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Les Miserables (Penguin Hardback Classics)…

Les Miserables (Penguin Hardback Classics) (original 1862; edition 2012)

by Victor Hugo, Coralie Bickford-Smith (Illustrator), Christine Donougher (Translator)

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15,674214113 (4.28)841
Title:Les Miserables (Penguin Hardback Classics)
Authors:Victor Hugo
Other authors:Coralie Bickford-Smith (Illustrator), Christine Donougher (Translator)
Info:Penguin Classics Hardcover (2012), Edition: Reprint, Hardcover, 1232 pages
Collections:2012 Reads

Work details

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862)

  1. 180
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père (VictoriaPL)
  2. 70
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Both great classics, with orphaned girls and themes of redemption.
  3. 81
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (chrisharpe)
  4. 61
    The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Both stories of men who commit public crimes ... and yet the outcomes are very different.
  5. 61
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: As much a story about the trials of individuals as a sweeping portrait and critique of an era.
  6. 30
    The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes by Anonymous (albavirtual)
  7. 30
    The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo (raton-liseur)
    raton-liseur: Des thèmes similaires, dans une prose étourdissante et avec une ironie mordante.
  8. 10
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (CorinneT)
  9. 10
    Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope (morryb)
    morryb: Both speak to the struggle of adopting a child and then letting them up later.
  10. 10
    Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Cast of interconnected characters are subjected to historical pressures through years-worth of events surrounding a revolution. Issues of paternity and social justice.
  11. 10
    The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni (chrisharpe)
  12. 10
    Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens (morryb)
    morryb: Both have a main character who adopts a daughter and the struggle of letting her go.
Romans (19)

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» See also 841 mentions

English (197)  French (4)  Spanish (4)  Norwegian (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (214)
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
Hard to capture briefly, a romance and a novel of human transformations from bad to good. A challenging read with digressions into French history, urban structure of Paris and justice. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jun 16, 2016 |
The best of the best. Hugo is amazing in his ability to see and explain our culture's influence on our lives, while also showing that we always have a choice about how we react to what happens to us. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
tried to read this once each year (over 1100 pages) and have not been successful - still own it, still love it - saw the play live in Toronto, stellar cast !! have not yet seen the musical film with Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman ...
  frahealee | Apr 3, 2016 |
Did I really just read 1200 pages of a book only to give it 3 stars? Apparently so. My thoughts:

- Unlike everyone else, I enjoyed the diversions. The story of Waterloo at the beginning of book 2 is one of the best bits. The sweep of history is this book's strength, but also its weakness. Everyone feels like a pawn in a overcooked plot, set against the backdrop of historical determinism.

- The characterisation in this book is profoundly weak. Over 1200 pages, only Valjean comes close to appearing actually human, rather than a cartoon, and even then not wholly so.

- Of the characters, perhaps only Fantine, Gavroche, Eponine, Javert, and a few others are actually interesting. The rest are either comically villainous (Thenadier et al) or dully virtuous (Valjean, Cosette, the bishop). Marius is a plot device, nothing else.

- Hugo manages to hold many divergent threads together quite well. Perhaps a little too well, relying on sometimes quite desperate narrative acrobatics to bring Thenadier and Valjean together again. Some of the happy coincidences (e.g. Fauchelevent and the convent) are too forced and absurd.

- I'm unsure if it's the translation, but there is some very clunky language employed in this book (I picked out the end of 3.III.ii as a particularly egregious example).

- Worse than the language is Hugo's contrived narrative style, which I confess I frequently found grating. Example: in the last chapter, Thenadier visits Marius dressed in disguise. Hugo gives us this scene by first introducing us to "the Changer", the "ingenious Jew" who disguises criminals for a living - twenty pages from the end of the novel... Not only does this throw off the pace and flow when the novel should be building to a conclusion, including this kind of detail doesn't add up to depth - and it just serves to highlight how insufficient Hugo made his main protagonists

- The main thrust of the novel is enjoyable, and the significant deaths genuinely moving. The over-sentimentality didn't bother me at all, although the over-moralisation did. "No writer enters a girl's bedchamber"? Well that's why Hugo isn't Dostoevsky.

- The musical adaptation retains a surprising fidelity to the book, that I wasn't expecting. I don't feel cheap in saying that the musical is worth most people's time, and subsequently reading the book is probably unnecessary. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Mar 20, 2016 |
This is a FANTASTIC book. I can almost safely say that it is my favorite book ever. That is something very VERY hard for me to say, but I'm pretty confident with that decision. Even though it is pretty much the best book ever written, it is kind of lengthy and it doesn't help that, at times, Hugo goes on and on about things that aren't very important. For example, he goes on and on writing about the sewers of Paris. It really has nothing to do with the book, but it is still in there. The way to read this book is the unabridged version. ( )
  imagine15 | Mar 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (177 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hugo, Victorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayard, Emile AntoineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Denny, NormanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hapgood, Isabel FlorenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Picchi, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rose, JulieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabard, Marie-Hélènesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thirlwell, AdamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilbour, Charles E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Finchè esisterà, a causa delle leggi e dei costumi, una dannazione sociale che in piena civiltà crea artificialmente degli inferni, e aggiunge una fatalità umana al destino, che è divino; finchè i tre problemi del secolo, la degradazione dell'uomo nel proletariato, l'abbiezione della donna per fame, l'atrofia del fanciullo per tenebra, non saranno risolti; finchè, in certi settori, sarà possibile l'asfissia sociale; in altre parole, e da un punto di vista ancor più ampio, finchè esisteranno sulla terra ignoranza e miseria, libri di questa specie potranno non essere inutili.
First words
In the Year 1815 Monseigneur Charles-François-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of Digne.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work represents complete editions. Please do not combine with the first volume of multi-volume editions.
Florence Hapgood is a translator, not the original author of this work. The original author is Victor Hugo. If you have Florence Hapgood as the author, please substitute Hugo and put her down as a translator. Thank you.
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Book description
Ce prost sunt! îşi zise Jean Valjean. Nu-l remarcase încă şi i-l arăt chiar eu.
O, naivitate a bătrânilor! Înţelepciune a copiilor!
Haiku summary
A fugitive man
gets a new name and new life.
He adopts a girl.


Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451525264, Mass Market Paperback)

Victor Hugo's towering novel of Jean Valjean, his unjust imprisonment, and his lifelong flight from a relentless police officer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Story of Valjean, the ex-convict who rises against all odds from galley slave to mayor, and the fanatical police inspector who dedicates his life to recapturing Valjean.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 36 descriptions

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15 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140444300, 1846140498, 0141392606


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102758, 1400109000

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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