Les Miserables with Bookmark   -     By: Victor Hugo
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Les Miserables with Bookmark

Random House, Inc / 1998 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean - the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread - Les Miserables (1862) ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them onto the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions; crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thenardier and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 1472
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 1998
Dimensions: 8.28 X 5.48 X 2.33 (inches)
ISBN: 0375403175
ISBN-13: 9780375403170
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

It has been said that Victor Hugo has a street named after him in virtually every town in France. A major reason for the singular celebrity of this most popular and versatile of the great French writers is Les Misérables (1862). In this story of the trials of the peasant Jean Valjean—a man unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, and hounded by his nemesis, the magnificently realized, ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert—Hugo achieves the sort of rare imaginative resonance that allows a work of art to transcend its genre.

Les Misérables
is at once a tense thriller that contains one of the most compelling chase scenes in all literature, an epic portrayal of the nineteenth-century French citizenry, and a vital drama—highly particularized and poetic in its rendition but universal in its implications—of the redemption of one human being.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Author Bio

Victor Hugo (1802-85), novelist, poet, playwright, and French national icon, is best known for two of today’s most popular world classics: Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, as well as other works, including The Toilers of the Sea and The Man Who Laughs. Hugo was elected to the Académie Française in 1841. As a statesman, he was named a Peer of France in 1845. He served in France’s National Assemblies in the Second Republic formed after the 1848 revolution, and in 1851 went into self-imposed exile upon the ascendance of Napoleon III, who restored France’s government to authoritarian rule. Hugo returned to France in 1870 after the proclamation of the Third Republic.

Julie Rose’s acclaimed translations include Alexandre Dumas’s The Knight of Maison-Rouge and Racine’s Phèdre, as well as works by Paul Virilio, Jacques Rancière, Chantal Thomas, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN medallion for translation and the New South Wales Premier’s Translation Prize.

Adam Gopnik is the author of Paris to the Moon and Through the Children’s Gate, and editor of the Library of America anthology Americans in Paris. He writes on various subjects for The New Yorker and has recently written introductions to works by Maupassant, Balzac, Proust, and Alain-Fournier.

Editorial Reviews

"Hugo's genius was for the creation of simple and recognizable myth. The huge success of Les Misérables as a didactic work on behalf of the poor and oppressed is due to his poetic and myth-enlarged view of human nature." —V. S. Pritchett


"It was Tolstoy who vindicated [Hugo's] early ambition by judging Les Misérables one of the world's great novels, if not the greatest… [His] ability to present the extremes of experience 'as they are' is, in the end, Hugo's great gift." —From the Introduction by Peter Washington


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Reviewed by Steve MacDonald (Web Editor), January 27, 2006

What can be said about this epic that has not already been repeated ad infinitum? Near the top of my list, Les Miserables is one of my favorite stories, and I have many versions of this beloved Hugo classic. Themes of redemption, long-suffering, and love make this a wonderful tale for older children. Conversely, adults should appreciate the grand scale of the plot and be swept up into the milieu of early 19th century France. Realistic depictions of the people, places and events lend the text an authentic quality, while the questions it raises in the reader's mind should bring about a renewed thirst for the answers, which Jean Valjean found ultimately in God.

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