Les Miserable is a poignant, piquant novel. All the characters, every single one, are memorable and developed. In this story, we see humanity. We see and feel the good and bad. We see ill treatment. We see philanthropy, joys and sorrows, those ready to condemn and we see those ready to forgive. We see the extremes and those in between. Hugo is a master story teller and writes with omnipotence. His fluid poetic prose is insightful, thorough. The story is written in such a way that parts are weaved and intertwined almost as in a puzzle and at times, because the story is so grappling, the reader can't help but try to fathom it before it fully unfolds. This classic also acquaints the reader with Hugo's knowledge and love of France. These parts are only distantly associated with the novel, but are educational and I found them interesting. However, towards the end of the novel, I found myself skimmimg through these parts as fast as I can so to continue with the story. This is a testament to how enthralling the story is! I am pleased to have read it and I am looking forward to reading it again someday.
Imagine the incredible world building of Tolkien, with the historic significance of Alexander Dumas, and throw in the poetic mastery of Wadsworth or Poe, and find them all flourish brilliantly in this Hugo work. The character building in this book, however, is what makes it truly surpreme: these charcters are no longer beings on the pages----they walk with the reader and share his troubles and adventures with their own, making the reader truly vulnerable to the harsh aspects of the story, and lost within the world of 19th-century France. Victor Hugo, in this one unprecedented work, brings to life charcters and stories which will likely live in literature until the end of cultured reading as we know it . . . .