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1. The Man Who Laughs
2. The History of a Crime The Testimony
3. The memoirs of Victor Hugo
4. Les Miserables (Modern Library)
5. Notre Dame De Paris (1-2)
6. Les Miserables (Barnes & Noble
7. The Last Day of a Condemned Man
8. Les Miserables
9. The Essential Victor Hugo (Oxford
10. Ninety-three
11. Victor Hugo's Conversations with
12. Les Misérables
13. Les Miserables (Modern Library
14. Les misérables
15. Notre-Dame De Paris
16. Les Misérables (French Edition)
17. The Complete Works of Victor Hugo
18. Miserables, Les (Penguin Popular
19. Les Miserables
20. William Shakespeare

1. The Man Who Laughs
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 514 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003YH9TEE
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The Man Who Laughs is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Victor Hugo is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Victor Hugo then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Hugo!!
I have read almost all of Hugo's novels and I feel he was a master beyond most as far as story telling goes.This particular books is ingenious with the various characters and the twists and turns and the tragedies and political statements.It broke my heart, while exciting me to cheer on the lead character in his efforts to right the wrongs of the parliament.I loved the characters of this books and the story line and I would strongly recommend it to any who are fans of "Hunchback" or "Les Miz" (forgive me).While I really loved Les Miz (and again, it broke my heart, as did the musical,which I thought was brilliant), this is the one that stayed with me.I read it many years ago and have a number of copies (some very old).When I bought this movie, I had no expectations, and I was amazed to see how much of the story was included.It was brilliantly produced, directed and acted. Even though it is a silent movie, it speaks volumes.I highly recommend the book and then the film.I also urge everyone to see the musical "Les Miserables" because it is all so wonderful.Hugo was a true master!

5-0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
I come to the conclussion that The Man Who Laughs is the most descriptive, saddest, romantic and most beautifully written book that Victor Hugo has written. It is unfortunate that this book doesn't have the standing that Les Miserables or Our Lady of Notre Dame occupies. Also, it is a very hard to find book, specially in Spanish, which is my first language. The traduction is done extremely well (I have verified it with a Russian version I have). It is highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars For those who want more from a novel
This is a difficult and demanding read, but entirely worth it for those who want more from a novel.The story is of a confrontation of moral opposites set in England in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as a deliberately disfigured outcast named Gwynplaine faces a powerful conflict between the simple life of a mountebank, with the love of a pure-hearted blind girl, and the power, glamor, and corruption of nobility, with the love of a depraved, self-loathing noblewoman.Gwynplaine's disfigurement hides his true identity from all, including himself; and out of the eventual revelation of this truth, Hugo constructs a magnificent and heart-wrenching symbolic drama that is as filled with meaning as anything you'll find in literature.Again, this is not light reading, and it is not made for those who prefer to breeze through an action thriller in an afternoon.

Hugo has much to say about the destructive nature of political power, as well as the envy and injustice that conspire to keep the high and low in their respective places.The Mohawk Club of the nobility exemplifies these themes through their vicious and destructive pranks, victimizing the helpless in the name of "fun."

Hugo's contempt for the period's institutions of power is evident throughout the novel; on the wicked Barkilphedro's rise to prominence, he writes: "He had crawled where he wanted.Flat beasts can get in everywhere.Louis XIV had bugs in his bed and Jesuits in his policy.The incompatibility is nil."Clearly this is a novel of ideas, written by one who had a great deal to say and knew how to express it.Even so, I must acknowledge that Hugo's expository passages, although witty, impassioned, and eloquent, occasionally become a distraction from the story.

Hugo's style is astonishingly lofty, in a way that just doesn't happen in the present day.It is an ambitious and demanding discipline, now so far gone that we scarcely even know to miss it.As such, it may strike today's readers as unnatural and overdone; or so it did to me, at first.But by the finish, I was fully seduced into Hugo's stylistic world, and left unable to choose what to read next -- for what is there today that is even conscious of this standard of craftsmanship?I can only imagine how much of the effect of this high language is lost in translation from the original French.

If you are interested in this book, I strongly recommend the Paper Tiger edition, with its afterword by Shoshana Milgram.This afterword was of great use in understanding the book's ending, which to me was difficult; it clarified how the ending was necessitated by the novel's overall theme -- and it made the extent of Hugo's achievement that much more evident.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quality Literature
This is extremely well written and the story is easy to follow.The story had me smile and cry.The method thatVictor Hugo collected the sections of this book is similiar to the style Ayn Rand used in writing Atlas Shrugged-my favorite book. The Man Who Laughs is one I think every Victor Hugo fan would want to read and read again--I loved it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic...
I read this book as a teenager, along with "Toilers of the Sea," Ninety Three" and"Hunchback of Notre Dame."
I have re-read only "Toilers of the Sea" and found it as riveting now as were all of Hugo's book then. I can't imagine a library system not containing these timeless classics or their being out of print. ... Read more

2. The History of a Crime The Testimony of an Eye-Witness
by Victor Hugo
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKT9EO
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Product Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

3. The memoirs of Victor Hugo
by Victor Hugo, Paul Meurice, John William Harding
Paperback: 410 Pages (2010-08-04)
list price: US$34.75 -- used & new: US$23.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1176828347
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General Books publication date: 2009Original publication date: 1899Original Publisher: G. W. Dillingham co.Subjects: Authors, FrenchBiography ... Read more

4. Les Miserables (Modern Library)
by Victor Hugo
Hardcover: 1280 Pages (1992-09-05)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$15.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679600124
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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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.

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars "The greatest novel!"
I read the original years ago when I was in school. In my family, this was one among several dozen volumes of classics that were meant to be read and discussed. Every cousin, uncle, aunt, etc. of mine had read it and Jean Valjean was familiar to me well before I turned the first page. I saw a movie version of the book - maybe a 50's version. That was ok, but not very inspiring, as people raved. Then, I began to read the book. This is one of those books (despite the claims to the contrary - I did rather find the historical bits interesting, esp. Waterloo) that draws you into another world, one which for its brutal reality, is more fantastic, strange and filled with more horrors than possible - horror movies would pale in depicting the kind of sheer misery that actual human beings experienced. But, there is another kind of work that lifts the veil of this misery and brings the reader and its characters to an upliftment, a light in the darkness, to borrow a cliche, to a world where the acts of one dignified man can produce and be responsible for so much happiness, as well as the deepest of sorrows.

The book is like a symphony, one you can read again and again. Believe me, after the first read, you'll want to read it again .. not immediately, but years afterwards too, when the deeper parts of the novel can be enjoyed, as there are things that only experience appreciates.

In any case, this is my "greatest novel" and although this term is possibly hackneyed through overuse, I would have no qualms if someone bestowed this epithet on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
***************This review contains spoilers********************


Les Miserables is a post-French Revolution novel by Victor Hugo that takes place in 1800s in the slums of France. It follows the life of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who has sworn to live a life of honesty and goodness, and a group of student revolutionaries who are organizing an attack against the French army.

The story begins with the main character being released from prison. After being turned away from all the inns in the area because of his past as a convict, the local bishop took pity on Valjean. That night Valjean stole the bishop's silverware and was arrested. The bishop forgave him and also gave him his silver candlesticks. "Jean Valjean, my brother: you no longer belong to evil, but to good," the bishop said to him as he was leaving. "It is your soul that I am buying for you. I withdraw it from the dark thoughts and spirit of perdition, and I give it to God!"

A few years later, a young woman, Fantine, unable to take care of her daughter, left her with an innkeeper and his wife. After promising to send money, Fantine went to find work in the city of Montruil-sur-mer. Coincidentally; Valjean was mayor of the town, having started a new life for himself after selling the bishop's silverware. He also owned a factory where many of the poor worked. Fantine got a job there, but she was fired because her overseer found out that she had an illegitimate child. Still needing money, Fantine sold her hair and teeth, and became a prostitute. Valjean saved her from living on the street and placed her in a hospital because exposure to the elements had made her ill. He visited her often and they became good friends. During this time, she made Valjean promise to bring her her daughter, but his true identity as a fugitive who had broken parole had been discovered by a police inspector, Javert. He had told Valjean himself about his suspicions, but quickly apologized because he had allegedly found the real Valjean. Jean Valjean didn't want an innocent man to suffer through what he did, so he went to the courthouse and confessed to his crimes. This admission was at the cost of his own life, however, as Javert was waiting for him when he got back. When Javert told Fantine that Valjean had not gone for her daughter, Fantine lost the will to live and died.

Valjean was arrested again, but after a year, he faked his own death by jumping off the ship he was working on. He then went to retrieve Fantine's daughter, Cosette, from the innkeepers, the Thenardier's. They were reluctant to give her up, as they were greedy, and she acted as a servant they didn't have to pay, but after Valjean gave them a large sum of money, they relented. Valjean and Cosette went to live in a small apartment. Their happiness didn't last long, because Javert pursued him again. Cosette and Valjean took refuge in a convent, where a man who Valjean once saved worked as a gardener. After nine years of living there, Valjean deemed it safe to leave.

At the time, Marius, a student, had been kicked out of his grandfather's house for switching political parties. He was very poor, and lived in the slums. His neighbors were the Jondrette's, who were really the Thenardier's, living under a different name.

One day, Marius saw Cossette and Valjean while he was on a walk. He fell in love with Cossette and started pursuing her. She returned his love, but they didn't actually speak to one another until later. Also during this time, Marius was recruited by the Friends of the ABC, a group of revolutionaries; he went to one of the meetings and decided he didn't want to be involved. Meanwhile, the "Jondrettes" captured Valjean, whose identity they now knew. Valjean escaped, and Thenardier and his wife were arrested, and their two daughters were sent to an orphanage. Their third child, Gavroche, who they didn't care about, helped his father's gang break his father out of prison. Afterwards, they went to Valjean's house where they attempted to break in. This failed when Thenardier's daughter, Eponine who was in love with Marius, stopped them, not wanting Marius to lose his girlfriend. Valjean mistaking the noises in his garden for Javert, decided to leave. Marius decided to rejoin the friends of the ABC, and they started to prepare for the revolution. They set up a barricade in a wine shop, and got a lot of other impoverished people to join them. Javert tried to join them as well, but he was quickly exposed as a double agent by Gavroche. Valjean also joined them, not knowing whether he wanted to help or kill Marius, who he discovered when he mistakenly saw a letter that Cossette wrote him. During the battle, he was given the opportunity to kill Javert, who was a hostage, and instead set him free.

Eventually, everyone at the barricades died except for Valjean and a wounded Marius. They escaped through the sewers, but were found by Thenardier, who was searching the bodies of the dead at the barricade for valuables. Valjean was caught by Javert, who allowed Valjean to take Marius's body to his grandfather's house. Valjean came back to face his fate, but did not find Javert. After 25 years of dogged pursuit, Javert had to face the fact that he had spent his life hunting down a man who has done nothing but good in the world, and that everything he thought about life was a lie. He couldn't stand that reality, so he drowned himself in the Seine River.

When Valjean couldn't find Javert, he brought Cossette to Marius's grandfather's house, where they were married. Valjean decided to leave them, since he couldn't face the fact that he was lying to his daughter about being a convict. However, after a run-in with Thenardier, who had changed identities yet again, Marius discovered that Valjean was the man who saved his life. He and Cossette found Valjean on his deathbed, where he had left his life story and instructions on how he ran his factory (which was how he made his fortune). Then, surrounded by his family, he died at the age of 80.


5/5 stars.

I, personally, loved it.

This was a really captivating book that brings history to life and deserves its reputation as a classic work of literature. It blends the turmoil of the times with vivid characters. The conflicts are intriguing as Valjean tries to do what is right and atone for his past. This would be a good book for anyone who likes realistic and historical fiction.

4-0 out of 5 stars Only One Real Problem... type set
I have enjoyed my varied attempts at reading this book. I enjoyed the various presentations on Stage (except Anthony Perkins replaying another bad guy doesn't work for me) My major problem lies in obtaining a large print copy (even in several volumes). Amazon has almost two pages of books, number, etc. Doesn't someone take mercy on us poor souls that don't qualify as visuallyimpaired legally.

5-0 out of 5 stars Les Miserables
This is an excellent translation of the classic Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. The section on the Battle of Waterloo makes the reader feel as if he were actually present. This is only one of the memorable parts of this wonderful book. My advise-don't waste your time on an abridged version of this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars The mind of a genius, the work of a lifetime
As close to flawless as you could come, no other author can match the storytelling and characterisation.Describes a turbulent period in France, with incredible political and social commentary. Hugo's monumental work explores many themes i.e. why the Restoration was a backward step, the difference between a revolution and a riot; he describes many life's experiences and emotions: the myriad ways people can fall between the cracks into destitution (Fantine, Montepercy); one of the greatest descriptions of falling in love (Marius and Cosette) and how it feels to be in love, the greatest description of a battle (Waterloo), the desperation of a convict (reminds of Henry Charrier -Papillon), the making of men (Marius), unbounding heroism and selflessness(Eponine, Jean Valjean); explores patience, loss, asceticism, rebellion, fulfillment, nationalism, the administation of justice and the overriding theme is CONSCIENCE.I read this and then discovered that Hugo's own daughter lived in Barbados for a number of years living 'on the edge' of destitution.Small world. ... Read more

5. Notre Dame De Paris (1-2)
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 336 Pages (2010-03-15)
list price: US$13.12 -- used & new: US$11.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 115405585X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text. However, purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original rare book from the publisher's website (GeneralBooksClub.com). You can also preview excerpts of the book there. Purchasers are also entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Volume: 1-2; Original Publisher: T.Y. Crowell ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars 2 day shipping still hasn't shipped a week later
I am very upset with Amazon. I ordered this book with 2 day shipping on 9/3. It is 9/9 an the book has not yet shipped. Ridiculous. This si terrible.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I Have Ever Read!!
Unlike a great number of the people giving this book a positive review, I was and still am a fan of Disney's movie. Yes, the movie distorted the book quite liberally--but this is to be expected of a children's film adaptation. I view the movie's existence as positive since it encourages older fans of the movie to go and seek Hugo's book to get the complete story. It is a sad fact that most people have never read the book, however, the Disney movie brought attention back to it--a victory, in my opinion.

As far as the book itself, it was marvelous! Hugo's writing style is ornate and an artistic work in itself. As far as who the main character is, I would daresay that this is up to the reader's interpretation. I agree with the fact that the British translation regarding the title is misleading, as I find Quasimodo to be a bit distant from the focus of the book.

Hugo seemed to be preoccupied with portraying both Notre Dame and 15th Century Parisian society when writing this book. From that stance, it would seem as though both Cathedral and time period were the protagonists of the story.

As far as in-context, living characters, I would again like to state that Quasimodo is not whom I would nominate as protagonist. Esmeralda is a tempting choice, however, she is not given too much detail as far as personality. I would daresay that the most developed character in the book is the antagonist, Claude Frollo. I could write volumes on this character alone, as he is my favourite. If he weren't already antagonist, I would deem him a good candidate for protagonist.

Ah, Claude Frollo. He is the main reason behind my love for the book. (To Disney fans--his story does not unfold as in the movie!) I find his constant struggles and painful past to be some of the most intriguing parts of the book. The parts which included dialogue predominantly on his part were certainly my favourite ones. Claude and his constant battle with his feelings, his devotion, his jealousy and his belief in fate colour the book like no other character could.

Ultimately, the message of the book is that appearances are deceptive. Hugo portrays this most obviously with Quasimodo. In my opinion, however, he gives the reader this message through every main character. Phoebus, for example, is at first presented as a gallant officer who rescues Esmeralda but later turns out to be a vulgar womanizer. Clopin is first encountered as a mere beggar but is in fact the king of the Gypsies, holding power within his circle of vagabonds. Quasimodo is first thought of as a monster but is given a more tender place in the reader's heart by the conclusion of the book. Esmeralda is described as beautiful and she at first shows mercy to both Gringoire and Quasimodo, but is later revealed as superficial and vulgar in her taste for men. Claude Frollo appears as a studious priest, but is in reality a passionate, tortured spirit and so much more.

To all, I encourage you to read this book! You will feel what the characters feel as your eyes follow Hugo's words. I recall with clarity reading the part where Claude observes as Phoebus attempts to manipulate Esmeralda for his own purpose and, enraged, stabs the captain with Esmeralda's dagger. I remember how my stomach turned as I read. I could feel Claude Frollo's every emotion. It was like magic. It was, in fact, magic. The magic of excellent literature!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo

Any fan of great literature, beautiful prose, French history, architecture, or Victor Hugo will love this ebook. The novel is astonishingly imaginative, and includes powerful, disturbing and memorable scenes. Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the finest classics ever written.

4-0 out of 5 stars how disney's Hunchback would be if I wrote it
I still do not have the faintest idea as to why Disney could possibly make this book into a children's movie. First of all, I would rate the unabridged book itself "PG-13"...but anyway. This book, morepopularly known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" (even though theplot circles around the Cathedral, not Quasimodo) is like a twisted"Romeo and Juliet" story sans star-crossed lovers. The realprotagonist (in my opinion) is Esmarelda, the sixteen year old gypsydancer. She falls passionatly in love with the chauvanistic stuff-shirtCaptain Pheobus whotakes advatage of her love while meanwhile courting ayoung, rich noblewoman. Meanwhile, both Quasimodo the deaf bell-ringer andClaude Frollo the fanatical archdeacon fall madly in love with Esmerelda.So naturally things get quite chaotic when the gypsy is sentanced to deathfor "murdering" the captain. The action so is spectacular,especially the siege of Notre Dame, that I almost forgot I was reading it,not actually standing in Place de la Greve watching it all happen.Hopefully I don't give too much away when I say yes, there is a heck of alot of dying going on throughout the book. This book, unfortunately, doeshave its long, slow, boring parts too...such as the beginning--just getthrough it and you'll be alright. And unless you are an ardent scholar ofmideival architecture or French history, go ahead and skip the chapterstitled "Notre-Dame" and "A birds eye view of Paris".P.S: my favorite part...Esmarelda's "marriage" to PierreGringiore, and also Gringiore's unhealthy obsession with the gypsy's goat

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, grotesque, sublime novel
The novel which is so poorly mistranslated as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" is one which sadly few people have read. Disney has done this novel a great injustice. Hugo paints an elaborate and incrediblepicture of 15th-century Paris.The main character is not Quasimodo, theinfamous hunchback, but rather the cathedral of Notre Dame itself.It is acomplex and powerful character who shifts dramatically depending on whopercieves it.Hugo is a brilliant writer; each image is beautiful, eachline a poem.The book is four hundred pages of pure poetry.I highlyrecommend this novel for anyone who appreciates good literature. ... Read more

6. Les Miserables (Barnes & Noble Classics)
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 896 Pages (2003-11-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593080662
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
One of the most widely read novels of all time, Les Misérables was the crowning literary achievement of Victor Hugo’s stunning career. Though he was considered the greatest French writer of his day, Hugo was forced to flee the country because of his opposition to Napoleon III. While in exile he completed Les Misérables, an enormous melodrama set against the background of political upheaval in France following the rule of Napoleon I.

This newly abridged edition of Les Misérables tells the story of the peasant Jean Valjean—unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, and hounded by his nemesis, the magnificently realized, ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert. As Valjean struggles to redeem his past, we are thrust into the teeming underworld of Paris with all its poverty, ignorance, and suffering. Just as cruel tyranny threatens to extinguish the last vestiges of hope, rebellion sweeps over the land like wildfire, igniting a vast struggle for the democratic ideal in France.

A monumental classic dedicated to the oppressed, the underdog, the laborer, the rebel, the orphan, and the misunderstood, Les Misérables is a rich, emotional novel that captures nothing less than the entirety of life in nineteenth-century France.

Laurence M. Porter has published twelve books, including Victor Hugo (1999), and a hundred articles and chapters. He was a National Endowment for the Humanties Senior Fellow in 1998. He teaches French at Michigan State University, where he won the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1995.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle version not Fahnestack and MacAfee's translations
I borrowed the paperback version from a friend and greatly enjoyed the translation by Lee Fahnestack and Normal MacAfee, based on the classic C. E. Wilbour translation. At project Gutenberg, I've downloaded the free versions which seemed to be Wilbour's translation, but still liked the Fahnestack and MacAfee translation more. I was delighted to find that there is a Kindle version of this book, but was dismayed to find that an additional dollar still did not give me the translation I required. It was exactly the same as the one on project Gutenberg. Thus, I give 5 stars for the book, but 3 stars for Amazon's misleading Kindle link to this particular version of the book.

1-0 out of 5 stars abridged version cuts out Hugo's Waterloo chapters
Despite being 900 pages long, this version of Les Miserables cuts out Hugo's magnificient chapters describing the Battle of Waterloo.

The description of this "edition" should state this openly.

1-0 out of 5 stars Edited with a chainsaw.
Extremely disappointed with the abridging of this book.For example, almost 19 chapters are omitted regarding Waterloo.Not only is Hugo's telling of the battle moving, the artistic strokes of the pen, descriptions and insight are what classic novels and literature are all about. I suppose under Porter's cuttings, the Louve would only feature the Mona Lisa and sparsely anything else.

Readers of this edition are robbed of fantastic writing and to try and claim you have read Les Miserables through this edition is like claiming to be a doctor by having a subscription to the journal of medicine. '

This book was a WASTE of my money and full and true edition faithful to Hugo's vision needed to be purchased

4-0 out of 5 stars Finely Crafted Tale
I had no idea what this book would be about, all I knew that there was a Broadway musical based on the book. Well I was quite pleased as it was an intriguing read. I love books that are long because you really come to know the characters. Jean Valjean is a great role model for life, I believe the author made him a little bigger than life but that's OK. Diction is always a challenge with books this old, but it is a great example of a master writer weaving a spell binding story. Parts I don't like, I might have a French last name but am very ignorant of the French language and culture. I was tired of trying to pronounce French words in my head. I was also was surprised by how the author handled Javert in the end of the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prisoner 24601
Les Miserables, originally pulped in 1862, has inspired dozens of films, one of the most successful Broadway plays of all time, plays, radio dramas, and even video games, but can it still inspire your heart when read today?

I picked up this Barnes and Noble edition at one of their sales, never before reading this book, and wanting to get some classics into my reading queue.

Les Miserables is a blast, the characters are bigger than life, and Jean Valjean is a symbolic representation of redemption, of leading an upright life though the world drags you down at every turn.

This is an abridged version, and even so, parts of it aren't an easy read. Hugo mixes in philosophy, religion, politics, and even life lessons into his narrative, and at times this was great and other times it was difficult for me to trudge through. However, the book has a great story at the heart of it.

This book is vast in what it covers: honor, war, nobility, neglect, poverty, thievery, inter-family conflict, love, and fait

My favorite line: "Love each other foolishly, for the foolishness of man is the wisdom of God."
... Read more

7. The Last Day of a Condemned Man (Oneworld Classics)
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 150 Pages (2009-11-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1847491170
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A man vilified by society and condemned to death for his crime wakes every morning knowing that this day might be his last. Graphically detailed, this first-person chronicle describes both the prisoner’s wretched environment and his thoughts, reminiscences, and despair at his impending doom. This edition also includes the companion pieces “A Comedy about a Tragedy” and “Claude Gueux,” a real-life account of an executed criminal in France.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Essential Examination of an Eternal Subject
Though not one of Victor Hugo's most ambitious or complex works, this early entry is well worth reading because of its own merit and for many similarities to later, greater pieces. Though a clearly didactic political work in that its obvious intention is to turn readers against capital punishment, it also has high literary quality. For instance, unlike more famous Hugo works, it is written in the first-person, and one must look hard to find a better example, especially considering the difficult setting. The narrative method itself may be somewhat fantastical, but the details are spellbindingly realistic; the book almost seems like a documentary but is far more gripping. Its nature of course guarantees suspense, but Hugo gets the most out of it, writing a story that is nearly impossible to put down after more than a century and a half despite inherent grimness. Like Hugo at his best, The Last runs through an emotional gamut and is also very thought-provoking. It probably will not turn those in favor of capital punishment against the practice but will surely at least make them stop and reflect. Sociopolitical fiction has rarely been done better. Such works usually not only lack artistic merit but are also very short-lived, yet this is still read. There are several reasons - namely of course that capital punishment is still a very real controversy. This has even given the book a minor resurgence, as few works are more relevant, the central moral issues being unchanged. That said, prison and capital punishment have altered much, making this a valuable resource for anyone curious about how they worked in early nineteenth-century Europe. One should certainly read Hugo's more famous works first unless an interest in the death penalty brings this up early, but anyone interested in him should get to it eventually.

4-0 out of 5 stars Counting every second.
I picked this book up due to the noted reference in Dostoevski's "The Idiot" (He considered it a masterpiece) and I found it to be as good as I had anticipated.This edition comes in a nice contemporary cover (with apparent convicts of recent date), which didn't seem "classic" at first, but upon second thought made the work transcend the era in which it was written and open up thought on contemporary capital punishment.The language is poignant and vivid, the overall tone is intimate, and the structure offers lucid imagery that really confronts, not only the plight of a 'condemned' man, but the finitude to which we all face.Excellent and quick read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sentimental Claptrap
It is always, I think, enlightening to read lesser-known works of "great" authors, especially highly prolific ones.First of all, it is usually evident why the particular work is lesser-known: Even great authors are capable of mediocre writing.But more importantly, it gives insight into the author's character.

"The Last Days of a Condemned Man" is, by the author's own statement in his preface, a work intended primarily to effect social change.While anyone has the right to write anything they like, I think that this approach is detrimental to the literary value of a work, if literary value has anything to do with truth.I would go so far as to say that this is not a work of literature, but rather a work of social propaganda, and that Hugo helped found the dreary tradition of artist-as-reformer, followed by such disciples as Norman Mailer and Sean Penn.

The affectation of omitting any mention of the narrator's crime is this book's greatest flaw.If (as is obvious) Hugo's intention is for us to truly empathize with the narrator, how can we do so without knowing what he did to be put to death?I happen to be against the death penalty (and I consider myself a liberal in the tradition of Gerry Brown et al.), but this whole book just made me feel like the author was intending to manipulate me, not share truth with me.I wish Hugo was alive so I could ask him for my money back.

4-0 out of 5 stars A statement on death penalty
Victor Hugo `The last days of a condemned man'; more than a distressing tale, is a social comment at the atrocity of the death penalty.He brings a moralistic debate of the authority of government to take life of its citizen. Through the first narrative of the main character whose name and crime is unknown, he describes the torturous moments the captive undergoes up until his time of death.Through these moments he transforms the death penalty from a means of punishment to a state sponsored torture.In the novel he places a sublime message that it is mans tasks to save lives; and its gods to take life.The death penalty becomes a challenge by man to god's authority.

3-0 out of 5 stars A libel against the death penalty
The story is totally written in the first person, of a man condemned to the scafold, never the reader being told about who was the man and which crime did he commit. As the days passes, the end approaches and we begin to feel ourselves in that man's skin, suffering with him, groping for some way out of his whole misery. I suppose this is a book which must have caused a lot of controversy and anguish at the time of its first publication, but I am afraid that the impact is not the same today, with a lot of books and films showing the same theme, only changing the dreaded guillotine for the terrible electric chair. The book is a libel against the death penalty, something Victor Hugo did not manage to achieve in his lifetime. ... Read more

8. Les Miserables
by Victor Hugo
Mass Market Paperback: 334 Pages (1982-12-12)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449300021
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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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.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece of the Ages
Quite literally, this is the best book I have ever encountered, by far. Its story is intricate and well thought out, and the characters are so vivid and real! I also have read part of the unabriged version, and while I feel like some important stuff is cut out for the abridged version, the unabridged has very long (60 page long) descriptions of history, for example the Battle of Waterloo. I found myself having to skip these parts to get back to the story at hand.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone with an appreciation for the written word. Beautiful!

2-0 out of 5 stars Horibble Version!
I actually purchased the Barnes and Noble Classic Version which had almost 900 pages and me being only 14 said, "Ok, I'll buy that one," because even though it was abridged it couldn't possibly be that abridged. But, when I got my package today, THIS one came and I was shocked to only see 400 pages and I was very dissapointed. Immediately i turned to the front pages and seen that the chapters were named differently it was large print in a way, and it left out the whole part about the Bishop of Digne, which is just repulsive, and i couldn't believe they did that. So beware because this one really chops up Victor Hugo's work, and i wouldn't even waste your time with this one!

1-0 out of 5 stars A sackaged version of the Masterpiece
I am a university professor -and French by birth and parenthood- and I teach Masterpiece of World Literature. Knowing very well the original text of Victor Hugo and having presented papers on Les Miserables in international academic colloquiums, I decided to put Les Miserables on my program. As the original has quite a voluminous number of pages and I have to cover many pieces, I decided to go for an abridged version of it.

My disappointment is total!!!

1. This is the most ancient translation of Les Miserables made in 1862 (like that the publisher doesn't need to pay any copyright to any translator or author making a full profit) and the English is dated and not always faithful to the original (for instance when Cosette watch herself in the mirror the French original says that she felt like she was ugly [laide] but it is translated homeless (a word my student didn't even understand).

2. In addition, the abridged work made here is one of the worse I have seen. The classic pieces have been removed (like: who was Fantine and how she got Cosette and was abused by a student in Paris and how she was really in love with him - she was a grisette - Fantine selling all she has (hair, teeth ...) to provide for Cosette and becoming a prostitute is removed - the famous episode of Valjean taking Cosette back from the Thenardier is not even there!!!! Valjean giving the factory back to the workers, etc ...). The first part Fantine should be renamed as so much on Fantine has been cut!
The cut is completely arbitrary and there are absolutely no transitions between the cuts! It is a lame work.

I had to make photocopies of the missing text to be able to do my class!

3. To add insult to injury, my bookstore also ordered used version of this book and with exactly the same cover, same ISBN. So i had 48 students in class with the same cover book all the same look but ... from previous editions to the new one, all the pages number were wrong form one version to another because the editor in the last edition decided to increase the font size. There are - at the end of the book- more than 70 pages additional which makes it impossible for students to follow from one version to another and impossible to quote in an academic work!!!!!
This is close to a crime for an academic!


Buy the original and read portions of it rather than this! I do recommend warmly the original text of Hugo. Julie Rose is the one who made the most recent translation. Rather go for this last one.

5-0 out of 5 stars LES MISERABLES
What I read so far, its great. I'm so please, I found this book on amazon.com because the books there are not expensive at all. Thank you, I look forward to ordering more books through amazon.com.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as unabridged
The first time I read Les Miserables it was the unabridged version and that was so full of story and historical facts that built up the setting and the characters. I thought it would be a little too much though for my 12 year old to read all of the history of the rise and fall of Napoleon and how he affected the political climate of the times so I chose the abridged version.Unfortunately, I found myself having to orally relate the back story of many important characters that set up the horrible and amazing consequences and results of actions and relationships.What an amazing book the unabridged Les Mis was, but this one was choppy to me.It just left out too much. ... Read more

9. The Essential Victor Hugo (Oxford World's Classics)
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 576 Pages (2009-03-15)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199555109
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'To the English, I am "shocking"...What's more, French, which is disgusting; republican, which is abominable; exiled, which is repulsive; defeated, which is infamous.To top it all off, a poet...'

Victor Hugo dominated literary life in France for over half a century, pouring forth novels, poems, plays, and other writings with unflagging zest and vitality. Here, for the first time in English, all aspects of his work are represented within a single volume.Famous scenes from the novels Notre-Dame, Les Misérables, and The Toilers of the Sea are included, as well as excerpts from his intimate diaries, poems of love and loss, and scathing denunciations of the political establishment.All the chosen passages are self-contained and can be enjoyed without any previous knowledge of Hugo's work.Much of the material is appearing in English for the first time, and most of it has never before been annotated thoroughly in any language. ... Read more

10. Ninety-three
by Victor Hugo, Frank Lee Benedict
Paperback: 358 Pages (2010-08-05)
list price: US$32.75 -- used & new: US$22.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1176882910
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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It is 1793 in France, the year of the guillotine. Already, Louis XVI has been sentenced to the scaffold, and terror reigns. Ideals topple in the face of political necessity, alliances founder, intrigue is a way of life. The architects of the Revolution--Marat, Danton, and Robespierre--have set up an embryo parliament called the Convention, designed to stem social chaos. As Republican troops engage in bloody battle with counter-revolutionaries, a peasant woman strives simply to protect her three children.

The characters of Ninety-Three define the French Revolution, and history hangs on their actions. As they battle for their own future, the future of a large part of the world can be seen to sway in the balance. Hugo's epic masterpiece captures brilliantly the moment that shaped the destiny not only of France but of all European monarchy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Neglected Masterpiece
Victor Hugo's last novel, Ninety-Three is another masterpiece. Overlooked at the time and now nearly forgotten, it is criminally neglected. Though less great than his crown jewel Les Miserables, it would be nearly anyone else's best work and is essential for readers at all interested in him.

Like many Hugo works, Ninety-Three is a historical novel, this time set in 1793, a key French Revolution time - the height of the infamous Reign of Terror. Strong belief in the Revolution had kept the prolific Hugo away from the controversial subject despite writing about the Revolution in so many other ways, but the Paris Commune's bloody downfall inspired him to take it up. Though it has memorable episodes of political interworkings and the guillotine looms large throughout, it focuses mostly on counterrevolutions rather than the Reign directly, specifically the Vendee. It helps to have some historical background before reading, but Hugo's writing is so packed full of information - and above all, so engaging - that even those who know next to nothing about it will learn much. Hugo of course uses significant artistic license, but the book is almost worth reading for its wealth of genuine history alone; it has most of a history book's pros but is far more interesting.

This is mainly due to a profusion of action and a relatively fast pace. Though epic by nearly anyone else's standard, Ninety-Three is practically concise for Hugo. Unlike many of his works, it gets down to action almost immediately. He still introduces nearly every important subject with massive exposition, but it is toned down compared to other novels. This will be welcomed by those who find his books overlong or excessively detailed, though there is still plenty of his trademark greatness in this area for those who love it. Ninety-Three has some of the greatest battle scenes ever written and many others of stirring action. One sees on reading it just how profoundly Hugo influenced this aspect of writing; even the latest summer blockbuster cannot match this book for thrills and suspense.

The book would be worthwhile for this alone, but it would of course not be Hugo without a plethora of emotions and deeper themes. He continues his unparalleled emotion portrayal here with several scenes that had me near tears. As for intellectual content, the overriding theme is civil war's evils, and there is much to provoke thought about war generally and many related concepts. Hugo also returns to many of his core concerns, such as charity, forgiveness, humility, and redemption, plus others such as family loyalty. Perhaps no other writer has made liberalism in its best sense so undeniably attractive, and disagreeing with Hugo's beatific vision is next to impossible as we read, whatever we think of it otherwise.

In short, the novel has everything a great literature lover could want and plenty to satisfy even those who just want an exciting read. It deserves to be far better known and hopefully some day will be; do not add to its neglect.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Hugo's best
Very underrated book, relatively unknown in English-speaking countries. My 3rd favorite Hugo novel after Les Miserables and Notre Dame de Paris.

5-0 out of 5 stars Guillotine or Death!
Ah, this book is full of two things: Revolutionaries and Victor Hugo-y goodness--two things that are part of the complete literary breakfast.

I've not really read much Hugo, but I can say this is my favorite of all the ones I have read. It's pace is about the same as Notre-Dame de Paris, and the information given is just a wee bit less than Les Miserables--but, hey, Les Mis is 1000 pages longer. It balances the two elements exquisitely--character and plot--without skipping a beat.

So, as the title insinuates, this is basically about the French Revolution. The best insight into the Revolution is the chapter in which Marat, Danton and Robespierre have a great debate in the back room of one of the cafes of Paris. It also covers the Commune, giving you a complete list of all the members as of, I believe, June-July 1793.

This third paragraph is going to be about Radoub. Yeah, he's awesome. As the leader of the Bonnet-Rouge Battalion, he almost always has a score to settle with the Royalists guerillas; first because Lantenac kidnaps the three children, second because he's a gung-ho Revolutionary. These traits make a believeably incredible character, the Valjean of this story. However, Latenac is the morally ambiguous Javert character, but Radoub isn't chased by him--in fact, it's the other way around.

I might have more to say, I might not. I'm too busy comparing '93 to Les Mis--a comparison that leaves '93 on top--to find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Victor Hugo, I Love You
I'm a sucker for Victor Hugo. His observations of human nature are written with beautiful detail. Opening this book cover whisks you away into another world, and Hugo's words make you feel like you're riding on the boat and participating in the battle right along with the characters. It's a good translation, and I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars V H likes kids
He devoted an entire chapter to children. I wont give any details so that the story isn't spoiled but theses kids are awesome. He has beautiful metaphors and descriptions. ... Read more

11. Victor Hugo's Conversations with the Spirit World: A Literary Genius's Hidden Life
by John Chambers
Paperback: 384 Pages (2008-01-16)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$4.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594771820
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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First English translation of Victor Hugo’s writings on his experiments in spiritualism

• Reveals Hugo’s conversations with renowned discarnate entities such as Shakespeare, Plato, Galileo, and Jesus

• Examines his contacts with aliens from the planets Mercury and Jupiter and the revelation that our entire universe is a quantum hologram

• Discusses Hugo’s possible role as a grand master of the Priory of Sion

During Victor Hugo’s exile on the Isle of Jersey, where he and his family and friends escaped the reign of Napoléon III, he conducted “table-tapping” séances, transcribing hundreds of channeled conversations with entities from the beyond. Among his discarnate visitors were Shakespeare, Plato, Hannibal, Rousseau, Galileo, Sir Walter Scott, and Jesus. According to the transcripts, Jesus, during his three visits, condemns Druidism, faults Christianity, and suggests a new religion with Hugo as its prophet.

To the skeptic, some of the “conversations” may seem self-serving--at best, the subconscious wishes of the naïve participants. But author John Chambers places Hugo’s experiments firmly in the tradition of visionary literature and psychic exploration, aligning those experiences with the poetry of William Blake, the table-tapping experiences of the Fox sisters, and the channeled writings of the great modern-day Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Merrill, whose spirits’ utterances uncannily resemble those of Hugo’s. Hugo’s transcriptions are the missing link between the early nineteenth century’s fascination with the kabbalistic Zohar, reincarnation, and the writings of the Illuminati and the rise of spiritualism and the societies for the study of psychic phenomena in the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Facinating read...........chilling.....and true......
It doesn't dwell on loong boring descriptions of the period and scenery like most books would. In fact, gives enough detail of the period to paint the picture, then cuts to the meat of the subject matter.Some of the passages got pretty deep, and honestly, some I did not fully understand like the phlisopy and so forth of death and reincarnation. These passages only went for a few pages so it was ok. This book also includes some of the actual drawings made by the tables.

Compelling and mezmerizing.........and at times frightening...there is a section about howling dogs wich just gave me goose bumps.

5-0 out of 5 stars Other Pursuits of Victor Hugo
This book is fascinating, really.The depth of the material here covers three years in great detail, as well as giving you a very in depth look at the time covered, the man and the material presented.

You may know Victor Hugo from school, as his poetry and literary works are very well known and considered classics.Amongst his most recognizable are "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1831) and "Les Miserables" (1862).

The book contains background to the period of history in France that Hugo lived in.The author John Chambers provides some very good material to give you the basis from which the three years Hugo spent working with the spirit world meaning.Hugo was in exile from France (during the reign of Napoleon III) on the Isle of Jersey from 1852. In 1953 he was introduced to a phenomenon that was sweeping France at that time - turning tables or tapping tables.A very long and drawn out process, the turning table taps out letter of the alphabet which turns into words to answer questions asked of spirits from the other side. This book is mainly about those three years that Hugo spent recording his conversations with some of the most prominent dead people of the centuries, as well as some mysterious souls who shared conversation with him.Hugo was very careful to record all the séances he performed, which because of the method used, could take hours.

Hugo's life is also inspected here.Chambers discusses his political views, his personal opinions and the consequences of some of his actions.Hugo was all about politics and it is very much reflected in his personal works as well as his discussions with the spirit world.The life of Hugo is not without its tragedies, and the book also looks at all of Hugo's influences, as well as his ego, his sense of humor and his family, who were instrumental in his work.

This is a very well presented biography, focusing on the three years that Hugo spent conversing with the spirit world.There are transcripts included that make this book extremely interesting, and whatever conclusions you draw from the material presented, I assure you that you will be entertained, amused and will find yourself pondering the conversations included in this book.It is a fascinating volume of work, and one which, if you are interested in either the life of Victor Hugo or in the various forms of Spirit Contact that are documented, you will find this an important addition to your library.boudica

5-0 out of 5 stars New age collections will find it an intriguing addition.
John Chambers' VICTOR HUGO'S CONVERSATIONS WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD: A LITERARY GENIUS'S HIDDEN LIFE is for collections strong in either New Age spirituality or parapsychology. It focuses on Victor Hugo's exile on the island of Jersey, where he and his friends escaped the reign of Napoleon III and where he transcribed hundreds of channeled conversations with various incarnate energies from beyond. New age collections will find it an intriguing addition. ... Read more

12. Les Misérables
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 594 Pages (2010-02-11)
list price: US$44.75 -- used & new: US$24.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1144250633
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent.Highly Recommend.
It was great. Actors were great.I did not want the story to end.

5-0 out of 5 stars great story
This is our favorite "Radio Theatre" (we have them all).We often buy this for a family gift for friends.A great introduction to a wonderful book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Read the book first
This is my second dramatization by Focus on the Family Radio Theater, and again they have done a superb job.They use wonderful sound effects and first-rate voice actors.

That being said, I think that if I hadn't already read the book (once in print and once via audio book) I would have been somewhat confused by the story.Les Miserables is an epic novel that weaves together numerous sub-plots involving many characters.To distill that into a 3-hour dramatization means that many things must be cut out.The story itself suffers as a result; for example, much about Fantine, which to me was the most heart-rending part of the entire novel, was left out of this dramatization entirely.I also think that having so much omitted makes it difficult for the first-time listener to follow the plot, know what is going on and know who all the characters are.For that I am giving this 4 stars rather than 5; it would have been better for the producers to include more elements of the story, even if it meant going into 4 CDs rather than just 3.

Actually, it has always surprised me that Les Miserables has been a choice for dramatization, or for a Broadway play.I would never have thought that such a serious novel with so many elements would lend itself to that type of interpretation.However, its popularity is testament to the fact that it must work on some level; perhaps someday I'll be able to see the play myself.

My recommendation:if you have never read Les Miserables, then do that first before listening to this dramatization.If you've already read the book then enjoy this recording for the high-quality entertainment that it is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for How Short it is.
It does leave out some detail from the book. That is to be expected from a 1400+ book made into a three hour book on CD. However, for being as short as it is, it does a great job of getting accross most of the ideas from the book. Les Meserables is an incredible book. Everyone should read or listen to it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful telling of a classic story
For those of you that have never read Les Miserables or seen a production of it, this is a fabulous version to buy.You'll discover for yourself why this story is a classic and why it has touched so many hearts and lives over the years.

I think all of the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre productions are at least 4-star, but this one is one of the best.It's almost dangerous to drive listening to this one as it is very easy to become engrossed in Valjean's struggles and the eternal themes of justice and mercy, love and grace.

This story always makes me weep.I enjoy listening to this at least once a year.The only thing that would make it better is having it longer (unabridged perhaps).

... Read more

13. Les Miserables (Modern Library Classics)
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 1376 Pages (2009-07-14)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$10.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812974263
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In this major new rendition by the acclaimed translator Julie Rose, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is revealed in its full, unabridged glory. A favorite of readers for nearly 150 years, this stirring tale of crime, punishment, justice, and redemption pulses with life. Featuring such unforgettable characters as the quintessential prisoner of conscience Jean Valjean, the relentless police detective Javert, and the tragic prostitute Fantine and her innocent daughter, Cosette, Hugo’s epic novel sweeps readers from the French provinces to the back alleys of Paris, and from the battlefield of Waterloo to the bloody ramparts of Paris during the uprising of 1832. With an Introduction by Adam Gopnik, this Modern Library edition is an outstanding translation of a masterpiece that continues to astonish and entertain readers around the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars lush translation
Let me start off by saying that I love this book. It is one of my favourite books of all-time and I have multiple translations of it. I know some people have problems with the "hip" language used in the translation, but this is the most lush, most rich and more alive translation I've read. It has a lot of personality and the foot notes in the back are amazing and add so much to the richness of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Les Miserables (Modern Library)
I ordered this book for a Christmas gift for my daughter.The order arrived promptly and in good shape.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant translation
Les Miserables (Modern Library Classics)

Julie Rose's re-creation of Les Misérables is an absolute triumph. Her translation is sharper and more idiomatic than those of any of her predecessors.Her fidelity to Hugo is reflected in the ways she reproduces the freshness of his prose, the precise sound of his voice, the specific rhythms and shapes of his sentences.She succeeds brilliantly in creating a language that is rich and vibrant, lively and dramatic, and well suited to a long narrative - her translation is closer than any previous version to the captivating, quirky, racy tone Hugo would have struck for his contemporaries.

The few "mistakes" identified by other reviewers would be nugatory compared with the sheer scale of Rose's overall achievement.But in any case nearly all of these "mistakes" are clearly conscious choices, and usually eminently justifiable.A "tun of marsala", rather than a "butt of malmsey", is sheer poetic licence. The traditional apocryphal rendition of the "butt of Malmsey" tale is clearly and fully footnoted; malmsey or malvoisie in the days of the Duke of Clarence is said to have come from Greece or Italy and is unlikely to have been the same as the modern wines bearing those names, malmsey being a form of Madeira and malvoisie a kind of grape grown in France and elsewhere. Marsala, as we know, is Sicilian and, though not oenologically exact, "tun of marsala" has a fresh demotic bite and avoids the old cliché of the butt of malmsey while ironising it.The "sacre" of Charles X: we know that"coronation" would be the normal choice, but the reference is to Charles X, head of the Ultra-conservatives; "consecration" underscores the connection to the ancien regime, over-emphatic though the term may be.Marius as "fierce": Marius is beyond shy, he's so shy that he's... fierce, much like, say, Hippolytus.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificence!
This is a magnificent translation of a magnificent novel. On all fronts readers will be rewarded with a double-act: the monumental achievements of Victor Hugo's writing and Julie Rose's translation. Critics have likened Hugo's book to a "cathedral", an "ocean". My first impression ofLes Misérables was of a cornucopeia of characters (and their various aliases and genealogies), of incidents, history, geography, arts, crafts, architecture, a wealth of language, something that is altogether a grand celebration of the written word: exuberant, extravagant, expressionistic. Tackling its translation, I imagined, would require a great deal of knowledge and courage. Julie Rose has oodles of both. She does not clean up or invent or override Hugo, she is extraordinarily in tune with this author. The intelligence of her translation creates a rhythm of bold moves (including the decision to keep some expressions untranslated) and gentle intimacies (of love, childhood, domesticity, detail) that light up the text. She moves between French and English like a dancer. She collaborates with Hugo (his humour, his humanism) and so builds bridges in a way that brings the novel - and its Parisian terrain - close to us and to our own time. As this is not necessarily a book to pack in your luggage the next time you travel to Paris - it's too big - so I suggest that you read it before you go, or when you return.

2-0 out of 5 stars Another wretched "translation".....
When a publisher announces the first unabridged translation of a world classic in over a hundred years, one has to get excited. But then you see it is by the same Julie Rose who recently mangled Dumas' LE CHEVALIER DE MAISON-ROUGE. Ms. Rose makes so many obvious mistakes in LES MISERABLES that one really doubts her fluency in French. But more seriously (!), it is her approach to the craft of translation that is really the problem. Ms. Rose is of the hip and groovy school. Nineteenth century French peasants should of course sound like Paris Hilton. This makes the book less "stuffy" and more palatable to the "general reader". For example Hugo's Tholomyès is "un viveur de trente ans, mal conservé"; that is, a bon vivant of thirty, in bad shape. Rose's is "a totally wasted high roller of thirty". The MTV phrase "totally wasted" would be bad enough, but then she has to throw in another anachronistic expression "high roller". This means a serious gambler, not the same thing at all.

And she constantly adds phrases and even sentences of her own devising. For example, one sentence could be literally translated: "She (i.e. the City) does so through her entrails, that is to say, her sewers". Rose has: "By means of what organ? By means of its bowels. What do you mean, its bowels? Its sewers." This isn't Hugo and it's dreadful.

Graham Robb, the biographer of Hugo, found numerous serious errors in this translation incl. that the Duke of Clarence was drowned in a butt of malmsey ("une tonne de malvoisie"), rather than Rose's ridiculous "a tun of marsala" and that the "sacre" of Charles X was his coronation not his "consecration". Marius was not "fierce" with pretty girls (Rose) but "shy" ("farouche"). And on and on. An amateur but arrogant production all the way, and a real disgrace.

The original Wilbour translation, which was quite respectable, was revised and corrected by Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAffe for Signet some years ago. It is still available and is by every standard superior.
... Read more

14. Les misérables
by Victor Hugo, Lascelles Wraxall
Paperback: 436 Pages (2010-08-30)
list price: US$35.75 -- used & new: US$24.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1178050238
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The first volume of five that comprise Victor Hugo's masterpiece Les Miserables. Each volume is lightweight-amore friendly and convenient approach than a 1,200-page version; and legible-no squinting required.The five books that complete this set can be found simply by copying and pasting each ISBN into Amazon's search field. Volume One: Fantine, 1449565468; Volume Two: Cosette, 1449565530; Volume Three: Marius, 1449565573, Volume Four: Saint-Denis, 144956562X; Volume Five: Jean Valjean, 1449565646. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (280)

5-0 out of 5 stars Les Misérables
Best book ever! Though is big and intimidating, it's well worth the effort. It's message calls out with clarity, the meaning of true compassion. It's themes are powerful, it touches every aspect of the human struggle. It shows what it really means to rise above the things that would drag us down. It is a story about greed, vs charity, anger vs love, self vs Christ's will, and revenge vs forgiveness.

5-0 out of 5 stars A giant in every sense
This is a great classic novel that have got what it takes to becomes a great piece of universal literature

In Les Miserables it is possible to find merged various aspects related to France at the turn of the 19th century, on one hand the political events related to the internal strife between Napoleonic and forces loyal to the Monarchy and on the other the social economic situation of the French society at that time.

The story was divided into 5 great sections, that can be read together in one unabridged book or separated, as all of them are linked by the main character, Jean Valjean, the former starving poor convict, turned into an affluent righteous man, who happens to adopt and raise a ravenous little girl, Cosette (the destitute), who had been given up for adoption by her dirt-poor mother to a ruthless, devious couple

Even though very long, almost 1500 pages (I am referring to the unabriged version), the story runs smoothly, without bumps, and puts its focus in two historical events, one, the battle of Waterloo and the other the barricades, erected in Paris during the uprising generated in the French revolution, in these two events too many unnecessary details are uncovered, and I just have found this a little boring. Fortunately this is less than 10 % percent of the unabridged version.

To make up for that, the author, has deftly developed an array of very colorful characters of different social classes who represent the society of France of that time.

The end does not disappoint, however, the novel was not planned to makee the reader craving for the resolution of the ending but for making him delve on the events, and situations, in order to find the scattered rich gems of wisdom, the author, dropped in most of the chapters and to learn a bit about the French History

Victor Hugo, showed that he despised the explotaition of the destitute and the poor masses by the rich and also that exercised a powerful ethical thinking coupled with a deep religious conviction.

5-0 out of 5 stars A French Classic
I've seen the Broadway play three times (beyond wonderful), but up until now, I had never read the book.While the play is excellent, it certainly does not capture all elements of this weighty novel.For a long time I've wondered why Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is considered quintessential to the people and nation of France.The play captures aspects of this, but fails to accurately portray its essentiality to all things French.Hugo, in the novel, is brilliant.The complete novel is a history of France from the mid-18th century through the mid-19th century.The Bourbon Monarchy, French Revolution, the Napoleonic Campaigns, Waterloo, the post-Napoleon years, and the conflicts making the modern state of France are all thoroughly discussed.Hugo presents characters symbolic of each of the elements.The story is masterful.The details - well, the book is very detailed - sometimes to the point of too much information.But you definitely get the impression you are reading an epic work, matched by only a few other books.I now know why Hugo is buried so prominently beneath the Arch de Triumphe.

3-0 out of 5 stars Incredible but flawed novel
This is probably the most flawed novel I've read so far, I really wish I could ignore the dreadful "filler" chapters (The Waterloo essay almost made me put down this book: is almost 100 pages and its only purpose in the story is to tell how Thernardier "saved" the father of Marius. which is explained in just one page), add to that the obligatory rationalizations of almost every little decision or mental struggle of the characters, the story of the streets, religious orders, sewers and almost every location of Paris used in the novel.
The religious undertones bothered me a bit to be honest, because a lot of good things about the characters and their circumstances was providential or God's will but I tried to ignore it and just concentrate on the plot saying to myself that is almost expected considering the historic context when this book was written and of course the author's opinion.
Jean Valjean is a very solid character until Cosette gets married, he then decides to isolates himself for no good and/or coherent reason at all, even when V.H tries to justify this decision (with his obligatory rationalizations) it feels quite odd and very out of place, it simply kills the consistency and solidness of this wonderful character.
Like I said before I consider Les Miserables flawed because if you can ignore these faults, there is a very engaging, romantic and brilliant plot, the pacing to the ending is particularly excellent, the characters overall are very well developed, the way V.H describes the events makes you feel transported to the French restauration period, the plot was so character driven that I almost feel a void when I finished it.
Overall I enjoyed the book, but if I someone asks me, I would recommend them to read the abridged version.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort.
I read "The Count of Monte Cristo" a couple years ago and someone recommended this book to me as "their other favorite book of all time".I had only read the abridged version of "The Count...", but I was up for the challenge of tackling the unabridged version of this one.I just finished it earlier this afternoon and have spent months with it.This book definitely has its ups and downs.The story will have you on the edge of your seat and then Hugo will go off on a tangent that could take several chapters to complete.It started to become frustrating, but the story and the characters make it worth it.There is tons of French history and commentary on different events, but when you get into the story and it slowly begins to unfold you won't mind that it took so long to get there.

I gave the book 4 stars because of all of the unnecessary chapters that added to the length of the book, but not to the story.The book is still a classic and it is going to be difficult to find another book that is as captivating now that I have finished it.Read it.You will enjoy the ride. ... Read more

15. Notre-Dame De Paris
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 334 Pages (2010-03-06)
list price: US$40.83 -- used & new: US$36.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1153736365
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Paris (France); Fiction / Classics; Fiction / Literary; Foreign Language Study / French; History / Europe / France; Literary Criticism / European / French; Travel / Europe / France; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars In My Opinion, The Best Translation Available
The fact that this Oxford edition chooses to retain the novel's original French title ("Notre-Dame de Paris") rather than its English counterpart ("The Hunchback of Notre-Dame"), which Hugo famously disliked for misrepresenting the book's contents, was encouraging to me when I found it in the bookstore. I've tried reading several other translations in the past including Walter Cobb's (Signet Classics) and Catherine Liu's (Modern Library), but never could get beyond the first few chapters. I had also read and loved two other Hugo novels (Les Miserables and The Man Who Laughs), and couldn't understand why this famous novel never appealed to me. This is the first version I was able to finish and I credit that to Krailsheimer's extremely readable and vivid translation. He renders Hugo's often labyrinthine prose with great sensitivity, clarity, and even humor. Hugo emerges as a very contemporary, imaginative writer. As with other books in the Oxford World's Classics series, this edition comes with an introduction (tracing Hugo's sources; although, since it includes some spoiler material, you may want to wait until after you have finished the novel to read it) and notes throughout the text.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disney is perhaps a splendid criterion
I am surprised by all of the mentions of Disney on this page.I am not sure what Disney has to do with this novel, other than to make a cartoon that uses it as a starting point.I write this review to say this: if you know this novel and this story, and you watched the Disney cartoon, you cannot have missed "Hell Fire" the song solo by the Frollo character.In my opinion, the lyricists and artists for that song got it all perfectly right: the historical dimensions, the moral, ethical, social and even the political.That song was the plea of a man, to God, who knew he would risk death and eternal damnation to possess a woman that burned him down to his soul.In the song, he plainly explained that he would do ANYTHING to possess her, including throw over his religion and his piety and his god, and that he would literally jump into a pit of sin to get her.This cartoon song, forgive me, is one of the most powerful objects of art ever created by Disney and may I say, perhaps by all of American civilization.It encapsulates all that it is to be a human, and all that being a human implies.Frollo was but a man, and Esmarelda but a woman.Put the two together, throw in some wealth and political intrigue, and you can have hate, or extreme passion, or hell-fire, or maybe good art, or even stranger, it might just be one heck of a damn good movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Asylum! . . . Asylum!"
This is the second time I've read Notre-Dame de Paris (the first time was with a different translator, but I don't see any real difference with the writing), and I certainly have a better understanding of the story. The book's main character is Notre-Dame, and the supporting characters are Claude Frollo, La Esmeralda, and Quasimodo. Frollo is the Archdeacon who lusts after La Esmeralda. Quasimodo is the hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre-Dame. La Esmeralda is a 16-year old gypsy girl who is the target of witchcraft by the Parisians. What happens in the novel is sophisticated: basically Claude Frollo & Quasimodo fight for the love of Esmeralda, and it doesn't turn pretty as Esmeralda has fallen in love with Phoebus de Chateaupers, one of the King's captains.

One of the things I particularly enjoyed was Hugo's descriptions of the gothic cathedral itself. The chapter entitled "A Bird's-Eye View of Paris" is a pleasure to read. Another thing is the switching of POV's in every chapter; Hugo made a brilliant execution of this. Despite a few flaws here and there (such as Book Ten/Chapter Four interrupting the very important assault on Notre-Dame), "Notre-Dame de Paris" is of course a classic in the world of literature. And it's almost sad that most people recognize the book with only the english title "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Almost sad, because Quasimodo is not the central character. I hope more and more people will understand that the cathedral itself is the actual central character (even though it's not human).

4-0 out of 5 stars this is the way disneys "hunchback" would be if I wrote it
I still do not have the faintest idea as to why Disney could possibly make this book into a children's movie.First of all, I would rate the unabridged book itself "PG-13"...but anyway.This book, morepopularly known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" (even though theplot circles around the Cathedral, not Quasimodo) is like a twisted"Romeo and Juliet" story sans star-crossed lovers.The realprotagonist (in my opinion) is Esmarelda, the sixteen year old gypsydancer.She falls passionatly in love with the chauvanistic stuff-shirtCaptain Pheobus whotakes advatage of her love while meanwhile courting ayoung, rich noblewoman. Meanwhile, both Quasimodo the deaf bell-ringer andClaude Frollo the fanatical archdeacon fall madly in love with Esmerelda.So naturally things get quite chaotic when the gypsy is sentanced to deathfor "murdering" the captain.The action so is spectacular,especially the siege of Notre Dame, that I almost forgot I was reading it,not actually standing in Place de la Greve watching it all happen. Hopefully I don't give too much away when I say yes, there is a heck of alot of dying going on throughout the book. This book, unfortunately, doeshave its long, slow, boring parts too...such as the beginning--just getthrough it and you'll be alright. And unless you are an ardent scholar ofmideival architecture or French history, go ahead and skip the chapterstitled "Notre-Dame" and "A birds eye view of Paris". P.S: my favorite part...Esmarelda's "marriage" to PierreGringiore, and also Gringiore's unhealthy obsession with the gypsy's goat:-) ... Read more

16. Les Misérables (French Edition)
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 362 Pages (2010-04-04)
list price: US$32.75 -- used & new: US$23.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1117994112
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This book an EXACT reproduction of the original book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

1-0 out of 5 stars Goodbye $3.99
This book is a seriously abridged learner's text.If you intended to buy and read the complete text, get a different version or kiss your non-refundable shipping fee (both ways) goodbye.This should be noted in the product description.Don't be deceived, don't buy this book if you wanted to read Hugo's work as written.The irony is, without all of the glossaries and comprehension questions they may have been able to print the actual book on the same pages.

2-0 out of 5 stars Texte abrégé!
Remarquez qu'on ne décrit pas le texte de l'edition Petits Classiques Larousse comme étant "intégral." C'est parce qu'il est abrégé: beaucoup de morceaux y manquent partout. Si je me donne la peine de lire quelque chose, je veux lire le texte entier. Ne soyez pas déçu comme moi.

1-0 out of 5 stars French edition is not complete!
As a warning, the French edition of Les Mis with the orange cover is not complete!I found that it is only one of the three books needed to complete the story.I wish this would have been stated in the listing's title or description.

5-0 out of 5 stars Criticize Hugo, are you kidding?
Excellent book. I wish the rest of the volumes from the same publisher were available. But if you want all of Les Miserables in French from Amazon you have to mix and match the publishers. I also wish Amazon would sell a complete Les Miserables in hardcover, leather bound.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Reading of a Moving Story
Bill Homewood gives a beautiful, dramatic reading of this moving story. His French pronunciation sparkles. His voices are delightful. ... Read more

17. The Complete Works of Victor Hugo (with active table of contents)
by Victor Hugo
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-08-08)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002KW53O4
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The works of Victory Hugo in one giant collection with active table of contents.

Works include:
The History of a Crime
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Les Miserables
The Man Who Laughs
The Memoirs of Victor Hugo
Napoleon the Little ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Problem in the table of contents
Hey Guys,

I'm enjoying using kindle so far. It has been great. Although this is the first book that gives me a headache.
The table of contents has problems, you can not jump from one work to another.
I already wrote to Amazon, they said that it has been fixed it, but so far the problem remains. I deleted the file, reseted my kindle and the file is still with problems. I even checked on kindle for PC and the problem is there as well.
I hope this opinion might help to solve the problem, otherwise I will have to buy another version.

... Read more

18. Miserables, Les (Penguin Popular Classics)
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 240 Pages (1998-10)
list price: US$3.17 -- used & new: US$0.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140622918
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book features many of the characters who are well-known: Valjean, the criminal trying to escape his reputation; Javert, the police agent trailing him; the unfortunate Fantine and her daughter, Cosette; the rascally Thenardier; and above all the splendid street urchin, Gavroche. Among the unforgettable descriptions are those of the Paris sewers, the battle of Waterloo and the fighting at the barricades during the July Revolution. There are few more complete, or more vivid, pictures of France at the beginning of the nineteenth century. "Les Miserables" is at once a thrilling narrative and a social document embracing a wider field than any other novel of its time. This edition is an abridgment of Norman Denny's translation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Masterpiece of the Master
If you have any concern about the human condition, if you wish to meet characters that will live in you forever, if you relish a tale that twists, turns, surprises and soars from start to finish, if you wish to be a better person, than I entreat you, you must read Les Miserables.

Yes, it's almost 1500 pages; sure, it replete with references to a 19th century French lexicon; and, no doubt, there are several long historical digressions, but rather than detriments or handicaps, these qualities catapult Les Miserables from simply a classic to one of the most enduring, compelling, and captivating tales of all time.1500 pages, you'll be yearning for more; the uniquely expressive French lexicon, you'll make it your own; the historical digressions, you'll wonder why your college textbooks couldn't make history so clear.

Hugo creates men of character, of principle, and unleashes them into the torrents of unforgiving 19th century world.The forsaken mother who, against frightful circumstance, knows nothing but the welfare of her child; the castoff gamin whose courage and goodness would make a God jealous; the incorruptible gendarme relentlessly, unquestioningly, and tragically pursuing the letter of the law; the ingenious, scheming, and wholly evil innkeeper forever haunting the world for a few sou more; the young man whose eyes open to the most noble ideals of liberty and of love; and of course, one man, a giant of a man, in both strength of flesh and of conscience, whose very existence is rescued by a brief encounter with a man of unrequited goodness, who henceforth lives unerringly to his promise.Fantine, Gavroche, Javert, Thenardier, Marius, Cosette, Jean Valjean.These names are literary legends and names that will become apart of you.

The storyline jumps from epoch to epoch, from character to character, from fiction to fact, and yet, amazingly, this incredibly complex and intricate work is woven together better than the Louvre's finest tapestry.Nothing is out of place or unnecessary.Early chapters set the stage, retreat from memory, and then explode like a geyser leaving one gasping for air.

And through it all, you'll cheer for one man; a man of integrity, of kindness, of courage, of righteousness, and you'll hold him, his deeds, and his benevolence, as the standard for your own life.You too will not forget, you'll never forget, his promise to live life to as an honest man.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a sublimely beautiful book!
I have seen and collected movies of Les Miserables, including the musical. I love them all, and longed to have the time to read the book. I finally ordered it. What a beautiful story!
While all movies start the story with Jean Valjean having his soul "bought for God" by Monsignor Bienvenu, the book actually starts with the life of the Monsignor and spends about 50 pages on it before introducing Jean Valjean. Then it spends time in these main characters to make the reader really know them,even become intimate with them,before they meet. The same weaving of lives together are seen with Javert, Fantine, and Cosette.
This book is so rich in life! It has so many moving scenes that will stir your heart! Many dialoges are so intellectually engaging! It is a beautiful blend of piercing ideas and deep emotions, of contrast and harmony, it is a masterwork of life!
How could I live so long without reading it? To read this book is to live!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Novel of Compassion
I believe there are many books that will haunt our lives. They stand out amongst the piles of tomes we have read, our memories of them weighted with joy and longing. Sometimes we want to read them again for the first time.

Les Miserables is such a book. It is vast, intimidating in scope but the pages are alive, they breathe with passion, sympathy and philosophy. The characters are alive and remain so long after one finishes reading it. Hugo was a master poet/playwright/novelist. He saw all sides of the political spectrum. He was a Romantic in the greatest sense and he loved women, bedding, some might argue, half the female population of Paris.

In his old age, he was still grandiose, words flowed from him and he stood up for his beliefs, putting them into ink, irritating the ruling class and his fellow literary peers. Les Miserables was his ode to the common man, a love letter to his former selves and to the dignity of humankind. His work is medicinal, setting out to offer cures for the ailments of society.

I read this book when I was sixteen and I still carry it with me, twelve years later. Someday I'll learn French and read the original.

I believe this translation by Normany Denny to be one of the best. It is a bit of an abridgement but only in respect to the modern reader. Hugo had the "superlative" knack, everything was big and meaningful to him. His sentences and paragraphs sprawl out, his focus becomes erratic. Denny lets Hugo span out within reason. He is a translator aware of his duties, his obligations to both the author and the reader. The reading is less of a challenge with Denny reigning in the master.

This is a great read and worth all the effort and devotion. It will haunt you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Of course its a classic!
Hugo weaves his tale for the ages in and around his personal, social and political history of 19th-Century France.His accomplishment is stunning to the extent that he keeps the reader interested during the long, seemingly-disconnected framing passages and intently riveted when the connections come together and the reader is enriched and the story enveloped in Hugo's masterwork.For example a 50-page aside on the Battle of Waterloo has no bearing on the story--until the last few pages when a dying soldier on the battlefield forms a connection that provides a strong driving element of the action hundreds of pages later.The passage not only informs the reader of the historical and political context of Waterloo, but frames the intense action following later fully within the context so that it means more at the macro-historical level and is more meaningful at the personal level.It left me crying tears of joy and sorrow at story's end.

The translator, in his introduction, makes much of efforts of many past translations to abridge these long passages, and explains his reasoning for leaving them intact except for two, which amount to only 32 pages of the 1232-page edition.Seems like unnecessary--and harmful--twaddling.For example,I wrote this review before finishing the two appended sections, in which I found this statement by Hugo exactly confirming my review:

"One cannot be a good historian of the outward, visible world without giving some thought to the hidden, private life of ordinary people; and on the other hand one cannot be a good historian of this inner life without taking into account outward events when these are relevant.They are two orders of fact which reflect each other, which are always linked and which sometimes provoke each other.All the features traced by providence on the surface of a nation have their sombre but distinct counterpart in the depths, and every stirring in the depths produces a tremor on the surface.True history being a composite of all things, the true historian must concern himself with all things."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Hobo Philosopher
The first time that I read this book I was about 18 years old. This is the only book in my life that I have ever read where I can say that "I couldn't put it down". I read this book and I balled like a baby. I remember that I had to go and get a handkerchief and blow my nose while wiping the tears away so that I could continue reading. When I finished the book - and I only read the abridged edition, I said to myself; "If I could ever write a book that could cause the reaction that this book has put onto me, my life will have not been spent in vain. I am still trying to write that book. I have since read the book two or three more times and I'm about to read it again. How a man with just words on a page could create such a reaction is really beyond my wildest estimations.

Books written by Richard Noble - The Hobo Philosopher:
"Hobo-ing America: A Workingman's Tour of the U.S.A.."
"A Summer with Charlie"
"A Little Something: Poetry and Prose"
"Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother"
"The Eastpointer" Selections from award winning column. ... Read more

19. Les Miserables
by Victor Hugo
Paperback: 304 Pages (2001-09-21)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$21.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0849916879
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Close your eyes and let this powerful music transport you to another time and place.Les Miserables has captivated generations, but with this critically acclaimed Broadway soundtrack, a beautiful story becomes an unforgettable experience. Against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the story of escaped convict Jean Valjean and his search for grace and redemption will leave any listener moved by the parallel of God’s grace towards us. This dramatic reading of the entire novel along with the dynamic new recordings of five of the most popular songs from the original score will bring this masterpiece of the ages to life once again.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Conducts Quality Business
Product was billed and shipped in a timely manner. All of my expectations as a consumer were met.

5-0 out of 5 stars Les Miserables
A must read for literature lovers. Touching words. The story line is incredible.
Shows the depth of human evil and the height of love towards others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Timeless Classic
When I started to read this version of Les Miserables, I didn't even know I was reading an "adapted" version of this book. I knew it had been translated and some things had been cut out, but I didn't know that it was really any different. Regardless, the first thing that comes to my mind when I remember those long, sleepless nights when I couldn't keep my eyes out of this book, is this blue chair that I have in my room. That's kind of weird, but let me explain. Les Miserables literally sent me spinning in my chair! In the delirious hours of 2 am... 3am... 4 in the morning, I began to think of Victor Hugo as some sort of literary God. In Les Miserables I found the most stunning framework for a really authentic classic that I'd ever read before. Other books were good books, even excellent books, amazing books, outstanding books before Les Miserables, but Les Miserables is a book that no common adjective can define.

Les Miserables is about this ex-convict, Jean Valjean (who takes so much abuse it made me cry). He is first incarcerated for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister's starving children: the only family he had left before prison severed his ties with them forever. It is all downhill from there, however, as Jean makes numerous failed attempts to escape and thus lengthens his sentence to an interminable number of years. Once he is finally freed, Jean finds himself to be utterly corrupt and morally broken. He is now a criminal of law and of spirit. The only thing to heal him being the faintest of possibilities: Divine Intervention. Nearly all books being based on some sort of improbability or other unconventional origin, this one is no exception. Providence rests its unwavering hand over Jean Valjean, and although he is continually pursued by the remorseless Officer Javert, he will serve to play a part in the destinies of many: a small country town that grows prosperous thanks to him, and a few lonely individuals: Fantine, Cosette, and Marius.

I won't say more least I give away any part of Valjean's tale that every reader has a right to savor for himself, but I urge you now: read Les Miserables and you can find out for yourself if this is truly a book that will send you spinning in your chair!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Version
This updated version of my favorite book is wonderful. The original message of the book remains intact. If you haven't read "Les Miserables" in a long time, or if you've never read it, pick up this book. Not only is it a great story, but the book itself is beautifully designed.

I highly recommend this version, even for diehard "Les Mis' fans like myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Les WONDERFUL
This is one of the best books I've ever read.It drags a bit with the war/battles stuff.... but stick with it thru that... you will be rewarded.... and will reread.So rich! ... Read more

20. William Shakespeare
by Victor Hugo, Melville Best Anderson
 Paperback: 454 Pages (2010-09-10)
list price: US$36.75 -- used & new: US$28.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1172350671
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The true title of this work should be 'Concerning Shakespeare.'The author's original incentive was the desire to "introduce," as they say in England, the new translation of Shakespeare to the public.The tie that binds him so closely to the translator need not deprive him of the privilege of commending the translation.From another side, and still more closely, his conscience was engaged by the subject itself.In contemplating Shakespeare, all the questions relating to art have arisen in the author's mind.To deal with these questions is to set forth the mission of art; to deal with these questions is to set forth the duty of human thought toward man.Such an opportunity for speaking some true words imposes an obligation that is not to be shirked, especially in time like ours.This, the author has understood.He has not hesitated to take every avenue of approach to these complex questions of art and of civilization, varying the horizon as the perspective shifted, and accepting every hint supplied by the urgency of the task.From such an enlarged conception of the subject this book has sprung.

This great work does not depend for its value upon the accuracy of its statements of fact, nor even, upon the light it throws upon the life and genius of Shakespeare.It is mainly to be prized as a masterly statement of the author's ideas concerning the proper relation of literature to human life - a statement illuminated by wonderful flashes of poetry and eloquence, and illustrated by strong characterizations of many famous books and men.This is not to say that the present work will not serve, better than most others, as an introduction to Shakespeare, to Æschylus, and perhaps to some other of the immortals whom it so glowingly celebrates.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was a French writer who went into exile after Napoleon III seized power (1851), returning to France in 1870.His novels include The Hunchback of Norte Dame (1831) and Les Miserables (1862).Hugo was France's favorite son but, more than that, for years he had been her champion, her conscience and her spirit. ... Read more

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