I've listened to an abridged copy of this a few years ago, saw the play while in New York (a few years ago) and now I've listened to the full book. I've enjoyed each one. What an absolutely great story of lives lived during epoch changing events in history. To read the abridged or to see the play is truly entertaining but the reader misses the context. This does remind me of Tolstoy's War and Peace but a much better story. The characters in this book are complex and wonderful; Valjean the escaped convict with a need to redeem himself, Cossette his adopted daughter, Inspector Javert who only knows justice, Marius the idealist. Through these characters we see Paris, we see the revolution, the streets, slang and the sewers among many other subjects that Hugo shares his meditations. The title is a also a key, Les Misérables, tells us that the story is about the miserable. or the poor and homeless people. That this is a story about the poor and homeless makes this a timeless story. This story could occur anywhere but Hugo makes Paris alive in this story. I liked the Rose translation but the narrator George Guidall made this story. His accent was perfect and he made the characters alive and individuals. I can highly recommend this audio version of Les Mis.
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Les Misérables (1862) is a novel by French author Victor Hugo, and among the best-known novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a twenty year period in the early 19th century that starts in the year of Napoleon's final defeat. Principally focusing on the struggles of the protagonist—ex-convict Jean Valjean—who seeks to redeem himself, the novel also examines the impact of Valjean's actions for the sake of social commentary. It examines the nature of good, evil, and the law, in a sweeping story that expounds upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, law, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. Les Misérables is known to many through its numerous stage and screen adaptations, of which the most famous is the stage musical of the same name, sometimes abbreviated "Les Mis" or "Les Miz" .Les Misérables - eBook
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A to Z Classics, Victor Hugo
Customer reviews & ratings
Ive listened to an ab...
I confess I read this ...
I confess I read this after the musical become popular, but better late than never. Jean Valjean and his friends were well worth tackling the unedited version. As much as I am passionately in love with the musical, Hugo's account of his characters are better.
Am currently re-readin...
Am currently re-reading with my wife because we both loved it so much; Truly the best written novel of all time; Characters; story lines; heart ache; triumph and the use of the written word are beyond anything you can find from ANT writer today; truly the masterpiece by which all other writing should be measured against
There are so many beau...
There are so many beautiful and apt expressions and thoughts in this book, I will write them down as I read, or I won't remember them. I am only half way through this book so far. At times it is like reading poetry in prose. "Success is a hideous thing. Its false similarity to merit deceives men." "The past has a face, superstition, and a mask, hypocrisy. Let us denounce the face and tear off the mask." "Superstitions, bigotries, hypocrisies, prejudices, these phantoms, phantoms though they be, cling to life; they have teeth and nails in their shadowy substance, and we must grapple with them individually and make war on them without truce; for it is one of humanities inevitabilities to be condemned to eternal struggle with phantoms. A shadow is hard to seize by the throat and dash to the ground." "Let us attack (the above phantoms), but let us distinguish. The characteristic of truth is never to run to excess. What need has she of exaggeration? Some things must be destroyed, and some things must be merely cleared up and investigated. What power there is in courteous and serious examination! Let us not carry flame where light alone will suffice." There are many more, but enough. Read the book. I've finished now, and it just may be the best book I've ever read.
Les Mis is, to me, the...
Les Mis is, to me, the best book I've ever read. It's full of the very best, and worst, of humanity. I can think of no other book that shows the whole range of mankind. The length may be a put off to some, but anyone who perseveres will be well rewarded and emerge better for having read this.
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