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Les Misérables

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  524,244 Ratings  ·  11,755 Reviews
Jean Valjean is free at last after nineteen years in prison. Cold and hungry, he is rejected by everyone he meets. But Jean’s life is changed forever when he discovers love. He spends the rest of his life helping people, like himself, who have been victims of poverty and social injustice – ‘les misérables’.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 3rd 2002 by Penguin (first published 1862)
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Melody I've read the Norman Denny translation and to me he truly grasped the poetry and drama of Victor Hugo's writing. Hugo wan't just a novelist, he was a…moreI've read the Norman Denny translation and to me he truly grasped the poetry and drama of Victor Hugo's writing. Hugo wan't just a novelist, he was a poet and a playwright and Denny communicates that in his translation very well. As I was reading it I couldn't stop thinking, "Why do they teach Shakespeare when every single line of Hugo is this deep, poetic, profound truth?". Some have stated that the language he uses is less true to the French version, but I believe he captured the spirituality, and this other-worldly quality of the novel the best of all the translations.(less)
Raya Ka'abneh ترجمة منير البعلبكي، دار العلم للملايين
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Hippo dari Hongkong
Jan 30, 2008 Hippo dari Hongkong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
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
...more
Emily May
May 17, 2015 Emily May rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2012, favourites
Les Miserables 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, 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 str ...more
Aubrey
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 whi ...more
Bookworm Sean
I saw the movie version of this before reading it and I was utterly shook by the powerful nature of the story. When I read it I hoped for the same experience, instead I had one more powerful. In life there are few truly great men: there are few men that are truly and incorruptibly good. Jean Valjean is such a man; he is a paragon of goodliness: he is a superb character.

At the beginning of the novel he sacrifices everything: he steals a loaf of bread knowing full well of the consequences. He ri
...more
Jonathan

"We can only suppose that its new life as a musical - and what an appropriate fate for that most operatic novelist - will help to bring Les Misérables to the attention of a new generation of readers, reminding them perhaps that the abuses Hugo catalogues are still alive elsewhere, awaiting their own chroniclers in the brave new world of the twenty first century." - Peter Washington, Introduction

While I have a personal propensity towards giving my love easily to many various novels, there are few
...more
Miriam
Sep 25, 2007 Miriam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myfavorites
This is without question one of the most beautifully written novels I've ever read. Jean Valjean is quite possibly the most complex and compelling character you will meet in a work of literature of this magnitude, and the lives and personalities of the secondary characters are interwoven into subplots that make it almost an easy thing to get through the 1400+ pages of this book. I read the novel after seeing -- and falling madly in love with -- the musical, and this is one of the rare cases in w ...more
Susan
This is one of those books there aren't enough stars for!!!! Suffice it to say one of the best books I have ever read. Some of the most memorable characters with Jean Valjean being my favorite of all time. I truly loved this book!!!!
Kim

I put off tackling this novel for more years than I can remember. This was mostly because I wanted to read it in French and the length of the book daunted me somewhat. That, and the fact that every time I was in the local foreign language bookstore they didn’t seem to have all of the volumes. The fact that I was relying on a local bookstore rather than the Internet to obtain a book in French indicates how many years it’s been since I gave reading the novel any serious thought.

The last two month
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Mohammed Arabey
في عيد الحب قررت كتابة مقال إخترنا لك و إختيار سبعة أعمال أدبية و فنية عن توليفات من العشق من فرنسا
بالتأكيد أول ما سيخطر ببالك هو “كم سيكون هذا المقال تقليديا، لإنه عيد الحب وفرنسا مليئة بقصص العشق والهوي, ياللتقليدية !! ..لن ينقص المقال سوي موسيقي الفيلم الفرنسي رجل وامرأة الشهيرة”
بصراحة، إذا لم تخني الذاكرة فالموسيقي موجودة بالفعل بالمقال...ولكن أختياري اﻷول علي اﻷقل لم يكن تقليديا

بؤساء فيكتور هوجو، والتي سعدت لقراءة مقتطفات من ترجمتها العربية لحافظ إبراهيم، وبالطبع مشاهدة الفيلم الملحمي في 20
...more
Elyse
Feb 08, 2016 Elyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I noticed a few friends currently reading this masterpiece. I read the unabridged version over 20 years ago. ( with a class )
I enjoyed reading Goodreads member, Chrissie's process with this book and the many comments.
Highly recommend reading her process, followed up by what others have to say.

I was blessed reading this -with a class - and with my daughter who was only in the 8th grade at the time. Her brilliant literature teacher got each parent and student involved ( my husband was too).
Afte
...more
Antonio
Feb 16, 2016 Antonio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clásicos, favorites


Pobre de mí, este año me será muy difícil hacer un top 5 de las mejores lecturas.



Al parecer las grandes historias empiezan con el robo de un pan, supongo que algo tan bueno como el pan merece ser robado, pero pocos se pudieran haber imaginado todo lo que iba a desencadenar en la vida de Jean Valjean este pequeño hurto.



Este libro es sensacional, su historia, su filosofía, sus personajes ¡Que personajes! los ame a todos incluso a los que odie (extraño lo sé), pero es que están tan bien hechos, tod
...more
Jason
Mar 29, 2010 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Speed readers; people who like to curl up to month-long books
1466 pages!! And I've isolated the best single sentence in the whole book. It describes how you die in warfare:

If anything is horrible, if there is a reality that surpasses our worst dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of manly vigor, to have health and joy, to laugh heartily, to rush toward a glory that lures you on, to feel lungs that breathe, a heart that beats, a mind that thinks, to speak, to hope, to love; to have mother, wife, children, to have sunlight,
...more
Kirstine
I don't believe I've ever been this ambivalent about a book. I don't remember having ever read anything that I loved and hate the way I do this.

Okay, it got four stars, so maybe there are more loveable than loathsome parts, but still, thinking about it tugs my heart in both directions.

When it's good it's excellent, and completely deserves 5 stars - more even. The descriptions of the moral complexities a man is faced with are spectacular and Jean Valjean's internal struggles are always a wonder
...more
Mahdi
Les Miserables 1998, Liam Neeson

مقدمه
اول: علی شریعتی در "سیمای محمد" می گوید تصویری که تورات از خدا ارائه می دهد با تصویری که انجیل از او ترسیم می کند، متفاوت است.
"یَهوَه" یهود، خدایی قهار است که بر فراز عرش نشسته، تخته سنگی غول پیکر بالای سر بنی اسرائیل نگه می دارد و می گوید: "به خدایی من اقرار کنید!"
بزرگترین نمود یهوه، ده فرمانی است که بر موسی نازل می کند. خدای یهود، خدای شریعت است. قانون وضع می کند و قانون شکن را مجازات می کند و معروف ترین قانون او، این که "چشم در برابر چشم!"
"پدر آسمانی" مسیحیت، خدایی مهربان است. فرزندش را
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Laz
Mar 06, 2015 Laz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, really
“Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”


A literary masterpiece. This is truly one of the best books I've ever read and I'm glad I took my time with it. So many characters, so many stories woven into one; a powerful & soulful book.

Victor Hugo is w
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Petra X
Sep 02, 2015 Petra X rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a couple of years since I read and reviewed this book. I asked a question in a spoiler, "How come Valjean never recognised Thénardier no matter how many times he met him?" And just now I had an ah-ha moment and realised it was because Victor Hugo himself might well have had prosopagnosia.

How did I get to this? I reviewed Oliver Sacks' On the Move and made a point about his prosopagnosia, face blindness, I have it too. It just struck me that although it is very odd for the hero never to rec
...more
Tom
Jan 23, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who can read or listen to audio cd's or a combination of the two.
Most people are familiar with the story of Les Mis because of the theatrical version which is itself a masterpiece, but most people don't bother to read the book. I read the unabridged novel and consider it among the most influential books of my life. (If you decide to read the unabridged version be warned; it holds hundreds of boring pages dedicated to subjects not directly related to the plot--such as the history of the Paris sewer system, the rules of convents, and battlefield strategy.) Les ...more
Corinne
In my vacation, over the last two weeks, I visited the birthplace of Victor Hugo in Besançon, his home in Paris where his children were born, and his grave in Pantheon. I also read his “Les Miserables” again, that is 21 years after I read it for the first time in my High School in France, and I was surprised to see how differently I reacted to this book.

Then I realized the book has not changed over these 21 years, but it’s me who has changed!

At the school, I was obliged to read this book as a p
...more
Camille Stein
Nov 13, 2015 Camille Stein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Illustration of Cosette - for Les Misérables, Victor Hugo. <br />by Émile Bayard

Cosette * by Émile Bayard - http://ow.ly/tWxbg


Mientras, a consecuencia de las leyes y de las costumbres, exista una condenación social que cree artificialmente infiernos en plena civilización, y enturbie con una fatalidad humana el destino, que es divino; mientras no se resuelvan los tres problemas del siglo: la degradación del hombre en el proletariado, la decadencia de la mujer por el hambre, la atrofia del niño por las tinieblas; mientras en ciertas regiones sea posible la asfixia social; en
...more
Apatt
Apr 19, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Question on Reddit:

Q: What would be Victor Hugo's reaction be if he saw the musical/movie version of his book, Les Miserables?
A: "What sorcery is this?"


The book is full of profound quotable lines, but I went with the above anyway, it just tickled me when I read it. Phew! Took me a full month to read Les Mis and I can’t say I enjoyed every page but it ends up with a 5 stars rating anyway. “What sorcery is this?” indeed! Les Mis is clearly back in vogue since the musical movie came out and earned
...more
Perry
Aug 10, 2016 Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Translation, L'apothéose de Premiers Romans Expiatoires




Knowing 95-98% of readers are already familiar with the tale through the novel, musical theatre or several movie versions. I thought it was a powerful story just not a great novel. Hugo just goes on and on about 2 topics that will make your eyes go cross. Still, this novel is:

A timeless tale of expiation, atonement, redemption, however you label it;
A story of love between a father and daughter;
A tale as old as time of finding love i
...more
David
Aug 21, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grisettes, Jondrettes, Cosettes
Oh. Hugo. Damn you are wordy!

I mean, Charles Dickens can go on, but read Victor Hugo and you will come to appreciate Chuck's brevity.


Such being the case, and a convent having happened to be on our road, it has been our duty to enter it. Why? Because the convent, which is common to the Orient as well as to the Occident, to antiquity as well as to modern times, to paganism, to Buddhism, to Mahometanism, as well as to Christianity, is one of the optical apparatuses applied by man to the Infinite.

T
...more
Dottie
Mar 01, 2009 Dottie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books written. Everyone can learn and benefit from Jean Valjean's experiences and the way he chooses to handle them. I found it interesting that both Les Mis and The Phantom were popular musical plays at the same time. I love both plays; they have parallels that are interesting. Both main characters have been ill treated by fellow humans. Eric/Phantom on the one hand turns to bitterness, darkness and evil, while Jean allows his experiences to make him into a saint as he chooses t ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
873. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
بینوایان - ویکتور هوگو (جاویدان ، امیرکبیر ، توسن) ادبیات فرانسه
نمیدانم. یادم نمانده این کتاب را چندبار خوانده ام. در کودکی نسخه های کوتاه شده و خلاصه ی داستان را...، آخرین بار چند سال پیش بود، باز هم ترجمه حسینعلی مستعان را خواندم. اگر بگویم مدهوش شدم، راه به سوی گزافه نبرده ام. ویکتور هوگو بزرگترین شاعر فرانسه در قرن نوزدهم و شاید بیشتر از همین جمله باشد که بنوشتم. ایشان با بزرگواری، با انقلابی بزرگ زندگی کردند و عمری طول کشید تا آن را نوشتند. یادم مانده جمله ای
...more
Chrissie
dely wishes to discuss this with me as I read. We will do this here and below in the messages. We will use html spoiler coding. The most recent entry is to be found at the top, the earliest at the bottom. By following our discussion it is easy to see both the attributes that gave me pleasure and those that gave me trouble. In addition you get two points of view – dely’s and mine.

Review on completion:

To state anything other than that Victor Hugo (1802-1885) is a remarkably talented author is jus
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
873. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
بینوایان - ویکتور هوگو (جاویدان ، امیرکبیر ، توسن) ادبیات فرانسه
نمیدانم. یادم نمانده این کتاب را چندبار خوانده ام. در کودکی نسخه های کوتاه شده و خلاصه ی داستان را...، آخرین بار چند سال پیش بود، باز هم ترجمه حسینعلی مستعان را خواندم. اگر بگویم مدهوش شدم، راه به سوی گزافه نبرده ام. ویکتور هوگو بزرگترین شاعر فرانسه در قرن نوزدهم و شاید بیشتر از همین جمله باشد که بنوشتم. ایشان با بزرگواری، با انقلابی بزرگ زندگی کردند و عمری طول کشید تا آن را نوشتند
Trish
Christine Donougher’s new translation is brilliant. That the novel is a classic, we knew. What Donougher does is make the work seem fluent to our eye and ear and as thrilling to us now as it must have been when it was published in 1862. The relevance of this story to our world cries out to us, and the simplicity of the language makes it accessible even to a schoolchild. The time it must have taken both the translator and the publisher (Penguin Classics) to complete this gorgeously-produced novel ...more
Amir
Jan 17, 2015 Amir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
کتاب رو چطور خوندم؟

پنج شش ماه پیش نسخهی صوتی این کتاب رو دانلود کرده بودم و شبهایی که بیخواب میشدم و میخواستم خوابم ببره به یک قسمتش گوش میدادم. برای منی که توی بیخوابیهام باید هزاران بار غلت بزنم تا خوابم ببره معجزه میکرد. داستان اونقدر شیرین و صدای راوی اونقدر دلنشین بود که کم کم کلمهها معنی خودشون رو از دست میدادن و هنوز نیم ساعت نشده خیلی راحت خوابم میبرد
.

چطور کتابی خوندم؟

کم و بیش همهمون از زندگی و زمانهی دختر بینوای داستان و ژان والژان باخبر هستیم. اما کتاب پر هست از روابط دونفرهی جالبی که
...more
Huda Aweys
I love this novel and,I saw a lot of hope in it, in spite of everything :) !
Tim
Sep 01, 2009 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I love the richness of the story, the grandness and generosity of the sentiments, and the deep human insight. I find this old translation to be just lovely. I can open it to many a page and just read, like poetry, for the beauty of the language. But it is most worthwhile for the depth of humanity that Hugo shows. It's a crime to miss this book - you are among the miserable of the earth in a very different sense if you don't take the time to read it.

Anot
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Relationship between Grantaire and Enjolras 104 2537 Aug 25, 2016 05:22AM  
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Eponine vs Cosette? 60 824 Jun 26, 2016 11:16PM  
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Reading List Comp...: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Starts April 1st, 2016) 11 19 Jun 14, 2016 06:26AM  
thoughts on the book.. 7 18 Jun 13, 2016 12:14PM  
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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...

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“He never went out without a book under his arm, and he often came back with two.” 6072 likes
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” 3672 likes
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