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Les Miserables (Paperback)

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ITEM# 3031526
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ITEM#: 3031526

Born in 1802, the son of a high officer in Napoleon’s army, Victor Hugo spent his childhood against a background of military life in Elba, Corsica, Naples, and Madrid. After the Napoleonic defeat, the Hugo family settled in straitened circumstances in Paris, where, at the age of fifteen, Victor Hugo commenced his literary career with a poem submitted to a contest sponsored by the Academie Francaise. Twenty-four years later, Hugo was elected to the Academie, having helped revolutionize French literature with his poems, plays, and novels. Entering politics, he won a seat in the National Assembly in 1848; but in 1851, he was forced to flee the country because of his opposition to Louis Napoleon. In exile on the Isle of Guernsey, he became a symbol of French resistance to tyranny; upon his return to Paris after the Revolution of 1870, he was greeted as a national hero. He continued to serve in public life and to write with unabated vigor until his death in 1885. He was buried in the Pantheon with every honor the French nation could bestow.

Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee have translated two volumes of the letters of Jean-Paul Sartre, edited by Simone de Beauvoir: Witness to My Life and Quiet Moments in a War. For their work together, they have received an NEA Translation fellowship and the American Literary Translators Association Award. Lee Fahnestock has translated fiction as well as four volumes of the poetry of Francis Ponge, including The Making of the Pre and The Nature of Things. The French Government honored her with the Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres. Norman MacAfee’s other books include One Class: Selected Poems; The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now; the opera The Death of the Forest; and translations of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s poetry.

Victor Hugo's towering novel of Jean Valjean, his unjust imprisonment, and his lifelong flight from a relentless police officer.


ISBN 9780451525260
Genre FICTION / Classics
Format Paperback
Pages 1463
Publisher Date 1987-03-01 00:00:00.0
Publisher Signet Classic
Copyright Year 1987
Height 6.75 in
Wdth 4.1 in
Thickness 2.0 in
Unit weight 1.4 lb
Language English
Edition Detail Unabridged
Audience General/trade
Authors Hugo, Victor
Dimensions 8.0x6.0x1.0

Product Reviews

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  • Most Recent

  • Ravishingly distressing

    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.

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  • Masterful . . . .

    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 . . . .

    Read More

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