Les Misérables

Les Misérables

eBook - 2014
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Les Miserables is the story of Jean Valjean's transformation from criminal to hero, and his dedication to doing good in a world where harsh laws often thwart the most benevolent impulses. Imprisoned for nineteen years after stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family, Valjean is on the path to becoming a repeat offender when a charitable bishop's act of pity compels him to become an honest man. Over the next two decades, Valjean becomes a successful businessman and a generous benefactor to his orphan ward, Cosette. But the implacable Inspector Javert, who knows of Valjean's criminal past and who enforces the law mercilessly, hounds him from town to town, seeking to apply a standard of justice that does not acknowledge either redemption or rehabilitation. A vivid historical romance whose events climax spectacularly during the Paris Uprising of 1832, Les Miserables was praised by Upton Sinclair as one of the half-dozen greatest novels in the world. This unabridged version of Victor Hugo's classic work is as stirring a tale of adventure today as it was when first published in 1862.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Fall River Press, 2014.
ISBN: 9781435153851
Branch Call Number: Internet Access
Characteristics: 1 online resource (928 pages).


From Library Staff

bkilfoy Mar 28, 2013

A hefty tome, Victor Hugo's novel is rightfully a classic. His exploration of the character of Jean Valjean and the individuals who surround him is a fascinating read. France in the early 19th century is brilliantly evoked and Hugo is highly capable of writing beautiful prose and a riveting narra... Read More »

Rachiecakes Aug 08, 2009

This book will change your life and have you weeping as you turn the pages. Truly a masterpiece.

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Aug 31, 2018

This is one of my favorite books . I've been thinking of which book is my favorite book and its come down to Les miserable and The count of monte cristo . The first time I read i skipped over a lot of the chapters that had something to do without Jean Valjean , which was a very very big mistake and no matter hoe hard I try I can never manage to act tough at the end and I always find my self sobbing like a big baby . But who can blame me its so sad when Jean is dying and reveals everything . I highly recommend this book .

SPPL_Anna Mar 15, 2018

I have been slowly working my way through The Brick for the past 6 years, and someday I will finish it.

Oct 26, 2017

It's been argued that, more than "A Tale of Two Cities" or "War and Peace," "Les Misérables" best defines the 19th century. This is an argument that could go on ad infinitum, but having read this book it is definitely a masterpiece. Among the multiple characters, storylines and a lengthy time period in setting - roughly 1815 to 1833 - the story is essentially built around four characters: Jean Valjean, who is on parole after a brutal 19 years in prison for petty theft,; Cosette, the young girl he takes in and raises as his own daughter; Marius, who is smitten by Cosette and will do anything to marry her; and Javert, the policeman who is looking for any excuse to put Valjean back in jail.

The translation in the book I read is the most recent, by Christine Donougher and published by Penguin Classics. It is almost flawless in its presentation and captures well what is often very difficult French. Besides the more than 100 pages of endnotes explaining words and concepts, the translation is distinguished by three bullet points. First, working on the "tu" versus "vous" means of addressing someone, Donougher notes when someone who should be addressed formally with "vous" is addressed in condescension with "tu" - and the reverse when the subject is an ordinary person and is treated with more respect than warranted. Second, where regional dialects appear in the original text, she preserves it intact, then uses a footnote to rewrite it in standard French along with the translation into English. And third, in referring to the hated French penal system known as "le bagne," she uses the term "prison hulks" to capture just how fearsome the regime was - and why Valjean, in this case, was so determined not to go back to jail.

A wonderful book, an excellent translation. This is the interpretation I would recommend.

Nadrina Whatley
Aug 24, 2016

I'm not sure anyone will be able to answer this for me, but which translation is this? It just says it's an ebook published by Fictionwise and the author is Victor Hugo. But the book was originally written in French so this is obviously based on a translation..l want to know which one, and if it's the abridged or unabridged version. I've looked everywhere for this info!

Whaling_Waffle Jun 05, 2016

I first read Les Misérables in 2009 and it remains the best book I have ever read.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

Like many novels of the era, Les Misérables is bogged down by digressions and rants that tend to be political, philosophical, or personal. Not your thing? Strip away all these offenses and Les Misérables is a riveting story of redemption.

Jul 13, 2015

Amazing, beautifully written book. A bit long and slow in some parts, but overall, a great read! By far my favourite classic. Make sure you have a box of tissues beside you!

7Liberty7 Oct 16, 2014

You won't go wrong reading this stirring and touching book. As a side note, Hugo fills the pages with explanations, descriptions, etc. so be prepared for a long read. Jean Valjean remains among my top favorite characters from literature.

Sep 09, 2014

This book took me a collective month to read, but it was well worth it. My favorite part was how masterfully Victor Hugo made personal conflicts in this book. I have never read any personal conflicts as well written than his.

Sep 06, 2014

Hugo's enraptured extemporizing on the France of his time was a little bewildering but completely pardonable amid a bold and garish novel with a deep moral conviction: that liberty is for the criminal, the poor, the small everywhere. And love. "Love one another always," says Jean Valjean, "there is nothing else that matters in this world except love." Worth the 1,200 pages.

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Jun 07, 2018

Budlong thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Summary

Jul 13, 2015

This is a novel about a man named Valjean who is arrested for stealing a loaf of bread. He escapes and after much struggle to find a place to stay in, he is welcomed by a kind bishop who later changes Valjean forever. Valjean creates a new identity as a Mayor and influences everybody he meets (the kindest saint ever!) However, an investigator recognizes the Mayor as the convict from years before. As he tries to stay out of his sight, he is also trying to save this little girl named Cosette. A moving, compelling story... You better read to find out what happens!

May 27, 2014

Jean Valjean steals a piece of bread because his sister's children are starving. He is imprisoned for five years, but racks up a total of 19 for trying to escape. Once escaped, he breaks parole and creates a new identity; M. Mayor. Fantine, who had a child, Cosette, with a man named Tholoymes is abandoned by him, and is fired from her job in a factory. Cosette stays with an innkeeper and his wife(Fantine pays them, as she is unaware they treat Cosette as a slave), the two Thenardiers, who has three children; Eponine, Azelma, and Gavroche. She is rescued later by Jean Valjean, under the identity of M. Mayor. Jean Valjean feels responsible for Cosette after Fantine dies, and he raises her as his own, escaping Inspector Javert again, who is trying to catch him/find him. Years later when Cosette is 18, she meets Marius Pontmercy, a student, and also part of the Les Amis. The two fall in love. The Les Amis is a group of students(he main character ones are Jehan/Jean Prouvaire, Bousette, Bahorel, Courfeyrac, Gavroche, Grantaire, Combeffere, etc.) who are starting a revolution(the French Revolution). Many small subplot details happen, and then, at the barricade, Eponine saves Marius by blocking a shot, as she's in love with him; she dies. All the Les Amis dies, except Marius who is saved by Jean Valjean who went to the barricade. Jean Valjean saved Javert by pretending to shoot him and let him go free, as he was an infiltrator. Javert jumps off a bridge. Marius recovers and marries Cosette. Jean Valjean leaves to a convent, and Marius and Cosette join him after Thenardier tips them off to his whereabouts. Marius has no idea Jean Valjean saved him. Jean Valjean dies with Marius and Cosette by his side.


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