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Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Paperback

Published: September 1982
For Ages: 18+ years old
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Booktopia Comments

The Booktopia Book Guru does not need to recommend this book - History has proclaimed it one of the best novels ever written - and History has read a lot more books than the Booktopia Book Guru! Read it now.

Book Description

Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged policeman Javert. It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty. A compelling and compassionate view of the victims of early nineteenth-century French society, Les Misirables is a novel on an epic scale, moving inexorably from the eve of the battle of Waterloo to the July revolution of 1830.

Norman Denny's introduction to his lively English translation discusses Hugo's political and artistic aims in writing Les Miserables.

About the Author

Victor Hugo (1802–85) was the most forceful, prolific and versatile of French nineteenth-century writers. He wrote Romantic costume dramas, many volumes of lyrical and satirical verse, political and other journalism, criticism and several novels, the best known of which are Les misérables (1862) and the youthful Notre-Dame de Paris (1831).

A royalist and conservative as a young man, Hugo later became a committed social democrat and during the Second Empire of Napoleon III was exiled from France, living in the Channel Islands. He returned to Paris in 1870 and remained a great public figure until his death: his body lay in state under the Arc de Triomphe before being buried in the Panthéon.

One of the few indisputably great novels that can be read as breathlessly as any thriller - because that is what it is! The unrelenting pursuit of Jean Valjean by the police agent Javert, culminating in the desperate escape attempt through the sewers of Paris, is the essence of the book and the vehicle that carries the cargo of psychological, political and moral debate. Whatever Hugo tells us in the novel only possesses the terrible weight of truthfulness because this monumental work is also perhaps the greatest thriller of them all. (Kirkus UK)

Introductionp. 7
Fantine
An Upright Manp. 19
The Outcastp. 71
In the Year 1817p. 119
To Trust is Sometimes to Surrenderp. 144
Degradationp. 155
Javertp. 191
The Champmathieu Affairp. 202
Counter-Strokep. 260
Cosette
Waterloop. 279
The Ship Orionp. 325
Fulfilment of a Promisep. 338
The Gorbeau Tenementp. 385
Hunt in Darknessp. 399
Le Petit-Picpusp. 425
Cemeteries Take What They are Givenp. 451
Marius
Paris in Microcosmp. 495
A Grand Bourgeoisp. 512
Grandfather and Grandsonp. 522
The ABC Societyp. 555
The Virtues of Misfortunep. 584
Conjunction of Two Starsp. 603
Patron-Minettep. 619
The Noxious Poorp. 627
The Idyll in the Rue Plumet and the Epic of the Rue Saint-Denis
A Few Pages of Historyp. 705
Eponinep. 739
The House in the Rue Plumetp. 756
Help from Below May be Help from abovep. 788
Of Which the End Does Not Resemble the Beginningp. 797
The Boy Gavrochep. 812
Enchantment and Despairp. 844
Where are They Going?p. 876
5 June 1832p. 883
The Straw in the Windp. 904
Corinthp. 915
Marius Enters the Darknessp. 943
The Greatness of Despairp. 953
In the Rue de L'Homme-Armep. 970
Jean Valjean
War within Four Wallsp. 987
The Entrails of the Monsterp. 1061
Mire, But the Soulp. 1076
Javert in Disarrayp. 1104
Grandson and Grandfatherp. 1110
The Sleepless Nightp. 1129
The Bitter Cupp. 1145
The Fading Lightp. 1162
Supreme Shadow, Supreme Dawnp. 1173
The Convent as an Abstract Idea (Part Two, Book VII)p. 1202
Argot (Part Four, Book VII)p. 1214
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140444308
ISBN-10: 0140444300
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 1232
Published: September 1982
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 5.3
Weight (kg): 0.83
Edition Number: 1