Les Miserables: Introduction by Peter Washington

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National Geographic Books, Mar 31, 1998 - Fiction - 1480 pages
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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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NoLabelsUnleashed - LibraryThing

Les Miserables is the type of work that I never get tired of reading, even if there's been years since I've read it. I'm also a big fan of the play, which I got a chance to see years ago. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kassilem - LibraryThing

I didn't realize I was listening to the abridged version of the book until I saw that the page number was supposed to be over a thousand pages, which would have been impossible in a audiobook of 13 ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

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.

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