Jean Valjean spent nineteen years in prison — five for stealing bread, fourteen for trying to escape. Valjean tries to make a new life for himself, but he cannot escape the stigma of his past, nor the oppressive watch of the cold-hearted Inspector Javert.
Fantine is a working class woman barely scraping together enough for herself and her young daughter Cosette. Both mother and daughter are exploited by the greedy innkeeper Thénardiers, who keeps demanding more and more money. Fantine’s health begins to deteriorate, and in her desperation she begins to consider prostitution.
These are but two of the unfortunate souls from Victor Hugo’s massive novel about rebellion, redemption, authority, romance, and justice. Les Misérables is a rich, complex, profound, and heart-breaking work of historical fiction, and one of the greatest novels of all time.
This includes all five volumes, as well as illustrations by Émile Bayard. Also, many of the more poetic passages are preserved in the original French, side-by-side with an English translation. (Can't do that on Kindle!)
Customer ReviewsSee All
The most powerful book I have ever read, I was totally immersed in the story and the characters from beginning till the end. Hugo educated me into the deprivations of that period of French history, how lucky most of us are in the first world to only have learned of the suffering and hunger reading on our iPads.
Although lengthy I found this book thoroughly engaging and hard to put down. The characters are well written and you easily feel for each and every one. I felt a vast range of emotions felt through the book and would recommend to anyone. If you're a fan of the musical this has to be read at least once!!!
While a long book, and not an easy read, it is a very satisfying read. If you are a fan of the musical, it will really help enhance the story. It's a great mix of history, philosophy and fiction. There are some points when he just goes on and on about things that are really tangents to the story, but it is worth persisting through such things.