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Los Miserables

Los Miserables

Escrito por Jules Verne

Narrado por Fabio Camero


Los Miserables

Escrito por Jules Verne

Narrado por Fabio Camero

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (129 valoraciones)
Longitud:
3 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jan 1, 2002
ISBN:
9781611553987
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descripción

Jan Valjean, que despues de ir a la carcel por robar un pedazo de pan, es inmisericordemente perseguido por un agente de la autoridad, Valjean, que trata de mostrar que el pasado ha convertido al hombre en un criminal.
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jan 1, 2002
ISBN:
9781611553987
Formato:
Audiolibro

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También disponible como libroLibro

Sobre el autor

Victor Marie Hugo (1802–1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement and is considered one of the greatest French writers. Hugo’s best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchbak of Notre-Dame, 1831, both of which have had several adaptations for stage and screen.


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Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    Frodundo e inigualable contenido emocional, fantástica prosa y expresión elocuente.
  • (5/5)
    Fue lo mejor y más entretenido lo recomiendo. Y no recomiendo cualquier cosa.
  • (5/5)
    Es fantástico lo ame y la narración maravillosa, la recomendó amplia mente
  • (5/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    Gracias Juan Valjean por demostrar que no todo esta perdido!!!

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (5/5)
    Am currently re-reading with my wife because we both loved it so much; Truly the best written novel of all time; Characters; story lines; heart ache; triumph and the use of the written word are beyond anything you can find from ANT writer today; truly the masterpiece by which all other writing should be measured against
  • (5/5)
    Umm, so...as with War and Peace, how the heck do you review a novel that is part of the fabric of Western society; a book that has been around so long and was written by an author so esteemed as to have a reputation that proceeds the reading? Yeah, I don't know either.I will say that I assigned a one-star deduction (no, I am not the Russian judge, though I am definitely partial to Russian literature, but I digress) for two reasons: a) some of the commentary, while relevant to the plot, meandered longer than was interesting - in most cases - for my liking. This surprised me. I like reading history and observations of society, plus I am generally a curious cat. Somehow, Hugo wasn't holding my attention in a lot of the passages that were away from the main action of the story. Reason b) all of the coincidences used to advance the plot were hard to swallow. I will say that when I come across coincidences while I am reading fiction, it bugs the crap out of me. I mean really, really annoys me. Hugo, in using this device, managed to not wholly annoy me. So, The main story was kick-ass and in these sections I was hard pressed to put the book down. Unlike Tolstoy, in War and Peace, I was not so riveted during the other chapters of the story. Sigh. Since Hugo is awesome - apparently that is what is says on his headstone: "Awesome" - I will take the blame for having some fault during the reading of Les Misérables. I'm still not gonna give back that deducted start, though, Hugo!
  • (4/5)
    Whenever I get asked about classic book recommendations, I normally start by admitting that despite the fact that I read all the time and I have a BA in English, I am the worst literature major ever. You know those lists of the “100 Greatest Books of All Time” and you mark off the ones you’ve read? Even though I’ve read a good chunk of those books, the number of canonical works that I’ve read is pretty pathetic. (For example, I’ve only read one Dickens novel, and that was a children’s abridgement.) My history with Les Miserables is as follows: I saw the 1998 Liam Neeson movie in my HS freshman French I class; the next year I saw the stage musical and then proceeded to listen to the OLCR a couple dozen times. And then I fell out of it until the new movie came out, and on hearing about the number of details thrown in from the back, I thought, “Oh why not.”

    What did help out is that because I was familiar with the story, I was able to appreciate all of the extra detail so much more. (Same thing happened when I first read Phantom of the Opera.) Yes, I know how things were going to turn out, but it also allowed me to think “Okay, so how do we get from Point A to B exactly?” And putting the dots together made the experience more enjoyable. For example, at the end of the infamous 200-page recounting of Waterloo, when Colonel Pontmercy introduces himself to M. Thenardier, my reaction was “Holy shit that explains so much.” And even then, my thought process was completely wrong. And the backstories—again, despite knowing that everything was going to end horribly—the backstories add so much to the story. Fantine’s whole summer of love has so much more contextual weight when you find out how screwed over she got. (Fuck you, Tholomyès. Fuck you.) And Marius—I still don’t like him very much once he meets up with Cosette, but the whole background with his father and grandfather got me really sucked into his story.

    And even the long digressions weren’t that bad. Admittedly, I did tend to skim whenever Hugo decided to be very philosophical and ramble on about stuff that I’ve already gotten from the plot thanks so very much. However, the aforementioned Battle of Waterloo section and the other long descriptive passages, I really liked. The scenes at the Convent at Petite Rue Pipcus was one of my favorite parts, with the description of this absolutely rigid society and how Valjean is going to manage to infiltrate into it out. I actually also loved the “Intestines of the Leviathan” section because it’s so well-written and does add a lot to the story. And just the actual story of Jean Valjean itself is so good, I just wanted to keep reading the book.

    If there was anything else that got a boost for actually reading the book, the characters. The main set of characters I do still like, but I like that there was so much more added to them. (JAVERT SNARKS AND IT IS GLORIOUS.) This is particularly evident in the side characters, specifically LES AMIS. I love Marius’s friends, especially since we actually get to know them and not just specifically “Oh, well, you get one line.” Courfeyrac, as I have fangirled, is the best. Why must you die horribly, Courfeyrac.

    (Oh, can I tangent about the book vs. the musical for a moment? So, I had begun to assume that “Oh, so Marius finds M. Thenardier and that’s how he and Eponine are friends” while I was reading. And it turns out that Marius only talks to Eponine twice and when she’s dying he doesn’t recognize her at first. She still has a tragic death scene and the worst dying declaration of love ever, but “On My Own” just got a whole lot of new context after reading the book.)

    The only thing I really had a problem with overall was that every character keeps popping up by happenstance. I get that Hugo was playing on providence and that these characters were so entwined in each other’s lives, but it got the point that it didn’t feel like a surprise when he reveals “And it was SO-AND-SO!” It does work well at times—the last time Javert and Valjean encounter each other for example (and I felt so awful because I knew Javert was going to commit suicide and I didn’t want him to do it) – but most of the time, I was thinking, “Oh you. You’re not dead yet. Carry on.”

    This being the Kindle translation, I don’t think it was too bad, although there were places that seemed really choppy. It also seemed like the translator couldn’t decide what exactly should be translated in text as opposed to linking a footnote (I don’t remember half of my French so that didn’t help). Also, it took me halfway through the book to realize that the insistence of “thou” vs. “you” was supposed to be “vous” vs. “du.” Again, I don’t know if that was me or the choppy translation.

    My big argument for the classics (which I’ve amended from my Brit Lit professors) is that once you take off these books off the Grand Literary Pedestal and take the books as books and bugger to the thematic elements, they’re really good. Before I actually sat down and read Les Miserables, all I knew about the book was “TWO HUNDRED PAGES OF NOTHING HAPPENING.” I WAS WRONG. I really liked the book, even with all of the info-dumping and contrived coincidences. And if you think that you can just go see the musical without reading the book at all, you are sorely missing out.
  • (3/5)
    This isn't in the least bit a quick read. The version I have is in 2 volumes, each of which is a big tome it its own right.
    The other thing that's rather long are the sentences. I'm fairly sure that I saw a sentence that stretched over a whole page - Mr Hugo is in love with all punctuation - except the full stop. It was an object lesson in how to use colons & semi colons. >:-) It does digress somewhat - at one point there's a fairly long description of the Battle of Waterloo that does little to advance the story, but does provide the back story between two characters in fulsome detail. If you've seen the musical that is, trust me, merely the bare bones of what's in here.
    Having said that, it was a read that felt worthwhile. Some epic tomes just feel like you're wading through treacle, whereas this was a descriptive treat.
  • (5/5)
    Les Mis is, to me, the best book I've ever read. It's full of the very best, and worst, of humanity. I can think of no other book that shows the whole range of mankind. The length may be a put off to some, but anyone who perseveres will be well rewarded and emerge better for having read this.
  • (5/5)
    Les Miserables is a thrilling, must read book for all ages. The captivating story line and character development are the finest parts of this book. As a reader progresses through this book, they watch as a common criminal, Jean Valjean, struggles to straighten out his life only to have his past catch up with him. Jean also meets a mother Fantine and promises her that he will take care of her daughter. The book goes through his thrilling journey to make peace with his past and also his new found love for Fantine’s daughter. I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to almost anyone. It has so many different aspects such as action, suspense, and relationships to it that I feel could reach a large variety of readers. It is a book that can be fit to any audience. I really enjoyed the character development that occurs in this book and I felt as though Jean was my grandfather. It was easy to pick parts of the characters and attach them to people in my own life. It allowed me to give the characters a real sense of life. Another part of this book that was enjoyable was the setting. It was fun to read a book that took place in France during this time because of the culture/society and being able to tie it to the French Revolution. It is important to note that this book is the abridged version of the book and is more fast-paced than the original version. The original has a lot more descriptive sections, but if you are more into the action part of books then this one is for you! Stephanie M.
  • (5/5)
    Dark pasts. Hopeful futures. Love. War. Miserable people with glorious characters. WOW!!!!!!This book is by far my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BOOK EVERRRR!!!!!!!It has all the ingredients for a perfect story. It has a lot of adventure, good vs. evil, crime, repentance, romance and ... the writing! It is sooooo AMAZING!!! Victor Hugo never fails in giving you the complete package! He really digs into detail about everything! Never thought I'd know so much about the Nepolianic Wars and ... The sewers of Paris. Okay, maybe that is not quite so pleasant, but the detail is what one always expects from Hugo; it's just the way he is.The characters are all soooo loveable! (EXCEPT the Thenardiers!!!) Jean Valjean is the greatest hero ever! Fatine's innocence in spite of her fall is beautiful! And Marius, although he's sort of the stereotype lover-boy, is also a great young man you just cannot help but love. Cosette is adorable when a child and so well portrayed when she grows up; she is portrayed with faults that seem to give her a more beautiful sketch of character. And of course Javert is one of my favorite villains of all time since he's that weird kind of villain who is sort of good, yet bad in the way that he is .... too good, as in too perfect to the point he SPOILER ALERT ***kills himself after he fails in his duty*** END OF SPOILER. Sorry. Also, Gavrouche is just the wildest, suaciest, and utterly filthy little raggamuffin that you simply have to love!!! When I learned who his parents were and what they (or rather his mother!) had done to him, I wanted to reach into the book and grab them (especially her) by the neck!!! Ugh! Disgusting people! Speaking of whom... The Thenardiers are abhorable, deplorable, disgusting, revolting, utterly malicious, and supercalifragilisticespialidocious in alll manners of evil!!! I can say with certain confidence that I HATE them! Well, not the entire family of course. I refer only to the Monsieur and Madame Thenardier. Most definately not their AMAZING daughter, Eponine. Eponine is a character that has added something wonderful to my life. No, I'm not being dramatic. I truly think she is a wonderful herione. In her filth I saw beauty; in her bad manners I saw poetry; in her sacrifice I saw a martyr. She was GREAT!!!! I sobbed and sobbed almost everytime they mentioned her after what happened at the barricades! She is my favorite character of the entire novel. All in all, they book is a GREAT read!!! I recommend it to EVERYONE!!! Perhaps there are those who believe the long passages of tedious details are boring, yet you simply cannot have Les Mis without all those rambling facts. It is how it is. Take it or leave it. But if you leave it, your missing out on something AWESOME!!! LIFE-CHANGING!
  • (3/5)
    Victor Hugo must have been getting paid by the word cos this book was wayyyy to long. He went well overboard on descriptive crap that added nothing to the storyline. The only good thing about the book was that it filled in some of the blanks of the movie. It just reinforces my idea that the French speak too much and say very little.
  • (5/5)
    Where do I begin? Maybe I should start with this: I love epic novels. There are not many therapies quite as effective as books with the ability to transport you out of your problems and into fictional ones. This book came at just the right time; half of it was read during a tumultous two week period in which my family moved slightly abruptly; the second half was devoured last month, while I recovered from some unexpected goodbye's. I started Les Miserables with high expectations, and was not disappointed. Victor Hugo is champion of the touching moment. He will spend chapter after chapter setting up every tiny detail for the perfect moment. I found myself having to stop multiple times, I could read no more because I was crying too hard. Please do not be intimidated by this. The title is "The Miserable," and Hugo isn't afraid to bring you down to the level of the lowest to show you what must be the depths of despair. But woven into these troubles and woes are themes of hope and redemption. Thus, the tears and sorrow I felt were of the most satisfying variety. It was those sweet little moments that make this novel so great. Victor Hugo is not afraid of spending adequate time to set things up for a devestating paragraph or shocking sentence. Victor Hugo is certainly not concerned about wasting your time. For example - he spends over four chapters describing the history of the sewer systems of Paris. Was it really necessary? Maybe some of us enjoy having this random bit of history to share with our naughty nerd friends. I wasn't quite so enthusiastic. I attempted to immerse myself in the quality of his writing, and forgive the putrid subject matter. We must allow these great novel writers some lee-way in this area. They spend so much time and thought masking their genius behind characters and intricate story plots. The greatest epic novels tend to have the longest diversions; if we take advantage of the treasure they have handed us, we must also submit ourselves to the occasional ramble. And when you realize exactly how smart this man is, you shan't mind submitting yourself to a (maybe) unnecessary diatribe. So we plow through the history of Parisian sewers and find ourselves in a climax worthy of the highest accolades. For those of you worried about the time and stamina it takes to make it through a 1000+ page novel, have no fear. The book is constantly progressing, becoming more and more beautiful with each succuesive chapter. Before I finish this perhaps conservative and certainly not over-exaggerated praise, I must mention the characters. To me, the characters are the most important element of any novel or work of prose. Hugo's characters were interesting. Although a few bordered cliche, they each had their fair share of peculiarities and were (to some extent) relatable. They certainly had not the four dimensional reality of Tolstoy, neither were they the caricatures of Dickens. Hugo found a lovely middle ground. Although his characters are life-like, they also seem to embody themes, ideas, and philosophies that play and interact within the story - creating a suprisingly interesting philosophical thought box. Kudos to the man- for creating a novel that will outlive every rebellion and continue to reach the multitude with a message of the existence of undying love.
  • (3/5)
    At the heart of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo lies an endearing, larger-than-life tale about the redemption of a fallen man, but good luck soldiering through everything else. The main story, the one directly related to our protagonist, Jean Valjean, by way of characters Fantine, Javert, Cosette or Marius, is buried deep under the biggest heap of literary filler I have ever encountered in a book. I'm talking hundreds of pages of backstory for minor characters, places, military battles and cultural commentary. Hundreds. Of pages. Overall, Les Mis is very readable and elegant. It's like listening to a beloved professor's lecturing voice, never mind the content. Still, I'm not sure what to call all this unnecessary padding. Expositional stalling?
  • (5/5)
    I got my copy of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" when I was in high school (more than 20 years ago) after seeing the musical. I know I tackled reading it, as there are pen marks in some of the margins, but I'm not terribly sure I ever finished it. With the release of the new (and excellent) movie, I thought this was the time to give it a reread. I'm ever so glad I did.... and I had no trouble finishing it this time. In fact, it was hard to put down.What you can you say about Hugo's epic that hasn't already been said? It's beautifully written with characters that leap off the page. The novel encompasses a huge amount of period French history, putting the characters in the thick of the action of some important (and unimportant events.) It is a story of redemption, of love, of suffering. The only criticism I can lodge is that some of Hugo's tangents go on a bit long... (I now know more than I ever need to about Waterloo, for example) and pull away from the story. At times I wondered if we were ever going to get back to Jean Valjean's story. Still, I can't help giving this five stars because I just loved the book enough to overlook that minor quibble. This is truly just a great book.
  • (4/5)
    The story of the results of forgiveness and grace is powerful. I really grew to love, hate, pity, and otherwise empathize with the characters in this book. At times the writing was amazingly beautiful, at others the insights were hilarious or profound. All in all an excellent, mostly terribly sad book. However, reading the entirety of this unabridged version has really opened my eyes to the potential benefit of an abridged version of this, or other massive classic works. There were hundreds of pages in this book that could have been omitted without detriment to the story, in fact, not having to trudge through these parts may have made it more powerful by not losing the emotional pull of the story as we wade through 70+ pages on how nuns lived in certain convents (which convent I believe was given fewer pages of story than the historical exposition). I'd be afraid to have a child read the unabridged, lest I destroyed his love of books. :/
  • (4/5)
    In this epic tale of 19th century France, Jean Valjean is an ex-convict mercilessly hunted by the police inspector, Javert. Over the course of nearly twenty years, Valjean continuously attempts to better himself and move beyond his past and in the course of his journey touches the lives of several individuals enveloped in the vicissitudes of poverty.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 narrative. And some of his asides on society and humanity are an intriguing reflection of the conflict between the ideals of Romanticism and the influx of realism and humanism that emerged during the Industrial Revolution. That being said, the novel does have a few weaknesses. First, is the female characters whose moments of superficiality and stupidity, with Hugo rhapsodizing on the innocence and childlike nature of women, is enough to make you long for a Dickensian heroine. The other major flaw for a modern reader are the regular tangents that break up the flow of the narrative. An in-depth description of the battle of Waterloo and a brief history of the Paris sewers are significant offenders I could have done without. But these two flaws aside, which are signs of the novel's age, Les Misérables is a classic that should be experienced at least once.
  • (5/5)
    It's always a daunting task to write a review of a book not only widely read but also extremely popular. Especially after one read of the primary text (and no knowledge whatsoever of the musical, aside from the minute or so of the previews shown for the upcoming release). So rather than wax poetic about Hugo's insanely thorough, beautiful writing as many others have done, let me simply give you my impression of Les Misérables.The first 10% or so of the Kindle edition that I read dealt primarily with a description of Bishop Myriel. About 5% in I was a bit confused, wondering why all this information was necessary for a character that, admitted by Hugo, was not an integral part of the book. However, I managed to fall in love with that sacrificing Bishop and felt I knew him so intimately that by the time Jean Valjean arrived on the scene, I could predict the good Bishops movements. And aside here, the letter and actions of the Bishops sister and housekeeper had me laughing and thoroughly enjoying myself, mostly because I, as an unmarried woman in today's society, would never have been able to so meekly assist my brother in that way.Jean Valjean - such a character. 19 years spent in horrific conditions all because he stole some bread. After his run-in with the Bishop, his encounter with Petit Gervais, and his arrival in Montreuil-sur-Mer I began to get an idea of why the Bishop was such an important character to begin the book with. It was a beautiful thing to see the changes being wrought in Valjean.And then there comes Fantine. Honestly, I think Fantine is my second favorite character of the book (second to Bishop Myriel, I really did love that old man). She is the perfect tragic figure: mother to a beautiful child, abandoned by her lover, trust-worthy to a fault, abused, neglected, self-sacrificing, and all of it unrewarded until she lay on her deathbed... but even then happiness is denied to her. As miserable as Valjeans life was throughout the book, I think Fantine's situation is what really gives weight to the title that Hugo chose.And from Fantine there comes Cosette. Although there is plenty in the book about the girl, and then the young woman Cosette, I came away with less of an impression of her than of the other characters. In fact, I felt more connected to Marius than Cosette - although that might have been simply because Cosette comes off as a bit of a wimp, not due to anything that Hugo does, necessarily. It's just strange to read about her passive behavior from a 21st century perspective.The only other main character I want to touch on is Javert. Javert was the epitome of fear to me. He had a nasty habit of always showing up in a city filled with people, leaving the correct impression that he and Valjean were connected in a way that could never be broken. I appreciated Hugo's treatment of the torment that filled Javert at the end of the book and thought that his story ended in a most fitting manner.Hugo spends time not telling the stories of these main characters by elaborating on everything from an incredibly detailed description of the Battle of Waterloo (of which I now know more information than I know how to deal with), slang, the street urchin or gamin, the sewers of Paris, religious orders, and politics. Of these I found Waterloo, the religious order description, and the information on slang to be the most interesting. I read the Hapgood translation of the book for Kindle, and was rewarded with a lengthy introduction and beautiful illustrations throughout the book that enhanced the reading. I laughed, cried, felt sympathy, and completely immersed myself in this story and came away from it feeling richer - and that feeling is how I know I just read something incredible.
  • (5/5)
    A story about the French Revolution, following Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who broke parol to start a new life. When he becomes the mayor of a town, he is presented with many problems, including escaping the ever persistant Officer Javert, and granting the last wish of the prostitute, Fantine, to care for her daughter, Cosette. It follows his life from his release from prison, to his death after Cosette's marriage Marius.Though a slightly taxing read, because it is a classic, it is quite fascinating. It explores the ideas of 'right' and 'wrong' and all the different shades in between. Most of the characters, Valjean of course standing out the most, have conflicts on whether what they do is correct or not, and which descion is for the greater good.It was a worthwhile read, but not one for light readers. Being a classic, it contains complex language, and ideals not of this century. Perhaps I would reccomend this to those used to reading these kinds of books, or those who want to further study the story that the musical of the same name is based on.
  • (5/5)
    This book is a challenge to get through, even in audiobook form. I had a basic familiarity with the story of Les Misérables from the musical of the same name.The depth of Jean Valjean's character and circumstances is so much greater than could ever be remotely given justice by the movie or any musical representation.I would recommend this for anyone who is in love with the story as presented by the musical. The original version of the story has a completely different dimension than any 2-3 hour production can present.The unabridged format is a bit unwieldy, but provides some measure of context, considering how far displaced we are from the original setting of the story.
  • (5/5)
    I confess I read this after the musical become popular, but better late than never. Jean Valjean and his friends were well worth tackling the unedited version. As much as I am passionately in love with the musical, Hugo's account of his characters are better.
  • (4/5)
    The author of the introduction I read in my edition of Les Miserables, Peter Washington, didn't seem to much admire the book or the author. He compared it unfavorably to Tolstoy's War and Peace and claimed that "Les Miserables rambles, there are huge digressions and absurdities of plot, the characters are often thin, the action melodramatic." I found that amusing because having recently read War and Peace I thought all that very much applied to Tolstoy's novel, and in more annoying ways that in Les Miserables. Maybe it's that I found Tolstoy's frequent digressions on the hive nature of history rather one-note. If Hugo digresses, at least it's on different subjects. Though yes, the narrative is even more long-winded than you'd expect from 19th Century Western literature. Hugo's one of those authors who won't use one adjective when he can pile up a dozen in one sentence. When Hugo defends using argot, the lingo of thieves, he makes a good point that professions like stockbrokers have an argot of their own, but not satisfied with this example, he goes on and on for an entire page where a brief sentence would have sufficed. Were you one of those people who complained about Ayn Rand's long speechifying in her novels? Well, she was an admirer of Hugo, and I suspect this is where she got the habit from. I would have happily taken a hatchet to the chapters on the rules of the Bernardine-Benedictines and there's really no excuse for spending that much wordage on the sewers of Paris. But with many of the digressions, even when I was impatient to get back to the mainline of the story, I found many of them worth reading. Skip the chapter "The Tail" in Melville's Moby Dick, and I don't think you'd miss much unless you find the anatomy of whales fascinating. Skip the second epilogue of Tolstoy's War and Peace in my opinion you miss only crank theorizing. But within a lot of those digressions in Les Miserables are insights into the spirit of the 19th century. Besides, I also rather prefer Hugo's characters to those of Tolstoy. Jean Valjean has the kind of largeness of character lacking in the cast of Tolstoy's historical novel to carry an epic. When Valjean first appears in the novel on page 66, he's been a galley slave for 19 years--initially sentenced because he stole a loaf of bread. Six years later he's a wealthy entrepreneur that lifted his town to prosperity and became its mayor, and likely would have continued to prosper were it not for Inspector Javert. And if Valjean is a hero worthy of an epic, than Javert makes a worthy villain, almost a force of nature, and interesting because he's above all motivated by devotion to the law. And for a full-on black villains, you can't do much better than Pere and Mere Thénardier. There are also vividly drawn secondary characters such as their children Gavroche and Eponine. (Even if I do agree with Jean Valjean that Marius, his adopted daughter's love interest, is a "booby." A good match for the ninny that is Cosette.) Yes, there are coincidences that stretch credibility and larger-than-life characters and melodramatic rhetorical flourishes. And at times Hugo's chauvinism, his aggrandizement of his nation--much more evident than in Tolstoy or Dickens or Hawthorne--raised an eyebrow. And I certainly don't share Hugo's enthusiasm for revolution, riots ("emeutes") and mobs and I'm to put it mildly, dubious about Hugo's vision of "Progress." I wondered at times, just how much of the melody, the poetry of the writing I missed reading the Wilbour translation. Some claim that if you don't like Hugo, it might be Wilbour's fault. But I certainly found this mammoth epic more interesting than the equally lengthy War and Peace and clumsy translation or not, one with many beautiful and quotable passages.
  • (5/5)
    It exceeded my expectations. :))
  • (5/5)
    I have just finnished reading this and i have to say that out of all the classics I've read this is right up there with the best.To be honest, just to look at the door-stopper of a book is rather daunting, but once I got over the physical size of it, Les Miserables was immensely enjoyable.Despite the length I found it to be a real page-turner. The story is exciting and filled with characters that you can emotionally invest in and the length only helps to enhance this. The only part I found hard going was the retelling of the battle of Waterloo which was, perhaps, one detail too far. Many have critisized Hugo's diversions and the over emphasis on his own opinions and digressions but personally I found them mostly to be both a charming quirk as well as an essential componant towards the overall impact of the story by enabling me to imagine the context of the setting in the novel. After all a novel of such epic proportions deserves to have an epic span of topics, context and thought provoking content. Les Miserables is crammed with broad ranging subjects such as philiosophy, ethics, economy, history, religion, love of all kinds, politics, relationships, and all this is vocalised via the beautiful prose that enabled me to completely immerse myself in that world.Above all the one thing that will remain with me from reading Les miserables is the characters. Wonderfully drawn and each memorable in their own way, I was constantly on edge, anticipating how their individual stories would play out.Hugo's tale is gripping, emotional, and above all intensely human and therefore something, I think, everyone can relate to.
  • (4/5)
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  • (3/5)
    I do well with voluminous classics: I'm a fan of The Count of Montecristo, War and Peace and The Sentimental Education and other longer novels. These are novels with a lot of genuine heart. Even Moby Dick, which I am ambivalent about because of the endless discourse on whales and whaling, engages me because of its startling originality. However, I could not get into Les Miserables. At every turn, Hugo digresses, and at great length. There are memorable passages... beautiful, memorable parts. But the characters did not come alive for me. As I see it, Les Miserables is one of the "important" novels that we most enjoy when we're very young, or because it was such a popular and important novel a hundred and fifty years ago. Like other longer works of literature, the novel also attracts readers who delight in the recreation of lost worlds. I wish I could have been one of those readers...because there's nothing like a great long book. Three stars because it's a classic and it's important...otherwise I'd give it two stars.
  • (3/5)
    Um Cosette + Marius are annoying/boring. Javert and Valjean are interesting. The many chapters of history and background got on my nerves and weren’t good reads. The plot got meh later, esp given the over-focus on boring romance. A good adaptation could actually be better than the book. Though there aren’t especially strong female roles.
  • (5/5)
    Les Miserables has everything. With the multiple plot lines and characters that everyone can relate to this book really appeals to everyone. It took me a LONG time to read this book, but it was worth every minute!
  • (5/5)
    Les Miserables was a wonderful novel. The novel seemed to me to become a full circle in the end from when Jean Valjean was a convict to being a beloved hero who granted the love of his life, his daughter, what she previously had only shown him-love. It was a very passionate, real life story that touched millions including myself.
  • (5/5)
    I finished much faster than I anticipated but I just couldn’t put it down. The last book had a lot of action as the students of Paris built a barricade and revolted. Our boy, Marius, finds himself in the middle of the fray which is not going in their favor. Jean Valjean arrives and helps him out a bit and manages to help out a few other citizens while he’s there because, well, that’s just the way he rolls. While trying to help Marius, Jean Valjean has a long coming chit chat with the pesky Javert and attempt to work out some of their issues. All the while Cosette sits by and waits.The book ends well for some and not so well for others which is about all I’m going to say. I loved it and will probably end up re-reading a few times. However I’ve been reading in e-book format on my laptop, which is less than pleasant and I won’t be doing that again. This is definitely a book I want to own so I’ll be going out and buying a REAL copy (I really dislike the term ‘dead tree book’ it’s so negative). I also think I’ll go for the abridged version and do without Hugo’s rambling. I don’t need the history lesson on France every time I want to read it. I would suggest to anyone thinking about giving it a read to just go for it. The first few chapters seem a little slow but it’s totally worth it to stick it out. At least I thought so.I did finally watch the movie last night after I finished and it was pretty good. They took liberties, changed things and left stuff out but I guess that’s to be expected. I hate when people say “I don’t need to read the book, I can just watch the movie”. Even the best movie adaptation is just a portion of the whole story. Sometimes it’s barely a glimpse of the goodness that lies within the book. I love movies as much as the next person but it’s good to go straight to the source. Movies are an enhancement, not a replacement for reading.