Introducing One Of The Most Famous Characters In Literature, Jean Valjean The Noble Peasant Imprisoned For Stealing A Loaf Of Bread Les Mis Rables 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 To 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 Th Nardier, And The Universal Desire To Escape The Prisons Of Our Own Minds Les Mis Rables Gave Victor Hugo A Canvas Upon Which He Portrayed His Criticism Of The French Political And Judicial Systems, But The Portrait That Resulted Is Larger Than Life, Epic In Scope An Extravagant Spectacle That Dazzles The Senses Even As It Touches The Heart. One of the biggest book I ve ever read, and I remembered Mick Foley s warning about a big book A big book is like a serious relationship it requires a commitment Not only that, but there s no guarantee that you will enjoy it, or that it will have a happy ending Kind of like going out with a girl, having to spend time every day with her with absolutely no guarantee of nailing her in the end No thanks Haha Well, I took my chances reading this big book I made my commitment, I spent my time everyday with this book about a month and what do I get Happiness and the joy of reading This book really nailed me, I have my happy ending Woo Hooo Thank you very much for the warning Mister Foley This book is amazing, lengthy in descriptions, compelling storyline and has influenced so many people Breaks my heart into pieces but somehow put it back together.You want to be a better person after reading this book He said to himself that he really had not suffered enough to deserve such radiant happiness, and he thanked God, in the depths of his soul, for having permitted that he, a miserable man, should be so loved by this innocent being Jean Valjean about Cossette Les Mis rables can be translated from the French into The Miserable Ones , The Wretched , The Poor Ones , The Wretched Poor or The Victims So, as you will have concluded, this is not a happy book.In fact, it is the very opposite of fluffy happiness It is a story about the lowest and darkest parts of French society in the first half of the nineteenth century Hugo takes the reader on a 1200 page journey around France and into the lives of criminals, prostitutes, those wasting away under the strain of poverty and he provides food for thought on commonly held ideas about the nature of law, justice, love, religion and politics Not only this, but I can say that not one page of this giant bored me At the end of the day you re another day older And that s all you can say for the life of the poor I feel the need to mention the musical of Les Mis rables and I m going to incorporate some lyrics into this review because why not It s one of my favourite musicals The book is, as is often the case, a much deeper and well developed version of the same story, but I still recognised many of my favourite scenes from the stage production I had actually expected the book to be gentle and subdued than the musical because of the time it was written and to avoid controversy especially as Hugo s opinion of the French judicial system during this time was made very clear but this was not the case Les Mis rables is a nasty, gritty, haunting novel that doesn t fail to stay with you for a long time after putting it down I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I m living So different now from what it seemed Now life has killed the dream I dreamed It seems wrong to try and simplify the amazing plot of Les Miserables but I have to somehow fit all that greatness into this little review space So, the main plot line of this story is about the ex convict, Jean Valjean, who has been released from prison after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread and then trying to escape He comes away from all those years doing hard labour with anger running in his veins what kind of society sends a man to that disgusting fate for trying to quell his hunger His thoughts turn to revenge and rebellion he no longer even wants to try playing by the rules of a country which has done this to him Until he is shown an act of kindness beyond his imagination by someone who breaks the cycle of anger and vengeance Lovely ladies ready for the call Standing up or lying down or any way at all Bargain prices up against the wall Taking the little money and the vast amount of kindness he has been given, Jean Valjean slowly becomes an honest and wealthy man who helps those in need But his new found way of life and the respect he has earned becomes threatened one day when the police officer, Javert, starts to recognise him But that is just one story being told here Several stories run parallel to one another throughout this book and thye begin to entwine and as the novel progresses Another is the story of Fantine and her illegitimate daughter Cosette Forced into prostitution in order to feed her child, Fantine is a woman who looks old for her age and no longer has the sparkle of joy in her eye that she enjoyed back when she was allowed to be naive Cosette, meanwhile, is mistreated by the foster family who agree to take care of her while Fantine works in the nearby town Other stories include that of Marius and Eponine, but there are many The city goes to bed And I can live inside my head The above lyrics are from one of the musical s best known songs On My Own and are sung by one of the most fascinating characters of the novel, Eponine Eponine s tale is an old one, one of unrequited love but it is far from cheesy Marius describes her as an unhappy soul and nothing can be much accurate She is a sad, complex, and unfortunate character, which I suppose they all are in Les Mis rables, but Eponine has a special place in my heart But she is also far from weak She has been toughened by life, made ugly by poverty, and she is ferociously independent Yeah, I like her Here they talked of revolution Here it was they lit the flame Here they sang about tomorrow And tomorrow never came This book also chronicles the events leading up to and including the Paris uprising of 1832 and the novel includes themes of revolution It is a deeply thoughtful story that challenged attitudes held at the time in many ways To use one example a court of law was ready to sentence an innocent man to life imprisonment because he was slow and uneducated and therefore couldn t speak eloquently in his defence Perhaps this book is nothing than an entertaining but dark story that Hugo wrote to grip and shock people, but to me this is a highly political novel that makes many statements about law and justice in France during the time period I find it hard to dismiss Hugo s observations of the treatment of those who are poor and unintelligent as anything other than criticisms of society But that is just me I think I can say that you will be affected by this Whether you will thank me for it or not, well, that depends on how easily you tolerate a depressing read But I ve saved my favourite and the most uplifting song for last Do you hear the people sing Singing a song of angry men It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again When the beating of your heart Echoes the beating of the drums There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes youtube link Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Let s say that I could choose a single book with the guarantee that every man, woman, and child would read it I would not choose my top three favorites, nor would I choose the one whose remnants are permanently inked upon me I would choose this one You argue, the length The time period The cultural barriers It s just another long expounding by some old dead white guy whose type has suffocated literature for centuries Women will be frustrated with poor representation, people who aren t white will be angered by no representation, and everyone will bored to tears Alright, I see that Now, let me explain.Human rights have not been perfected They are as much a work in progress now as they were 150 years ago when this book was first published If you wish to find the book that gives every variation on the theme of humanity its due, it does not exist, and in all likelihood never will With that in mind, it is this book that I choose, as while Victor Hugo may have been limited by the era he grew up in, he did a damn good job in dreaming beyond it He wrote what he knew, but he also wrote what he hoped, and together they form a piece of writing that can mean something to everyone, whatever their life consists of.The book is called The Miserables I have a feeling that it is the blatant despair that this title provokes that has dissuaded publishers from rendering it into English, instead keeping it in that slightly prettier to the ear French form It can even be shortened to that chic and oh so clever Les Mis , as is the norm whenever the play is discussed In that light, when you say that truncated phrase it brings to mind not the triumphant book in its majestic entirety, but the abridged version, or perhaps the even abridged play You think of the story, but you do not think of the author s ideas, ones that he devotes full chapters to and are just as important to this tome as the characters he has sent running through it And this is a tragedy.Is tragedy too harsh a word I don t think so The book itself is one where tragedy heavily outweighs every other emotional aspect, and reducing it to a pittance of itself is flat out disgraceful You have countless flavors of human sorrow worked out here imprisonment, ostracization, slavery, decay of health, decay of morals, decay of life through the brutality of war as well as the slow grind of society s wheels There are also the subtle restrictions on the human spirit, propagated by a firmness of belief that slowly stagnates into constricting bigotry, where humans substitute bias for their reality and confine themselves to a small and mean existence These confines are difficult to escape from than the strongest chains, which may bend and break under pressure, whereas prejudices will turn in on themselves and feed on the opposition It is these barriers that build the barricades, it is these walls that let slip the dogs of war, it is these restrictions that make someone relish petty glories gained in the downfall of their fellow human beings Where a difference of opinion exists, there will be conflict, and Victor Hugo was intimately familiar with the facets of this violent mechanism.He did not want this for the world More specifically, he did not want this for his France, his Paris, his creative beacon that teems with contagious culture and ridiculous fashions to this very day, one that can be silly but is often so very, very brave Like Gavroche the gamin, it thumbs its nose at the world and thinks it slow and stupid, but all the same it loves its fellow human beings, and lives for the times when it can lead them, striding forward towards that thing called Progress Victor Hugo loved the concept of Progress, and he wished that everyone would love it as well In his words Go on, philosophers teach, enlighten, kindle, think aloud, speak up, run joyfully toward broad daylight, fraternize in the public squares, announce the glad tidings, lavish your alphabets, proclaim human rights, sing your Marseillaises, sow enthusiasms, tear off green branches from the oak trees Make thought a whirlwind He sent his characters off with this dream of Progress, of finding a life for themselves, of living in a world that bettered itself by the passing day, where the future was not dreary but vibrant and brimming with unlimited potential Many of them do not succeed Many fall by the wayside, desiccated by sickness, shot down in wars, slain by grief and the resignation that life is not so much better than death Some survive in miserable conditions, as restricted by their morality as by a chain around their neck Some survive only by having stripped their morality as easily as a snake sheds its skin, and in the conditions, who can blame them The weight of society squeezes the supports, and one is so much lighter and flexible without cumbersome thoughts of being good and kind.In all this sadness and life cut short by miserable conditions long before its time, there is still hope Victor Hugo illustrated this in his diverging sections as thoroughly as he did in his main story, as hard as that may be to believe It is true, though For example, his section on the Battle of Waterloo seems no than an endless list of casualties, pages of warfare and tactics, and death, so much death But at the very end, he points out it is not this battle that we remember in so much detail, nor any that came before it We remember literature In Hugo s words Nowadays when Waterloo is merely a click of sabers, above Bl cher Germany has Goethe, and above Wellington England has Byron And what of the other sections There are many, but two that are particularly powerful in their own subtle ways are the sections on argot and the sewers Argot is the language of criminals disguising their speech from the ignorant and the all too interested It is an ever changing labyrinth of slang, idioms, innuendos, wordplay that whips itself into contorted evolutions in its effort to escape the law If this kind of creativity runs rampant on the street, how would it fare if given a warm place to sleep, three meals a day, and a chance to improve its station in life And the sewers When first described, they are dirty, desperate, despicable things that do nothing but spread filth and disease and provide a home for the equally depraved This however was Hugo s vision of how it had been in the past In his time, they were clean and meticulous in their function, as well designed as the streets above and ten times as useful If humans can so improve the lot of that out of sight contraption that carries their shit, imagine what they could do with the parts of life that are meant for open viewing and enjoyment.One last mention Victor Hugo s prose has been accused of excessive flouncing about, rambling sentences that quickly devolve into meaningless lists without form or function beyond the enjoyment of their own existence I say, isn t that last part enough Reading his sentences brings to mind a dance, an endless waltz, to a symphony that builds and builds to a final crescendo, for Hugo is very good at taking his countless paragraphs and using them to reach a final glorious message He could have said it plainly, but it would not have been nearly as powerful without all the exposition just as his point about the memory of Byron outliving the memory of Waterloo would not have been nearly as striking had he not gone through the motions of describing every minute detail of that terrible battle To bring the reader to his level of understanding and to make them feel as much as he does about these things, the prose is essential And frankly, I have yet to come across another author that is as joyous to read as he is, for even while he is going on and on about useless trivia from a time long past, his enthusiasm is contagious He loved what he wrote about, and he wanted you to love it too, progressing sentences growing and triumphant much like the Progress he wished for mankind An ideal where all, I repeat, all are allowed to flourish and grow, developing their own ideas while importantly learning to accept those of others, where a stretch of one s limb doesn t require the injury or confinement of another s.So, read the full version, if you can You re welcome to the other, shorter versions, but read the full one at least once in your lifetime Read the introduction even, for in this particular edition there is a wonderful amount of detail about Victor Hugo s life that brings the book into beautiful focus The introduction also calls the abridged version insufficient, and says It is almost impossible to predict the individual detail, the flashing image or human quirk precisely observed, that will burn its way into a reader s mind for good I cannot agree .And lastly, for the tl dr ers, a summary for what I have said above, which rests within the very first pages of the book So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation which, in the midst of civilization, artificially creates a hell on earth, and complicates with human fatality a destiny that is divine so long as the three problems of the century the degradation of man by the exploitation of his labor, the ruin of woman by starvation, and the atrophy of childhood by physical and spiritual night are not solved so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible in other words, and from a still broader point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, there should be a need for books such as this Hauteville House, 1862 I m in the minority unfortunately I thought the book was okay I was hoping it would blow my mind and be a favorite like The Count Of Monte Cristo, as I was afraid of that book too, but alas, it was not I might as well put the ole spoilers tag up on here Oh and even though Jean s name will be changed in the book, I m sticking with Jean so I won t get all messed up FANTINE 1 An Upright Man2 The Fall3 In The Year 18174 To Trust Is Sometimes To Surrender 5 The Descent 6 Javert7 The Champmathieu Affair8 Counter Stroke I worry at times when reading classic books because I feel I won t understand a lot of them And some I haven t Come to think of it, I have read books that aren t classic and never understood them and still loved them I m strange, I know I felt the same way when I went into The Count of Monte Cristo I was so worried I wouldn t get it enough to like it and uh, it s one of my favorite books to date Les Mis has given me some trouble during the first of the book I have felt like I m not going to like it too much and then there would be parts that I just loved So we shall see when I finish it awhile from now I really liked M Myriel, he was a very nice man I mean just because he s a man of the cloth doesn t mean he will be nice but he was and I loved him It was sad when he died Jean Valjean was a prisoner of 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to try to feed his sister and her seven children They don t care if people or kids starve to death and going to jail for 19 years Wow Jean only heard of news one time of his sister and the youngest child working and going to school No one knows what became of the rest of the children After the 19 years Jean was let out on parole He couldn t find a place to take him in for the night and feed him He had money but they didn t want a criminal in their inns But he came upon M Myriel who was a Bishop at the church if I have it all correctly He let Jean have a bed for the first time in years, gave him food and was very kind to him In turn, Jean stole away in the night with the silverware But being the kind man M Myriel was he didn t press charges when the coppers dragged Jean back He did tell something to Jean that made him change his ways The bishop approached him and said, in a low voice Do not forget, ever, that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man Jean Valjean, who had no recollection of any such promise, stood dumbfounded The bishop had stressed these words as he spoke them He continued, solemnly, Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good It is your soul I am buying from you I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God Jean was a changed man after this and it was good Next is the story of Fantine This broke my heart Fantine and some of her so called friends had suitors and they all thought they were going to be together and get married, all of the wonderful things But it was not so The men left the woman with nothing Fantine was left with child and her so called friends all went separate ways Fantine had to leave little Cosette at a home until she got enough money to get her The home was a fake and they were rude and horrible people Fantine sent them money to keep Cosette Year after year she sent money She worked for Jean who had a different name and owned a business Sadly for Fantine she was fired because of some jerk workers and Jean never knew about it Fantine was forced to sale her hair, some of her teeth and become a whore so Cosette would be okay One day Fantine was taken to jail for scratching a jerk man Jean found her there and took her to the hospital He saved her from being put in prison, but unfortunately she had a disease and would not live He made a promise to find Cosette It was so very sad that she had to live the life she did and never see her daughter ever again She was thrown away. COSETTE 1 Waterloo2 The Ship Orion3 Fulfillment Of The Promise Made To The Departed4 The Old Gorbeau House5 A Dark Chase Requires A Silent Hound6 Petit Picpus7 Cemeteries Take What Is Given Them Soooooooooooooooo, I wasn t feeling this one as much until it got to Jean Cosette Jean found Cosette carrying a heavy water bucket and asked her many questions He found out she was the girl she promised Fantine he would take care of, her daughter Jean watched how the couple were treating Cosette because he was staying at their Inn He as livid and so was I at the way Cosette was treated Jean told them he was taking her away with him, paid them money overcharged for his stay there Oh, and I loved when he went out and bought her a most expensive doll for her alone because only the owners two daughters got toys to play with, it was so bitter sweet They stayed on the run for a time Jean was always on the run on and off as he s always wanted He can never shake that freaking, Javert Jean and Cosette ending up staying with a man Jean had saved awhile back Jean worked in the little garden Jean, who had lost all thoughts of loving anything when he was in prison He was a hard man with no love, no anything But then he felt a spark that grew and grew for Cosette, his daughter, for that s what she became So sweet His whole heart melted in gratitude and he loved and Several years went by like this Cosette was growing up Unfortunately, I m not liking this book as much as I would have hoped I love the parts with Jean and Cosette and hope that there will be and I will at least love it just enough The rest of the sections and books in the book I was reading Marius 1 Paris Atomized2 The Grand Bourgeois3 The Grandfather And The Grandson4 The Friends Of The ABC5 The Excellence Of Misfortune6 The Conjunction of Two Stars7 Patron Minette8 The Noxious Poor Saint Denis And Idyll Of The Rue Plumet 1 A Few Pages Of History2 Eponine3 The House On The Rue Plumet4 Aid From Below Or From Above 5 An End Unlike The Beginning6 Little Gavroche7 Argot8 Enchantments And Desolations9 Where Are They Going 10 June 5, 183211 The Atom Fraternizes With The Hurricane 12 Corinth13 Marius Enters The Shadow 14 The Grandeur Of Despair 15 The Rue De L Homme Arme Jean Valjean 1 War Between Four Walls 2 The Intestine Of Leviathan3 Much, But Soul4 Javert Off The Track5 Grandson And Grandfather6 The White Night7 The Last Drop In The Chalice 8 The Twilight Waning9 Supreme Shadow, Supreme Dawn AfterwordSelected BibliographyThe story continues on with Cosette growing up, finding Marius and love A revolution Javert still on Jean s trail The marriage of Cosette and Marius And the deaths of Javert and Jean The book did bring some tears to my eyes It was really sweet with Cosette and Marius They were made for each other Even though Jean wasn t too happy about it, he did save Marius in the end so he would live for Cosette Javert finally gave up Jean had saved him from death and Javert threatened once again to kill him, but alas it was his own life he took He was just tired..Jean was on his deathbed when Cosette and Marius found him He was so happy to see his daughter and Marius Jean had an angel watching over him and he went peacefully Jean, you were a most wonderful man The night was starless and very dark Without any doubt, in the gloom, some mighty angel was standing, with outstretched wings, waiting for the soul MY BLOG Melissa Martin s Reading List I chose to read the hefty Victor Hugo classic for my thirtieth birthday let me tell you, the experience was One Biiiig Bitch I mean, why EVEN go to the 200 year old text when the Broadway musical exists THAT work of art exudes all beauty and majesty in one continuous song that unites the characters through time ultimately giving us a true theme, or feeling of genuine victory over adversity The plot, one gorgeous telenovela of a story, replete with jailbreaks, insurrections, betrayals, war, calamities multiplied order restored is, in short, too much Muchness for one reader to possibly occupy himself with.This is the longest novel I have ever read probably Don Quixote, which took me an entire month to read, is the closest second as such, it is difficult a staggering activity indeed to maintain order in its review, much less in the colossus text itself that s just very disordered, odd, beautiful but not always it is a mixture an irritating one at that, less than a boost toward modernism of myriad tones paces, a gargantuan monster from the abysmal depths of time a list of lists, basically a lexicon in Everything French Revolution.What is the purpose of so many compilation of details to make a heap of facts that, quite frankly, fail to make either a juicy romance or gory history It s infuriating because it takes up so much of your time And, bottom line, the characters, even Jean Valjean the lament filled hero who feels guilt palpably like the feel of the guillotine, is a beacon that illuminates but also dis illusions and Cosette is a ninny, and Fantine gets duped awful by a group of boys and girls, and Javert is a true mystery that ends up having less to do with our story than other less famous villains like M Thenardier It is basic Law to read this, so I did It has not aged well, dudes, fur reels Like some expensive wine that got rancid A French one., just because I am very generous, these here are the top four best parts AKA the most heartwarming in all of Les Mis., if you wanted to know, followed by the four worst 1 How Valjean gets Cosette from the clutches of the Thenardiers the dude simply won t let go 2 Gavroche s taking in of the two Thenardier brats 3 Marius self inflicted poverty4 the Bishop s storyThe worst are these girthy diatribes that provoke gasp some paragraph skippage 1 on the Sewers2 on the slang3 on the Streets of Paris4 on the barriacades, which reminds the reader that so many French pre Revolutionary factoids withholds reader s pleasure, somewhat barricading the avid reader s truest delight. 873 Les Mis rables, Victor HugoLes Mis rables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century In the English speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title However, several alternatives have been used, including The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, The Victims and The Dispossessed Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption 1966 2006 1310 1331 1349 1647 1363 1370 1382 9640004189 1384 1387 9789640004180 1388 1390 1391 1392 1386 19 1393 9789643519568 1362 1368 1380 962 1389 9789642200474 1380 1 2 3 4 1390 1395 9786007228982 1393 9786005947434 1388 1389 1392 1395 1342 335 1362 335 1345 480 340 1368 1385 208 9643415155 112 1395 1395 136 1395 399 129 1395 140 47 1368 248 1370 184 1362 237 1368 384 1382 64 1362 177 1370 This will be another review as I go First, a thank you to Rachel for recommending the Fahnestock and MacAfee translation, which is wonderful so far Next, a question Why have I been so drawn lately to these 1,500 page 19th century behemoths War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, and now this Am I just a glutton for punishment Or just showing off I hope not When I think about it, I think it has to do with the moral scope and depth of the work and the way these books really wear their morality on their sleeves They re complex, yes, but they re not hiding their morality behind some veneer of show, don t tell They re not afraid to plumb the moral depths of the societies they depict, and I think, when I look around at the society I inhabit, that I hunger for of this So here I have it.Hugo certainly takes his time setting up the main action, with a long introductory section on the Bishop Myriel before we get to the main character, Jean Valjean But for some reason it works, so that by the time Valjean arrives on the scene, we have a sense of the place he comes to and the reactions he ll face Even then, Myriel stands apart from the others in his generosity and kindness, such that the other characters don t even comprehend his attitude Which of course says as much about contemporary attitudes toward ex convicts as it does about Myriel himself.Then the scene shifts, and we re treated to a lighthearted section of youthful fun, but there s a dark undercurrent here too the illegitimate child born to Fantine, the child named Cosette, who s given up to another family while Fantine finds work and who soon transforms from a happy toddler to a bedraggled house servant Oh, the heartbreak and misery we experience when she s described sweeping the sidewalk in the cold, dressed only in rags.The scene then shifts to follow Fantine, and we see her gradual decline as she tried ever desperately to raise money to send the family housing her daughter Eventually she sells her two front teeth and becomes a woman of the streets, which is where she has a run in with the police officer Javert a character reminiscent of Angelo from Shakespeare s Measure for Measure, a stern agent of the law whose facade of righteousness conceals much Luckily for Fantine, the mayor intercedes on her behalf.Then the two parts of the story so far that of Valjean and that of Fantine come together, when it s revealed that the mayor is himself Valjean, years later Oh, the plot thickens, because Javert was an officer who knew and tried to find Valjean years ago, and suddenly declares to the mayor that Valjean was found in the distant town of Arras and will be tried What does Valjean do Continue to conceal his identity so that he may do good, knowing that someone else will suffer in his place Or declare himself and lose everything It s quite a magnificent dramatic moment.And the drama really picks up pace when Valjean rides to Arras to the trial Will he get there on time And then there he is, in the courtroom will he reveal himself And when he does will he be arrested right away How can he escape It s pure melodrama, in a way, yet fused to the deep moral quandary in the character that makes it irresistible One of the techniques I see Hugo employing is to switch storylines suddenly, leaving the reader with no idea how they relate, until at the very end of the storyline, he reveals it Aha When Valjean is on his way to Cosette, Hugo makes a huge detour into the history of Waterloo and Napoleon s downfall, and you wonder for pages and pages what this has to do with the story, and then at the very end, we see that one of the haggard men stealing from corpses is the father of the family keeping Cosette, and that another officer, who thinks the haggard man has saved him, declares himself in his debt You can feel Hugo in those lines lowering the boom for drama to come.Hugo is really setting things up now We get Valjean and Cosette finally ensconced in Paris, and then the scene shifts to examine a new character, Marius, the son of Pontmercy who thought the father of the family keeping Cosette saved him Again, you can see the giant cogs in motion, setting up the eventual collision between all these forces Just an awesome array of characters and plot points, and I can t wait to see how it s going to come together Not surprisingly, Marius and Cosette grow up and grow fond of each other through random meetings in Paris If I had one critique of this book, it s that so much depends on these random meetings of the characters They keep bumping into each other, as if there were only a few people in the city But this is a minor critique, and the randomness might even be intentional, making the point that much of life is similarly guided by chance encounters.Now the political scene intervenes the uprising One of the saddest characters in the book is Epinone, the daughter of the horrible innkeeper, who acts than once to keep Marius out of danger She s clearly in love with him, but she s been so deformed by poverty and the demands of her harsh parents that she feels unable to express that Anyway, the uprising is where she performs her ultimate act of bravery and self sacrifice, and it nearly brought tears to my eyes.I can t really do the ending any justice through summary Let me just say that Hugo brings this entire monumental project together masterfully If Modernism is defined by ironic detachment, this is the ultimate pre modern work It s earnest, political, passionate, encyclopedic, and moralistic in the very best sense Hugo clearly has a point he s trying to make about human goodness, and I deeply appreciate the project To say it s moved me is a terrific understatement I haven t been able to stop thinking about it and its characters since finishing reading a couple of days ago This is an epic and almost mythical work, and it stands as one of the best novels I ve read. What makes a favourite book In this case, I will have to say one single character that broke my heart and shaped my idealism and stirred my anger Gavroche Th nardier Si l on demandait la grande et norme ville Qu est ce que c est que cela elle r pondrait C est mon petit One of those street children that see and hear during their childhood than most people ever experience, who carry pain and neglect with them on their daily adventures to survive in a hostile, careless environment, and still manage to find reasons to love and to live, he made me want to work with children when I was myself still only a teenager I also wept with his sister ponine, and with Cosette s mother Fantine, and I followed in Gavroche s tracks through the drama of Parisian 19th century history His fight became my cause.The main characters, Jean Valjean and his adoptive daughter Cosette, left me rather cold by contrast, as they seemed too perfectly good, too beautiful, too physically strong and mentally one dimensional to be shaped from real life, and I am not sure Les Mis rables would have ranged among my most beloved books, had the novel been slimmed down to their specific plot The story line of Javert, whose fanatic sense of justice reminds me of later Communist anti human radicalism, was what made Jean Valjean interesting as a character, rather than his own personality Would he be caught or not I will also have to confess that I would have loved to see the poor, abused ponine find happiness with Marius, as I truly couldn t find anything exciting in the doll Cosette that Jean Valjean had raised ponine had the potential to become a bright young woman, had she not grown up with comically bad parents in severe poverty On sentait bien qu avec d autres conditions d ducation et de destin e, l allure gaie et libre de cette jeune fille e t pu tre quelque chose de doux et de charmant The neglected children of Paris that is what Les Mis rables means to me Ever since I first read the novel during my adolescence, it has accompanied me on my adventures Gavroche comes to my mind whenever I read about neglected children in the big cities of the world, and now that my own children read the story, and play the soundtrack of the Musical on the piano and sing along with all the pathos they remember from seeing it performed at Broadway in New York, I feel the old shiver down my spine, and I know that one of the sources of my energy as a mother and teacher is to be found in the early feeling of indignation and tenderness towards a child that deserved a better life than he got He deserved a future I still believe in that simple idealist dream each child deserves a future Do you hear the people sing Singing a song of angry men It is the music of a peopleWho will not be slaves again When the beating of your heartEchoes the beating of the drumsThere is a life about to startWhen tomorrow comes Jam s he le do nada igual Ni lo har Ya s que eso suena exagerado, pero s perfectamente que no leer nada tan bueno de nuevo Los Miserables est a un nivel que solo Victor Hugo puede llegar a tocar. 873 Les Mis rables, Victor HugoLes Mis rables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century In the English speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title However, several alternatives have been used, including The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, The Victims and The Dispossessed Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption 1966 2006 1310 1331 1349 1647 1363 1370 1382 9640004189 1384 1387 9789640004180 1388 1390 1391 1392 1386 19 1393 9789643519568 1362 1368 1380 962 1389 9789642200474 1380 1 2 3 4 1390 1395 9786007228982 1393 9786005947434 1388 1389 1392 1395 1342 335 1362 335 1345 480 340 1368 1385 208 9643415155 112 1395 1395 136 1395 399 129 1395 140 47 1368 248 1370 184 1362 237 1368 384 1382 64 1362 177 1370 1 .