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The Man Who Laughs

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  4,599 ratings  ·  227 reviews
Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs (first published under the French title L'Homme qui Rit in April 1869) is a sad and sordid tale -- not the sort of tale of the moment Hugo was known for. It starts on the night of January 29, 1690, a ten-year-old boy abandoned -- the stern men who've kept him since infancy have wearied of him. The boy wanders, barefoot and starving, through ...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published August 19th 2006 by Norilana Books (first published April 1869)
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The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Stranger by Albert CamusThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Best French Literature
57th out of 559 books — 1,026 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeCrime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Best Books of the 19th Century
153rd out of 686 books — 3,794 voters

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Community Reviews

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Carla Bull
I write this having just finished the last page, closed, completed, and I am breathless. Victor Hugo is not an easy read, there are moments in which he loses himself to very specific detail and matter-of-fact descriptions. But what you find interwoven through the dry passages is of such exquisite beauty, that it is often worth pressing onward. I do not currently make that exception for any other author but Hugo, because the good is just so good.
As it is here, with L'homme qui rit. Gorgeous, gor
بسام عبد العزيز
هذا هو ما أطلق عليه كلمة "أدب"!

نموذج كامل للرواية المثالية... لغة بسيطة.. سرد سريع و أحداث متلاحقة.. تطور نفسي للشخصيات... صراعات داخلية في كل شخص بين السقوط للغواية و بين الصعود للكمال.. بين الاستسلام لليأس و بين الإيمان بالمستقبل..
بإختصار واحدة من أفضل ما قرأت بالفعل!

الرجل الضاحك هو ابن لأحد النبلاء تم اختطافه في صغره و تشويه وجهه ليعمل بعد ذلك كمهرج بسبب وجهه المشوه الذي يجعل وجهه مثيرا للضحك دائما.. حتى لو كان هو نفسه يبكي!
الرجل الضاحك يعيش مع فتاة عمياء و رجل مسن داخل عربة متنقلة يستخدمون
Книга, дающая бурю эмоций, при том самых разноплановых. Невероятная книга, благодаря ей задумываешься о многом, о самых главных человеческих ценностях... История любви незабываемая... Трагично, печально, но всё равно остается что-то светлое в душе после прочтения! Яркая иллюстрация красоты человеческого сердца, а отнюдь не внешности. Уродство и благородство в одном лице. Слепой это чувствует, а зрячий не замечает. Таковы люди! Финал не забываем...
Superb. I took my time with this one, it's so chock-full of stunning scenes (Book Second, chapter 17 - exquisite), symbols, and absolute jewels for sentences - I really cannot say enough about how beautiful the writing is. Hugo has the tendency to rant - he goes on and on about things that seem peripheral - listing the pedigrees and holdings of lords, for one, or including Usus' speeches (which are rambling and at times incomprehensible - at least to less than brilliant me) - but. I. liked. this ...more
Eleanor Mary
As is often the case with Victor Hugo's works, he often tends to discourage the reader towards the beginning of the novel with a long, drawn out description of seemingly mundane details, people, or circumstances. Then, just as one begins to yawn...there emerges a plot line that joins all these details into one and set the story in motion, captivating the reader infinitely. This is one of the few books I've read where this urge to throw oneself into the story stays throughout the whole novel.

Amir Lewiz
Mar 19, 2015 Amir Lewiz marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

للتحميل من موقع الهيئة العامة السورية للكتاب
Shahr Baran
داستانهاي اين رمان ويكتور هوگو در انگستان روي مي دهد ..رمان يك تراژدي غم انگيز است ..به شدت متاثر كننده وتاثير گذاراست ..حتي بهتر از بينوايان مشهور است ..مردي كه ميخندد در عين خشونت بسيار لطيف است ..اين تضاد حتي در شخصيت هاي داستان هم متجلي است ..پسرك زشت قصه ما كه درحقيقت يك اشراف زاده دزديده شده است ويا دختر كور قصه كه عاشق پسرك است واورسوس ان فيلسوف دوره گرد ..من با خواندن كتاب شگفت زده شدم جمع اضدادي كه به با بهترين شيوه مخاطب را تا اخر همراه رمان نگه ميداشت ..داستان بسيار غم انگيز ويكتور هو ...more
Jim Dooley
This is an astonishing book, and quite emotionally draining. I doubt if there is another writer who creates such an understanding of the human condition as does Victor Hugo...and, yes, that includes Charles Dickens who is one of my favorite authors.

Seldom have I read a story that was so entirely immersive. The writer took me deeply into the culture of the time, the settings, the politics, and gave me a sense of the day-to-day life. Consequently, I KNEW these characters to the point that I could
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Ilenia Zodiaco
Nella postfazione al romanzo, Stevenson, da lucido narratore qual era, assume la parte del professore e bacchetta il caro Hugo, accusandolo di verbosità e scarsa verosomiglianza. Ha ragione. Hugo si dilunga, si infiamma su dialoghi impossibili, scene da visionario che farebbero mettere le mani nei capelli a qualsiasi amante del realismo a tutti i costi. Ma il severo maestro deve ammettere che Hugo, tra i grandi forse quello che ha sbagliato di più, è un genio. Un genio la cui colpa è forse l'ecc ...more
Un bambino viene abbandonato su un molo da alcuni "Comprachicos".
Loro salpano verso la tempesta, custodi di un terribile segreto, lui verso la sua nuova vita.

Non è certo un libro che si legge facilmente, almeno nella prima parte.
Hugo lo riempie di nozioni storiche e scientifiche utili a contestualizzare i modi di vivere, il periodo storico, i personaggi e le differenze tra i ceti sociali, riferimenti a miti greci, filosofi e frasi in latino. Molte di queste nozioni richiedono una cultura che io
Ho l'impressione che l'esilio di Victor Hugo, tanto sofferto, lo aiutò molto dal punto di vista artistico, dando una forma e una direzione al suo temperamento romantico. Senza dubbio scriveva per denunciare le sue disavventure e quelle del suo paese, ma riuscì a farlo nell'ambito del suo talento: l'effetto del suo impegno politico sembra ancora sufficientemente moderno, e non del tutto estraneo alla sensibilità dei moderni cittadini europei. È facile e piacevole seguire le sue digressioni storic ...more
Catherine Rose
Victor Hugo is one of my favorite authors, and I was not disappointed with this book. He manages to produce a plot so deftly woven that we are carried away with its current, and never fail to be abrupted when we land on the shore whose course was laid for us all through the story.

Somehow Hugo also manages to show us humans as the multi-dimensional things we are, responding banally to the storms and respits our souls encounter. We cannot help but despair when in trials, and think ourselves in hea
Band 2 setzt ca. 16 Jahre nach Band 1 ein. Eine Handlung im heute gebräuchichem Sinne bietet Victor Hugo weiterhin nicht (auch wenn sich eine erahnen lässt, und die wird wohl alles andere als heiter, sondern hochtragisch, in enger Verwandtschaft mit dem Ende von Hugos Meisterwerk »Der Glöckner von Notre-Dame).

Stattdessen bietet der erste große Abschnitt einige neue Figuren und führt uns in die englische Adels-Welt des frühen 18. Jhds. ein, mit all ihrer Dekadenz, ihren Intrigen, mit ihrer Beengu
Sep 02, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
Another matinée with dear Bettie watching a masterpiece by Victor Hugo.
Camilla P.
Prima di cominciare a scrivere questo commento, devo farvi una premessa. Victor Hugo è il mio scrittore preferito: provo nei suoi confronti una sorta di adorazione che, almeno secondo chi mi ha sentito parlare di lui, mi fa venire gli occhi luccicanti e il tono di voce adorante. Quindi cercherò di essere il più obbiettiva possibile, ma non prometto nulla.

Mi preme partire mettendo subito in chiaro che non è un libro “facile”. Hugo è figlio del suo tempo e questo si mostra anche nei soliloqui , n
Not an easy read, but very rewarding...especially in politically charged times. I have no doubt Hugo would be accused of socialism if he spoke up in modern times. But really he is anti-nobility and royalty, and uses his characters to speak up for the common man, as well as subtle digs at the rich and sheltered lords of 18th century England.

It's the story of man who goes from one extreme to the other, and not by his choosing. He's an amazingly complex character, as are many of the supporting char
Įveikiau. Vietom buvo tikrai nelengva. Bet visa visuma patiko. Įdomus siužetas, gyvenimo tiesas gvildenantys apmąstymai, teisingos mintys. Visų 5 žvaigždučių nedaviau, totdėl, kad žudė vienas dalykas - platūs platūs, iki panagių išsamūs ir dažnai pasikartojantys apibūdinimai ir aprašymai. Jei veikėjas liūdi, tai jo liūdesio smulkmenos aprašytos 10-tyje puslapių. neveltui pati knyga beveik 1000 psl. siekia. Tai buvo išbandymas mano kantrybei. Labai patikęs bruožas buvo, kad autorius demonstruoja ...more
This is the first Victor Hugo I’ve tried in French. It’s taken me all summer and I almost wore out my dictionary with unfamiliar nautical and architectural terms, but I have to say that it is oddly compelling for a novel that weaves a melodrama of love and deformity into a historical novel about the difficulty of speaking truth to power set during the reign of Queen Anne. Hugo often sounds as if he has eaten the encyclopedia, so the plentiful footnotes in this edition are huge help if you don’t ...more
dastane gham angizie,bache boodam ke khoondam vali zahre khandeye mardi ke mikhandad ro hanooz hes mikonam!
Я всегда относился с неуважением к людям, которые в высокопарных предложениях оскверняют классику. Но “не суди, да не судим будешь” работает и по сей день, потому и мне выпал неприятный жребий высказать недовольство в сторону классической литературы. “Человек, который смеется” - это непрекращающееся высасывание из пальца, лишенное вкуса, эмоции и глубины мысли. Уже на прологе я должен был предвосхитить, что книга эта - непрерывная цепь перечислений: сухих действий, пестрых званий, несметных бог ...more
I’d read Hunchback as a boy and enjoyed it; but I hadn’t read Hugo for nearly forty years. I was intrigued by the premise The Man Who Laughs.

Two-year-old Fermain is sold to Comprachicos—a Hugo invention based on the Spanish word for child-buyers, who mutilate his face into that of a perpetually laughing clown and force him to exhibit himself for money as a carnival freak. He is abandoned eight years later and, while wandering through a snowstorm, happens across the corpse of a frozen woman clutc
I always feel so conflicted when reviewing Victor Hugo's books.
In one hand you've got fantastic, brilliant, beautiful, poetic, epic and a long list of adjectives which would never be enough to describe well enough how awesome is his writing. Also, he's politically engaged and, when he wants, he can heartlessly portray the precarious lives of the poor, be it in England at the end of the 17th century or in France in the 1830s.
On the other hand, he can be very, very cheesy. Especially at the end.
The Laughing Man by Victor Hugo

It is rare that a book speaks to the reader so intimately, as to be disclosing to them the inestimable secrets deeply concealed at the very core of their being. A book that speaks to the reader, it manages somehow to inject them – with an immersive raptness wholly complete – literarily into the narrative through the imaginative faculty. And yet, simultaneously, as the story is internalized, the reader shares (& most truly) the protagonist’s journey…reflecting u
I loved this book back when I read it for a college class assignment in my early twenties and recently re-read it again when I discovered there was a French language movie version being produced for release in 2012.

There are synopsis' in the other reviews, so I won't rehash. I loved the layers of the story, the characters, and the masterful way Hugo threw out plot threads that you had no idea were important - until he ties them together (the (long and rambling) list of peers on Ursus' board, th
Tanya Bondarets
The Man Who Laughs

It’s a tragic story which impressed me to the innermost of my heart. This book was read in one breath. The atmosphere of the book is tremendous, especially in the very end. After reading of this book it is impossible to remain indifferent. There is everything in this masterpiece. This novel touches upon such age-old subjects as love, friendship, sorrow, and many others.

Characters in the book are quite bright, everyone of them has his (her) own destiny and temper. Each characte

Watch the movie before you read the book. Illogical! Not really. The movie is fantastic (and completely different plot-wise from the book). The movie takes out all the pedantry and brings in all the soap opera. So, when I read the book, I had all these emotions (ridicule for Dirry-Moir, spite for Josiana, wistful love for Dea & Gwynplaine). Basically, I had relationships with these characters. And after I started reading, after all the soliloquies that are so Hugo, I just fell more in love w ...more
L'uomo che ride, il dolce e caro Gwynplain non è altri che un gobbo cresciuto da un Ursus e non da un Frollo. Anche qui la vera deformità sta nell'anima (e in chi ride), e solo per il tema trattato queste pagine di Hugo si meriterebbero le 5 stelle, se non fosse che l'eterno "sorriso" di Gwynplain mi sia sembrato tanto più un espediente di critica nei confronti di una certa classe, rispetto ad un giusto desiderio di raccontare una bella storia (che bella comunque è). Critica e narrativa possono ...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
My first book of this New Year and my heart is already broken. I knew that with Victor Hugo, there is no happiness, no hope - only death in waiting... One of the saddest tales and at the same time one of the most beautiful, most powerful. True masterpiece.
Aug 24, 2008 Mitra rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: novel
این کتاب که برخی از ادیبان جهانی انرا بزرگترین اثر نویسنده دانسته اندر اصل"اشرافیت" نام دارد که در آن زندگی ستمگران و بهره کشان جامعه ی اروپایی بخصوص انگلستان که بنام "اشراف و نجبا" بر جان و مال و هستی مردم محروم و بی نوا مسلط بوده اند به نحو درخشانی ترسیم یافته است.خواننده به وضوح در میابد که پادشاهان درباریان و خادمان کلیسا به سودای بهره جویی و کامیابی از نعمات زندگی مادی با نیرنگ و فریب و ریا به اغوای مردمان تیره روز جامعه خود پرداخته و با ترویج عقاید و رسومی که منشائی جز جهالت و دروغ و هوای ...more
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Victor-Marie Hugo was a French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France.
More about Victor Hugo...
Les Misérables The Hunchback of Notre-Dame Les Miserables (Classics Illustrated) The Last Day of a Condemned Man Ninety-Three

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“The paradise of the rich is made out of the hell of the poor.” 55 likes
“By degrees, however, they began to hope again. Such are our insubmergable mirages of the soul! There is no distress so complete but that even in the most critical moments the inexplicable sunrise of hope is seen in its depths.” 9 likes
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