Krys Gut's Reviews > Les Misérables

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
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Apr 13, 12

bookshelves: classics
Read from February 11 to April 13, 2012

A masterpiece.

The story chronicles the life and times of Jean Valjean, a homeless, faithless, escaped convict, as he runs across the landscape of France of the 19th-century, at the time of the French Revolution. The two central themes that dominate the novel are the moral redemption of Jean Valjean, and the moral redemption of a Nation through Revolution. Victor Hugo is quoted to have said: "I condemn slavery, I banish poverty, I teach ignorance, I treat disease, I lighten the night, and I hate hatred. That is what I am, and that is why I have written Les Miserables."

Overall, the novel is a critical statement against human suffering, poverty, and ignorance, its purpose being as much political as it is artistic.

The French word "miserables" means both poor wretches and scoundrels or villains, and the novel abounds with both with a story that tears at your heart.
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