HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Les Misérables (Signet Classics) by…
Loading...

Les Misérables (Signet Classics) (original 1862; edition 1987)

by Victor Hugo, Lee Fahnestock (Translator), Norman MacAfee (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,766183133 (4.28)793
Member:deferredreward
Title:Les Misérables (Signet Classics)
Authors:Victor Hugo
Other authors:Lee Fahnestock (Translator), Norman MacAfee (Translator)
Info:Signet Classics (1987), Edition: Unabridged Version, Mass Market Paperback, 1488 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (Author) (1862)

  1. 160
    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 Léon Tolstoï (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
    Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope (morryb)
    morryb: Both speak to the struggle of adopting a child and then letting them up later.
  9. 10
    Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens (morryb)
    morryb: Both have a main character who adopts a daughter and the struggle of letting her go.
  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. 00
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (CorinneT)
Romans (19)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 793 mentions

English (168)  French (3)  Spanish (3)  Norwegian (2)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  All languages (182)
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
I always remember cursing Hugo for the last eight pages when I knew he was putting on the emotional tourniquet but I had to cry anyway. I am still not utterly convinced of the suicide element and I think Cosette was awful just dumping Val Jean after he had been a father to her, but I suppose Hugo knew how people are.

I read this long before the musical which is nothing like this book. The huge introspection, the brilliant 100 pages on the priest at the beginning who does one thing and on thing only to change Val Jean's life. The unremitting unfairness of it all, the weariness of a society of animals pretending to be rational for its own sake and not for the sake of their inescapable natures.

( )
  Daniel_Nanavati | Jul 19, 2015 |
A masterpiece marred by unnecessary digression ( )
  Mohamed80 | Jul 11, 2015 |
I blame my dad.

He's been playing that Thenardier character, singing 'Master of the house' for more than two years now.

And today, he made us watch The 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables (spoiler alert: IT'S FREAKING AMAZING) , so...I HAVE to read the book.
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
Les Miserables is the type of work that I never get tired of reading, even if there's been years since I've read it. I'm also a big fan of the play, which I got a chance to see years ago. ( )
1 vote NoLabelsUnleashed | May 22, 2015 |
In my vacation, over the last two weeks, I visited the birthplace of Victor Hugo in Besançon, his home in Paris where his children were born, and his grave in Pantheon. I also read his “Les Miserables” again, that is 21 years after I read it for the first time in my High School in France, and I was surprised to see how differently I reacted to this book.

Then I realized the book has not changed over these 21 years, but it’s me who has changed!

At the school, I was obliged to read this book as a part of our curriculum, and it came across as something heavy. But, now that I have been blazed a few times in my life, I could relate to this book a lot better, and, at times, even felt healed by it.

The aspect that struck me the most is how Victor Hugo has constructed his characters: they’re neither entirely good, nor entirely bad; they’re humane, yet extraordinary.

The police inspector Javert values his duty of keeping law and order above human beings, until he is humbled by Jean Valjean, when he saves the life of Javert, his worst enemy, during the barricade. Then Javert enters his irreconcilable internal conflict between ethics and law, that is between his moral duty to preserve a good man like Jean Valjean and his legal duty of turning him in as a fugitive, and Javert ends his life to save Jean Valjean.

This comes across as a surprise, because Victor Hugo had set up all along Javert as a man of unbending principles, yet not incredible, because we’ve also seen Javert to be a man of good heart and conscience.

Victor Hugo didn’t set up Jean Valjean as a paragon of virtue either. We can see his humane side, even after his conversion into a good man, when he enters his severe inner conflict vis-a-vis the man about to be condemned in his place, for having stolen the forty sous from Petit Gervais. You can see his temptations to evade law and save his own life; you can also see traces from his life of ex-convict when he gets angry with people, and the use of his force when his personal ethics conflict with the law. And, even for a powerful man like him, you can see his fears, his anxieties, and his insecurities about Cosette.

Even for the rogue Thenardier, Victor Hugo has made him humane, by letting him save the father of Marius in the battle of waterloo!! Hugo also gave Thenardier a realistic end, in the sense that, in spite of all his dirty tricks, he ‘succeeds’ in life, from Thenardier’s perspective of course.

Gavroche, the son of Thenardier, earns his bread by stealing, but he also steals your heart when he saves the two kids, and gives up his life at the barricade. His sister, Eponine, is another thief and manipulator, but she sacrifices her life at the barricade too, trying to save Marius, her secret love. Marius, the closest in resemblance to Victor Hugo (whose middle name is ‘Marie’ by the way), is a political idealist, yet insensitive to many in life, including Jean Valjean; you’re in love with him, and angry at him at the same time.

It’s this powerful use of contrast, in the characters and in the events of the novel, that I find absolutely fascinating in Victor Hugo’s work, particularly in Les Miserables. And, I think this is what makes his works so lifelike, because, just like in life, you can’t really put a definite label on any of his characters or story events; that’s why you can never predict anything, and you remain hooked in suspense till the end.

Of course, there are his big philosophical discourses about life and love, but, if you focus on the core drama of this novel, it’s just absolutely gripping. The way he details the inner landscape of the characters, and the values of the society he touches upon, are as universal today, as they were during his time. It’s because those details are so unique and specific that they no longer remain individual; they become us, the universal.

This evening I’m going to see the grave of Juliette Drouet, who was the muse of Victor Hugo, for fifty years!! As a woman, I wonder what was there in her spirit that could inspire a writer like Victor Hugo, for so long.

(Review updated on 29/07 for my second read) ( )
  CorinneT | May 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
 

» Add other authors (174 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hugo, VictorAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Charles E. WilbourTranslatormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Sabard, Marie-HélèneAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayard, Emile AntoineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Denny, NormanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hapgood, Isabel FlorenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Picchi, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serdav, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Contains

Has the (non-series) sequel

Has the adaptation

Is an abridged version of

Is abridged in

Inspired

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
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.
Dedication
First words
In the Year 1815 Monseigneur Charles-François-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of Digne.
Quotations
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.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
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. (marcusbrutus)

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 38 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.28)
0.5 1
1 31
1.5 4
2 94
2.5 24
3 370
3.5 80
4 766
4.5 139
5 1498

Audible.com

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

See editions

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140444300, 1846140498, 0141392606

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102758, 1400109000

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 98,436,791 books! | Top bar: Always visible