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Les Miserables (Abridged)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  17,272 ratings  ·  1,556 reviews
Victor Hugo Les MisErables

Translated by Charles E. Wilbour

Abridged, edited and with an introduction by Paul Benichou

Published simultaneously in nine languages in 1862, "Les MiseRables" is a vast tapestry set against the chaos of post-Napoleonic France. A cast of hundreds is woven into the epic story of the ex-convict Jean Valjean and his valiant struggle to redeem himself.
Paperback, 698 pages
Published 2006 by BENTANG (PT Bentang Pustaka) (first published 1862)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  17,272 ratings  ·  1,556 reviews

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Aug 08, 2007 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 ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own
What can be said that has not been said?

It is a masterpiece, a classic.
It is a tragedy, a romance, and a historical fiction.
It explores the redemptive power of love, social injustice, and where law conflicts with morality.

Jean Valjean - has there ever been a more perfect protagonist? He is capable of both amazingly heroic and maleficent actions. He is constantly conflicted, doggedly pursued, and and more than once inspired to greatness through the worst of circumstances. An ex-convict with a
Kelsey Bryant
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't find any words to say right now ... this was one of those all-absorbing books to me that will take some time to digest. :)
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: fiction, france, classics
Les Miserables deserves all the praise that has been heaped on it over the centuries. It really was a thing of beauty. To me, this book explored what it means to love in all its different forms. Highly recommend.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was beautiful...

There's so much to the story that makes it a great work of literature. And i absolutely loved all about it.

And as i mentioned before, I have been wanting to read this all my life, and now i regret not reading it sooner. The instant i finished the book I just anted to start it all over again.
✧ k a t i e ✧
And oh my god was it a whirlwind of emotions.
And way more depressing than the movie (but I think it's unfair to compare this to the movie and vice versa since they're both good in their own ways).


This version is a lot smaller than what I was expecting which is good since I have to read this within a month. One day I’ll read the full version, but for right now, I’ll stick to this.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, literature
One of my favorite stories of all time. As Larry the Cucumber would say "I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob." It has everything in it: suspense, love, romance, war, honor, drama, betrayal, among a myriad of others. Eponine was my favorite character by far, and honestly, Coset annoyed me a bit. I think for everything she'd been through, she could have had a little more depth. Out of all the classics I have read, and this is definitely one, this is in my top 5 of all time. I had already seen the ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A huge, humongous reading marathon has come to an end. There are hardly enough words and sentences to clearly delineate my impressions. It is the book that can be defined with virtually every literary adjective from the word bank. The book made me cry, made me feel, made me happy, made me euphoric, ecstatic, made me mad, and befuddled me on a number of occasions.

This mammoth book is a political, religious, and social stand, historical fiction, a compendium of lectures, Greek tragedy, Hugo's
I have read this abridged version of Les Miserables numerous times with my sophomore honors students, yet I have never posted a review. I think that might be considered criminal since Les Miserables is very likely one of my favorite books. While I appreciate the abridged version for use in class, there are some rather important details that are left out, and I wish they were included in the abridgement. I end up answering many student questions due to the plot holes this creates as well as ...more
Christy Lindsay
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading the unabridged version last year knew I wanted to read this aloud to my kids (ages 7-15), so picked up this abridgment.
I highly recommend it. This abridgment was so well done. It very much kept the heart of the story and left out all of Hugo's ramblings.
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had read Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, in French. That does, in no way, disparage the lush, intelligent, and skillful translation by Isabel F. Hapgood, but the feel of the book was so French. The few phrases included in French rolled off the tongue so beautifully (even without my knowing what they meant). I feel like it would have been even a more sensual experience in its native language. That said, even in my native language I had to look up at least one word on every page using the ...more
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this book was inspired by God to give us a glimpse of what humans are capable of. It is powerful illustration after powerful illustration of the contrast between light and darkness. Jean Valjean's commitment to living according to his conscience is so far amplified beyond my own, I found myself mentally screaming at him to reveal himself to Marius as his savior. Come on!! Enough is enough! The message is so beautiful and the pages are filled with memorable gems. I love the "Count of ...more
Nicole Mercer
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always been intimidated by the length of Les Miserables, but it was worth getting into. I have previously tried to read other translations without success, but the Norman Denny translation was exceptional. The language was beautiful.

Victor Hugo created something pretty amazing. Despite his occasional unnecessary elaboration, the plot flowed and drew me in. Most of his characters felt real. In particular, it was enjoyable to get inside Jean Valjean, Javert, and Monsieur Thenardier's heads.
Les Miserables is beautiful. I can find no other words more fitting to describe it but that. It is tragedy, love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and a whole lot of other words and meanings delicately woven to create such a beautiful master piece.

It is one of those very rare books where your expectations were high, yet the real thing will prove itself ten or a hundred times better than you expected it to be. Les Miserables deserve all the praise it is getting and more.

I have read the abridge version and
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you only know the movie version of the story, then the book is a must-read. This is now one of my all-time favorites.
One of my favorite books when I was a child. I didn't even realize it was the abridged version. I bought it at the Luther College bookstore when I was there for Dorian Music Camp.
Muhammed Farrag
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Justice . Law . Love . Sacrifice
Salha AlSaeedi
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Les Miserables! Oh my goodness! This is one of the most amazing and heartbreaking novels I've ever read!

It's a masterpiece, a classic. A combination of tragedy, romance, and a historical fiction. It absolutely, without doubt, deserves all the praise that has been heaped on it over the centuries.

Although this version is abridged, I'll still give it 5 stars. And I wish there were a 10-star option because this doesn't compare with the other books I've given 5-star ratings.

Highly recommended!
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I was in awe by the time I finished this book. My emotions were literally all over the place.

Les Misérablesmakes Shakespeare's tragedies look like birthday parties.

I loved everything about this book. Absolutely everything; thecomplexity of the plot, the conflicts, the suspense, the style of writing...

I loved how all the characters were somehow connected. What I loved even more, was VictorHugo's method of suspense. He'd present the scene ignorantly, without mentioning any of the characters'
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in the summer of my sophomore year in college. I was deeply immersed init when my Romance Languages professor asked me how I was enjoying something.. but I didn't catch what he said. I asked him to please repeat himself and he smiled and asked "How are you enjoy "Lez MIZ-er-ah-bles"?
It was at that point that I realized I didn't even recognize the title in French and we laughed about it. The oddest thing about the book is that, even in translation, it retains a French title! I have
Les Miserables by the French writer Victor Hugo starts with the release of Jean Valjean after 19 years of imprisonment. It reveals the journey he went through until he met Cosette, a little girl whom he took as his own daughter and the struggles that followed throughout his life. Other characters were also introduced throughout the novel and were connected to one another in a beautiful flawless manner. His work illustrates the lives and personalities of the characters while giving a detailed ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becky by: Jeannette Neal
I finished this book last night at 1am and tried not to wake up Chris with my quiet sobs. You can't escape this kind of story with out shedding a few tears. This is a great story and should be read by all, especially those who are trying to understand how a follower of Christ should live. We all make choices that will sculpt the kind of person we will become. Jean Valjean can give even the most wretched person hope for a good change of course. I read the abridged version and eventually want to ...more
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is quite simply one of the most beautiful and affecting books ever written. More than just a compelling and finely woven narrative, Hugo’s work contains themes of social injustice, philanthropy, sacrifice and, most importantly, redemption presented so skillfully the reader cannot help but question his or her own moral makeup. Hugo delivers these messages through well-crafted scenes that are rich in imagery, filled with irony, and stocked with characters that are ...more
Since I read the arabic version of the book, I have to say it wasn't very appealing. Despite the fact that Les Misrables contained some of the best literary elements, symbols, and societal conflicts, it contained the "repetition" element. As a 21st century human, I find redundant story lines to be extremely boring since Disney bored the hell out of us with it's born poor, and ended up the richest man in town stories.
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I wish there were a 10 star option because this doesn't compare with the other books I've 5-starred. This is the abridged version and I felt like I cheated or was cheated having not read the big 1400 pager. But wikipedia filled in the blanks and answered some questions. Still want to read the big one at a later date. I'd also say this book directly contrasts Atlas Shrugged - which I also really liked.
Rogue-van (the Bookman)
In 1815, France was filled with poor, miserable people like ex-convict Jean Valjean. Such wretchedness is heart-rending, but what a story! By today's standards the emotional extremes and actions of the main characters may seem childish, yet they existed in extreme times. Those who prefer a good story over old-fashioned, in-depth literature may prefer a smooth, modern, abridged translation.
Amy Edwards
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel Les Mis is a five-star work. I gave four stars to this edition because it does not cite the translation/translator and the cover says "complete and unabridged," even though it is abridged. Notwithstanding those caveats, this edition worked very well for our school purposes and hopefully my students will be inspired to read the full work one day.
Johannes Solano
My review is not based on the entire book but on a specific abridged edition translated by C.E. Wilbour and wih an introduction by James K. Robinson. This is not the edition you want purchase and read for it does not give this masterpiece any justice; cutting more than 50 to 60% of the book.
Cat  (cat-thecatlady)
Really enjoyed it. Now I want to read the unabridged version
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Victor Hugo, in full Victor-Marie Hugo, poet, playwrighter, novelist, dramatist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France, who was the most important of the French Romantic writers. Though regarded in France as one of that country’s greatest poets, he is better known abroad for such novels as ...more
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