Manugw's Reviews > Les Miserables

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
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Jun 10, 11

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Read in August, 2010

This is a great classic novel that have got what it takes to becomes a great piece of universal literature

In Les Miserables it is possible to find merged various aspects related to France at the turn of the 19th century, on one hand the political events related to the internal strife between Napoleonic and forces loyal to the Monarchy and on the other the social economic situation of the French society at that time.

The story was divided into 5 great sections, that can be read together in one unabridged book or separated, as all of them are linked by the main character, Jean Valjean, the former starving poor convict, turned into an affluent righteous man, who happens to adopt and raise a ravenous little girl, Cosette (the destitute), who had been given up for adoption by her dirt-poor mother to a ruthless, devious couple

Even though very long, almost 1500 pages (I am referring to the unabriged version), the story runs smoothly, without bumps, and puts its focus in two historical events, one, the battle of Waterloo and the other the barricades, erected in Paris during the uprising generated in the French revolution, in these two events too many unnecessary details are uncovered, and I just have found this a little boring. Fortunately this is less than 10 % percent of the unabridged version.

To make up for that, the author, has deftly developed an array of very colorful characters of different social classes who represent the society of France of that time.

The end does not disappoint, however, the novel was not planned to makee the reader craving for the resolution of the ending but for making him delve on the events, and situations, in order to find the scattered rich gems of wisdom, the author, dropped in most of the chapters and to learn a bit about the French History

Victor Hugo, showed that he despised the explotaition of the destitute and the poor masses by the rich and also that exercised a powerful ethical thinking coupled with a deep religious conviction.

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