help you understand it a little better. it is up to the individule reader i think. if for anything you can read those long passages on it own merit. they make good little books all by themselves. Think of them like they were DVD extras if you want. it also goes for his long rants of philosophy you can treat them like the other sub-passages of the book. but this is a little more important and some of them are more inportant to the direct reading of the book and pivitol of the plot. overall i think this is an excellent novel for summer reading. enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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