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Les Misérables

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Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged Inspector Javert. It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty.

1463 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1862

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About the author

Victor Hugo

4,254 books11.5k followers
After Napoleon III seized power in 1851, French writer Victor Marie Hugo went into exile and in 1870 returned to France; his novels include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) and Les Misérables (1862).

This poet, playwright, novelist, dramatist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, and perhaps the most influential, important exponent of the Romantic movement in France, campaigned for human rights. People in France regard him as one of greatest poets of that country and know him better abroad.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
January 27, 2019
Les Misérables 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.

In fact, 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 strain of poverty... and he provides food for thought on commonly-held ideas about the nature of law, justice, love, religion and politics. Not only this, but I can say that not one page of this giant bored me.

At the end of the day you're another day older
And that's all you can say for the life of the poor

I feel the need to mention the musical of Les Misérables (and I'm going to incorporate some lyrics into this review because why not?). It's one of my favourite musicals. The book is, as is often the case, a much deeper and well-developed version of the same story, but I still recognised many of my favourite scenes from the stage production. I had actually expected the book to be more gentle and subdued than the musical because of the time it was written and to avoid controversy - especially as Hugo's opinion of the French judicial system during this time was made very clear - but this was not the case. Les Misérables is a nasty, gritty, haunting novel that doesn't fail to stay with you for a long time after putting it down.

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

It seems wrong to try and simplify the amazing plot of Les Miserables but I have to somehow fit all that greatness into this little review space. So, the main plot line of this story is about the ex-convict, Jean Valjean, who has been released from prison after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread and then trying to escape. He comes away from all those years doing hard labour with anger running in his veins-- what kind of society sends a man to that disgusting fate for trying to quell his hunger? His thoughts turn to revenge and rebellion; he no longer even wants to try playing by the rules of a country which has done this to him. Until he is shown an act of kindness beyond his imagination by someone who breaks the cycle of anger and vengeance.

Lovely ladies ready for the call
Standing up or lying down or any way at all
Bargain prices up against the wall

Taking the little money and the vast amount of kindness he has been given, Jean Valjean slowly becomes an honest (and wealthy) man who helps those in need. But his new found way of life and the respect he has earned becomes threatened one day when the police officer, Javert, starts to recognise him. But that is just one story being told here.

Several stories run parallel to one another throughout this book and thye begin to entwine more and more as the novel progresses. Another is the story of Fantine and her illegitimate daughter - Cosette. Forced into prostitution in order to feed her child, Fantine is a woman who looks old for her age and no longer has the sparkle of joy in her eye that she enjoyed back when she was allowed to be naive. Cosette, meanwhile, is mistreated by the foster family who agree to take care of her while Fantine "works" in the nearby town. Other stories include that of Marius and Eponine, but there are many more.

The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head

The above lyrics are from one of the musical's best known songs - On My Own - and are sung by one of the most fascinating characters of the novel, Eponine. Eponine's tale is an old one, one of unrequited love but it is far from cheesy. Marius describes her as an "unhappy soul" and nothing can be much more accurate. She is a sad, complex, and unfortunate character, which I suppose they all are in Les Misérables, but Eponine has a special place in my heart. But she is also far from weak. She has been toughened by life, made ugly by poverty, and she is ferociously independent. Yeah, I like her.

Here they talked of revolution
Here it was they lit the flame
Here they sang about tomorrow
And tomorrow never came.

This book also chronicles the events leading up to and including the Paris uprising of 1832 and the novel includes themes of revolution. It is a deeply thoughtful story that challenged attitudes held at the time in many ways. To use one example: a court of law was ready to sentence an innocent man to life imprisonment because he was slow and uneducated and therefore couldn't speak eloquently in his defence.

Perhaps this book is nothing more than an entertaining but dark story that Hugo wrote to grip and shock people, but to me this is a highly political novel that makes many statements about law and justice in France during the time period. I find it hard to dismiss Hugo's observations of the treatment of those who are poor and unintelligent as anything other than criticisms of society. But that is just me. I think I can say that you will be affected by this. Whether you will thank me for it or not, well, that depends on how easily you tolerate a depressing read. But I've saved my favourite and the most uplifting song for last:

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!

[youtube link]

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Profile Image for Hippo dari Hongkong.
357 reviews165 followers
February 10, 2017
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 my time everyday with this book ( about a month ) and what do I get?
Happiness and the joy of reading!
This book really nailed me, I have my happy ending! Woo Hooo!
Thank you very much for the "warning" Mister Foley

This book is amazing, lengthy in descriptions, compelling storyline and has influenced so many people.
Breaks my heart into pieces but somehow put it back together.

You want to be a better person after reading this book.

"He said to himself that he really had not suffered enough to deserve such radiant happiness, and he thanked God, in the depths of his soul, for having permitted that he, a miserable man, should be so loved by this innocent being."
-Jean Valjean about Cossette-
Profile Image for Aubrey.
1,308 reviews758 followers
September 17, 2014
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 white will be angered by no representation, and everyone will bored to tears! Alright, I see that. Now, let me explain.

Human rights have not been perfected. They are as much a work in progress now as they were 150 years ago when this book was first published. If you wish to find the book that gives every variation on the theme of humanity its due, it does not exist, and in all likelihood never will. With that in mind, it is this book that I choose, as while Victor Hugo may have been limited by the era he grew up in, he did a damn good job in dreaming beyond it. He wrote what he knew, but he also wrote what he hoped, and together they form a piece of writing that can mean something to everyone, whatever their life consists of.

The book is called 'The Miserables'. I have a feeling that it is the blatant despair that this title provokes that has dissuaded publishers from rendering it into English, instead keeping it in that slightly prettier to the ear French form. It can even be shortened to that chic and oh so clever 'Les Mis', as is the norm whenever the play is discussed. In that light, when you say that truncated phrase it brings to mind not the triumphant book in its majestic entirety, but the abridged version, or perhaps the even more abridged play. You think of the story, but you do not think of the author's ideas, ones that he devotes full chapters to and are just as important to this tome as the characters he has sent running through it. And this is a tragedy.

Is tragedy too harsh a word? I don't think so. The book itself is one where tragedy heavily outweighs every other emotional aspect, and reducing it to a pittance of itself is flat out disgraceful. You have countless flavors of human sorrow worked out here: imprisonment, ostracization, slavery, decay of health, decay of morals, decay of life through the brutality of war as well as the slow grind of society’s wheels. There are also the more subtle restrictions on the human spirit, propagated by a firmness of belief that slowly stagnates into constricting bigotry, where humans substitute bias for their reality and confine themselves to a small and mean existence. These confines are more difficult to escape from than the strongest chains, which may bend and break under pressure, whereas prejudices will turn in on themselves and feed on the opposition. It is these barriers that build the barricades, it is these walls that let slip the dogs of war, it is these restrictions that make someone relish petty glories gained in the downfall of their fellow human beings. Where a difference of opinion exists, there will be conflict, and Victor Hugo was intimately familiar with the facets of this violent mechanism.

He did not want this for the world. More specifically, he did not want this for his France, his Paris, his creative beacon that teems with contagious culture and ridiculous fashions to this very day, one that can be silly but is often so very, very brave. Like Gavroche the gamin, it thumbs its nose at the world and thinks it slow and stupid, but all the same it loves its fellow human beings, and lives for the times when it can lead them, striding forward towards that thing called Progress. Victor Hugo loved the concept of Progress, and he wished that everyone would love it as well. In his words:
Go on, philosophers—teach, enlighten, kindle, think aloud, speak up, run joyfully toward broad daylight, fraternize in the public squares, announce the glad tidings, lavish your alphabets, proclaim human rights, sing your Marseillaises, sow enthusiasms, tear off green branches from the oak trees. Make thought a whirlwind.
He sent his characters off with this dream of Progress, of finding a life for themselves, of living in a world that bettered itself by the passing day, where the future was not dreary but vibrant and brimming with unlimited potential. Many of them do not succeed. Many fall by the wayside, desiccated by sickness, shot down in wars, slain by grief and the resignation that life is not so much better than death. Some survive in miserable conditions, as restricted by their morality as by a chain around their neck. Some survive only by having stripped their morality as easily as a snake sheds its skin, and in the conditions, who can blame them? The weight of society squeezes the supports, and one is so much lighter and flexible without cumbersome thoughts of being good and kind.

In all this sadness and life cut short by miserable conditions long before its time, there is still hope. Victor Hugo illustrated this in his diverging sections as thoroughly as he did in his main story, as hard as that may be to believe. It is true, though. For example, his section on the Battle of Waterloo seems no more than an endless list of casualties, pages of warfare and tactics, and death, so much death. But at the very end, he points out it is not this battle that we remember in so much detail, nor any that came before it. We remember literature. In Hugo’s words:
Nowadays when Waterloo is merely a click of sabers, above Blücher Germany has Goethe, and above Wellington England has Byron.
And what of the other sections? There are many, but two that are particularly powerful in their own subtle ways are the sections on argot and the sewers. Argot is the language of criminals disguising their speech from the ignorant and the all too interested. It is an ever-changing labyrinth of slang, idioms, innuendos, wordplay that whips itself into more contorted evolutions in its effort to escape the law. If this kind of creativity runs rampant on the street, how would it fare if given a warm place to sleep, three meals a day, and a chance to improve its station in life? And the sewers. When first described, they are dirty, desperate, despicable things that do nothing but spread filth and disease and provide a home for the equally depraved. This however was Hugo’s vision of how it had been in the past. In his time, they were clean and meticulous in their function, as well designed as the streets above and ten times as useful. If humans can so improve the lot of that out of sight contraption that carries their shit, imagine what they could do with the parts of life that are meant for open viewing and enjoyment.

One last mention. Victor Hugo’s prose has been accused of excessive flouncing about, rambling sentences that quickly devolve into meaningless lists without form or function beyond the enjoyment of their own existence. I say, isn’t that last part enough? Reading his sentences brings to mind a dance, an endless waltz, to a symphony that builds and builds to a final crescendo, for Hugo is very good at taking his countless paragraphs and using them to reach a final glorious message. He could have said it plainly, but it would not have been nearly as powerful without all the exposition; just as his point about the memory of Byron outliving the memory of Waterloo would not have been nearly as striking had he not gone through the motions of describing every minute detail of that terrible battle. To bring the reader to his level of understanding and to make them feel as much as he does about these things, the prose is essential. And frankly, I have yet to come across another author that is as joyous to read as he is, for even while he is going on and on about useless trivia from a time long past, his enthusiasm is contagious. He loved what he wrote about, and he wanted you to love it too, progressing sentences growing more and more triumphant much like the Progress he wished for mankind. An ideal where all, I repeat, all are allowed to flourish and grow, developing their own ideas while more importantly learning to accept those of others, where a stretch of one's limb doesn't require the injury or confinement of another's.

So, read the full version, if you can. You’re welcome to the other, shorter versions, but read the full one at least once in your lifetime. Read the introduction even, for in this particular edition there is a wonderful amount of detail about Victor Hugo’s life that brings the book into beautiful focus. The introduction also calls the abridged version insufficient, and says:
It is almost impossible to predict the individual detail, the flashing image or human quirk precisely observed, that will burn its way into a reader’s mind for good.
I cannot agree more.

And lastly, for the tl;dr'ers, a summary for what I have said above, which rests within the very first pages of the book:
So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation which, in the midst of civilization, artificially creates a hell on earth, and complicates with human fatality a destiny that is divine; so long as the three problems of the century—the degradation of man by the exploitation of his labor, the ruin of woman by starvation, and the atrophy of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a still broader point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, there should be a need for books such as this.
–Hauteville House, 1862

Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,260 reviews5,380 followers
December 31, 2022
هناك لحظات تكون فيها النفس جاثية على ركبتيها مهما كان وضع الجسد"وفي السجن تزداد مرارتك و يسود قلبك
في كل انواع"السجن"التي نرتمي وراء قضبانها"باختيارنا"سيزداد ظلام ارواحنا
فما بالك لو سجنت 19سنة لسرقتك رغيف خبز؟
☆خير تعمل شر تلقى☆
حسنا هذه احدى الكلاسيكيات العتيدة التي احقد عليها لانها"بوظت دماغي"..عندما تقرأ عيون الادب العالمي قبل العشرين "ستربيك"حرفيا..ستشكل مبادءك مهما تهربت ..ستصدقها للاسف

*في حياتنا. .سنتبادل الادوار..دوما☆
جان فالجان شاب بريء سوى يتحول الى مجرم آثم محروم من تعاطف القضاة فيسجن لتسعة عشر عام لسرقته رغيف خبز.. يخرج للدنيا محطما ليلاقي الهوان من اهل بلدته..عدا القس ميريل الذي يحسن اليه و لكن مرارة فالجان تطفح و يرد الاحسان بالاساءة و يسرق منه شمعدانات فضية و يتم القبض عليه
لكن القس يتعاطف معه؛و يدعي انه اعطاه الفضيات هدية
و هنا يذهل فالجان و يتحول تماما بعد "ثاني" بادرة عطف يتلقاها
و الفضة ترمز لطبيعة معدن فالجان
حسنا ؛ محظوظ انت يا ميريل

في حياتنا سنكون احيانا ميريل و احيانا فالجان؛ حسب اقدارنا احيانا ستكون عادلا واحيانا مظلوما"الظالمون لا يقراون البؤساء ابدا"..لكن كلنا سنلتقي من يعلمنا كل حرف من جملة "اتقي شر من احسنت اليه"ا
او سنعمل الخير و نرميه في البحر
و في رحلة تحول فالجان: لماديلاين سيتحول فعل الخير لعدوى سنقابل كوزيت و فانتاين و جافير. .رجال سلطة وعمال و بنات ليل و عشرات الشخصيات بلا مبالغة لا يجمع بينها سوى :البؤس هناك من يفرضونه و هناك من يعيشونه

هذه الملحمة السياسية الفلسفية التاريخية الانسانية هى احدى اطول الملاحم الادبية فصولها بعدد ايام السنة 365 و تم نشرها في 48 جزء عند صدورها في 1862 صفحاتها بالفرنسية تقارب الالفين ..و الجميل اننا زمان لم نكن نعرف اننا نقراها ملخصة..بل عندما نجد اننا قرأنا 400صفحة نعتقد ان انجازنا باهراَ ..و لكنها ستظل عن جدارة احدى اهم عشر كلاسيكيات عالمية التي تعدك بدموع غزيرة

فكتور هوجو: كنت عبقريا في اعتراضك على جمود القانون الفرنسي بشكل لا ينسى
بؤساءك بثوا بعض الامل في النفوس
نلت في النهاية تكريمك اللائق بعدطول نفي

لكن حتى عمرى هذا للاسف مازلت في مرحلة:"خيرا تعمل شر تلقى" ما زلت ألقى من يصنعون لي جحيما على الارض
و الزمن يؤكد لي انا وجان فالجان أن: كثيرون على قيد الحياة ..قليلون علي قيد الانسانية
Profile Image for Steven Medina.
189 reviews843 followers
July 8, 2020
Simplemente maravilloso.

He tardado más de tres meses en realizar esta reseña. Desde que finalicé la lectura en marzo, estoy escribiendo distintos borradores para intentar expresar todo lo que sentí leyendo esta obra maestra. El problema, es que en mi cabeza tengo tantos pensamientos y reflexiones relacionados a este libro, que contarlos todos se ha convertido en un trabajo muy complicado. Les confieso, que la frustración por no estar satisfecho por lo que estaba escribiendo, casi me lleva a cancelar la realización de esta reseña. Sin embargo, lo he logrado y por ello la siguiente reseña es el resultado de mi sexto intento.

Mi relación con Los Miserables inició mal. En el año 2019 fue el culpable de un bloqueo lector que tuve por varios meses. En ese tiempo, creí que estaba preparado para leer esta historia y con mucha confianza lo intenté, pero 150 páginas después, aunque me estaba gustando no pude soportar el estilo de narración de Victor Hugo, donde sus descripciones fueron muy extensas. Fue agotador, complicado y me desconcentraba muy seguido con algunos capítulos que parecían eternos. Estaba acostumbrado a leer historias sencillas, por lo que mi primer contacto con Los Miserables me dejo muy frustrado, sin confianza, con miedo a leer un texto extenso y con una renuncia como evidencia absoluta de mi derrota.

Con el transcurso de los meses, recuperé mi confianza y disciplina, al leer ejemplares como Apocalipsis de Stephen King o la saga completa de Harry Potter. Fue un tiempo tranquilo y sin turbulencias. Sin embargo, cuando el fin de año se acercó, misteriosamente el título de este libro me perseguía por todas partes: En Youtube, Facebook, y aquí mismo en Goodreads, todos los días veía algo que me recordaba esa deuda pendiente que tenía con este libro. Entonces impulsado por las promesas decembrinas, respiré profundo y me prometí a mí mismo que sin importar lo que ocurriera, tenía que enfrentar el miedo a leer Los Miserables.

En enero comencé mi reto. Leyéndolo solo los fines de semana, tomando apuntes, investigando los contextos históricos que se presentaban y teniendo mucha paciencia, arranque esta aventura que me llevó tres meses finalizar. ¿Sufrí? Claro que sí. Nuevamente, en algunos tramos sentí lo mismo que en mi primer intento, con la diferencia de que no leerlo diariamente me permitía recobrar la energía necesaria para enfrentar las siguientes páginas. A este paso, lento pero seguro, logré comprender la forma como funcionaba este libro.

El funcionamiento consiste en que primero Victor Hugo nos relata con excesivos detalles el entorno. Pueden ser entre diez y setenta páginas, donde aparecerá infinidad de información relacionada a esa época. Desde nombres de nobles, costumbres, fechas festivas o sucesos del día a día, hasta explicarnos la historia de las alcantarillas, de un convento, de la batalla de Waterloo o la estructura de un barco. La mayor parte de esos detalles no hay necesidad de memorizarlos, porque cuando finalizamos esos capítulos, comprendemos que esos fragmentos están hechos para reforzar el contexto en el que se desarrollará la siguiente parte del libro y no para torturarnos. Sin embargo, no se los niego, en esas secciones se sufre mucho, pero vale la pena resistir ese calvario porque después los acontecimientos que ocurren son espectaculares. Una vez nos adaptamos a ese estilo de libro que es poco común en la actualidad, se irá de nuestros pensamientos la idea de renunciar.

Como he sufrido tanto con este libro, quiero ofrecer algunos consejos a aquellos lectores que aún no han leído esta obra o que han desistido en el intento, para que se animen a intentar conocer uno de los mejores libros de la literatura universal. Esos consejos son:

- No lo lean diariamente: Este libro no está hecho para acabarlo en un corto periodo de tiempo, por lo que intentarlo, provocará que se saturen de información y se cansaran inevitablemente. Es mejor leer Los Miserables alternándolo con otras obras más ligeras.

- Paciencia: Si creen que no la tienen es mejor que no lo lean, porque la necesitarán.

- Anotaciones: Es recomendable realizar anotaciones con nombres de los personajes u otros detalles, porque hay ocasiones donde se hace referencia a personajes que no nos acordaremos de 300 o 400 páginas leídas anteriormente.

- Investiguen sobre la historia de Francia: Victor Hugo da por hecho que conocemos los eventos históricos que nombra, por lo que quedaremos algo confundidos si desconocemos la historia de la Insurrección, de la monarquía, de la Batalla de Waterloo, entre otros. Si conocemos la historia previamente, esas páginas nos ayudarán a reflexionar sobre esos eventos ocurridos; en caso contrario, nos perderemos de esos mensajes de enseñanza.

- Léanlo a su propio ritmo: No importa si tardan tres meses, seis meses o un año. No se apresuren y usen el tiempo necesario. Cuando les falte poco para finalizarlo ya no querrán terminarlo, yo sé porque se los digo.

- Experiencia: Si no han leído nunca un libro extenso que se acerque o supere las mil páginas, no lo lean todavía. Primero ganen experiencia con otras obras y luego sí inténtenlo, de lo contrario no lo soportaran.

- Adaptación: Si lo que buscan es una obra que tenga un ritmo vertiginoso, este libro no es para ustedes. Los Miserables se desarrolla lentamente, por lo que si quieren realmente leer este libro, tendrán que adaptarse al ritmo que nos ofrece el autor.

Como pueden notar el reto no es sencillo, pero si lo enfrentas y superas las dificultades, encontrarás un libro del que te enamorarás por toda la vida. Leer Los Miserables ha sido una experiencia maravillosa. Nunca imaginé que un libro llegará a cautivarme tanto como ha ocurrido en esta ocasión, y eso se debe a que Victor Hugo tiene una habilidad impresionante para transmitir sentimientos profundos a sus lectores. En la mayor parte del libro, sentí como si él jugará con mis sentimientos. Es un hechizo extraño que sentimos con sus palabras. Me hizo llorar, como cuando nos desahogamos; me hizo sentir amor, como al estar enamorados; me hizo sentir ira, como al ver una injusticia; me hizo sentir tristeza, como al ver el estado miserable en el que se encuentra un ser; me hizo sentir impotencia, al no poder ayudar a esos personajes que estaban sufriendo tanto. Me hizo sentir de todo.

Pero, ¿por qué este libro nos produce tantos sentimientos? Eso se debe a la espectacular narración que Victor Hugo usa para hablar de temas como la pobreza, el matrimonio, la muerte, las rebeliones, las injusticias, las decisiones, la conciencia, los ladrones, el cambio de la maldad a la bondad, el amor, el sacrificio, etc. Usa una prosa tan dulce que en cualquier momento del libro, ya sea con una reflexión, por alguna frase o por una escena que sucede, nos deja sorprendidos, conmovidos y un estado de sensibilidad impresionante. Leer este libro no hace sino provocar agitamiento en nuestro corazón, así como interés en temas inesperados, como la etimología de las palabras o conocer sobre Napoleón.

Fue un viaje tan largo, pero tan enriquecedor que no lo cambiaría por nada. Siento tanta gratitud hacia Victor Hugo por crear este libro, que lo único que siento que puedo hacer para honrar su nombre, es incentivar a los demás a que lean por lo menos una vez en su vida esta obra literaria. Es imposible que sus corazones no se conmocionen ante escenas y palabras tan conmovedoras como las que nos presenta Victor Hugo. No se arrepentirán nunca de leerlo.

Tantos sentimientos y profundas reflexiones, Victor Hugo no las hace sentir contando la vida de Jean Valjean. Él es condenado a cinco años por robarse un pan para sus sobrinos que tenían hambre. Sin embargo, esa condena resultará siendo de diecinueve años por intentos de fuga. El problema, surge cuando al terminar su condena se encuentra una sociedad que lo rechaza por ser un preso, hasta el punto de no venderle comida o darle posada, a pesar de poseer dinero. Después, el obispo Myriel, mejor llamado monseñor Bienvenu, le cambiará la vida transformando todo ese odio que siente por amor; lo que provocará, que Jean recorra un viaje cruel pero hermoso en el que se cruzará con diferentes personajes que también tienen historias llenas de sufrimiento pero muy bien desarrolladas, tanto así que pueden ser de una persona real. Esos personajes serán importantes no solo en el desarrollo de la trama, sino para enseñarnos mucho sobre la vida. Los personajes se sienten tan reales que te acostumbras a ellos y a medida que avanzas quieres conocer más de ellos, quieres que sean felices, quieres que no vuelvan a sufrir más y quieres que quienes los persiguen o los odian, los dejen en paz y se alejen para siempre de ellos. Los personajes son perfectamente desarrollados. Entre esos personajes encontramos a Javert, Fantine, Cosette, Marius, Gavroche, los Thénardier, etc. Cada personaje es presentado en profundidad y algunos será imposible olvidarlos por el resto de nuestras vidas.

Quisiera contarles muchas de esas escenas que cautivan a cualquier lector, pero leer esas escenas personalmente, es el premio de nuestra paciencia y de nuestro esfuerzo por leer este gigantesco libro. Atrévete, inténtalo y descubre las maravillas que te podrá ofrecer esta obra literaria. La única advertencia que diré es que el final te parte el alma y te deja varias semanas consternado; no diré más, el resto es mejor que lo descubra cada uno.

Me encantó, me fascino, no sé si lo volvería a leer por su extensión, pero no cambiaría ni un minuto de tiempo que he usado para leer este libro. Ha valido la pena cada segundo y me siento muy orgulloso por este gran logro que es terminar Los Miserables. Adicionalmente, declaro que personalmente el resultado de leer Los Miserables, ha sido perder el miedo a leer cualquier tipo de texto. Si ya leí Los Miserables puedo leer lo que sea. Libro súper recomendado.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
August 3, 2021
(Book 873 from 1001 Books) - Les Misérables, Victor Hugo

Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title.

However, several alternatives have been used, including The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, The Victims and The Dispossessed.

Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «ژان والژان»؛ «بینوایان»؛ نویسنده: ویکتور هوگو؛ انتشاراتیها: (مطبعه ایران، جاویدان، بدرقه جاویدان، امیرکبیر، توسن، نگته، گنینه، فنون، قصه جهان نما، سمیر، آسو، افق، هفت سنگ، پیروز، سکه، اسب سفید، سروش، مشر قره، دبیر، گاج، پارسه، آبان مهر، سپیده، معراجی، توسن، فنون، بنیاد) ادبیات فرانسه؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در ماه مارس سال 1966میلادی؛ آخرین بار در ماه ژوئن سال 2006میلادی

عنوان: بینوایان؛ نویسنده: ویکتور هوگو؛ مترجم: حسینقلی مستعان؛ تهران، مطبعه ایران پاورقی، 1310، سپس به صورت کتاب در ده جلد، و سپس در پنج جلد؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، جاویدان، 1331، در دو جلد، چاپ دیگر تهران، امیرکبیر، 1349؛ در دو جلد 1647ص؛ چاپ دیگر 1363؛ چاپ چهاردهم 1370؛ شانزدهم 1382؛ شابک دوره 9640004189؛ هفدهم 1384؛ هجدهم 1387؛ شابک دوره دوجلدی 9789640004180؛ نوزدهم 1388؛ بیستم 1390؛ بیست و سوم 1391؛ بیست و چهارم 1392؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، بدرقه جاویدان، 1386، در دو جلد، موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسه - سده 19م

مترجمین دیگر متن کامل خانمها و آقایان: «نسرین تولایی و ناهید ملکوتی، تهران، نگاه، 1393، در دو جلد، شابک دوره: 9789643519568»؛ «عنایت الله شکیباپور در دو جلد، چاپ دیگر تهران، گنینه، 1362، در دو جلد؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، فنون، 1368، در دو جلد؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، قصه جهان نما 1380، در دو جلد و 962ص»؛ «کیومرث پارسای، تهران، سمیر، 1389؛ در پنج جلد، شابک دوره 9789642200474»؛ «محمد مجلسی، تهران، نشر دنیای نو، 1380، در چهار جلد (جلد یک - فانتین، جلد دو - فانتین، جلد سه - ماریوس، جلد چهار - ژان والژان)؛ چاپ سوم 1390»؛ «مرضیه صادقی زاده، تهران، آسو، 1395، در دو جلد؛ شابک دوره 9786007228982»؛ «مینا حسینی، تهران، فراروی، 1393، در دو جلد، شابک دوره 9786005947434»؛ «محسن سلیمانی، تهران، افق، 1388، در دو جلد؛ چاپ دوم 1389؛ چاپ ششم 1392»؛ «وحیده شکری، گرگان، هفت سنگ، 1395، در دو جلد»؛

مترجمین دیگر متن خلاصه شده: «گیورگیس آقاسی، تهران، پیروز، 1342، در 335ص، چاپ دیگر تهران، سکه، 1362، در 335ص»؛ «فریدون کار، اسب سفید، 1345، در 480ص»؛ «محمدباقر پیروزی، در 340ص، سروش، 1368»؛ «بهروز غریب پور، نشر قره، 1385، در208ص؛ شابک 9643415155»؛ «مهدی علوی، تهران، دبیر، در 112ص؛ چاپ سوم 1395»؛ «شایسته ابراهیمی، تهران، گاج، 1395، در 136ص»؛ «صدف محسنی، تهران، پارسه، 1395، در 399ص»؛ «مصطفی جمشیدی، امیرکبیر از ترجمه مستعان، در 129ص»؛ «سبحان یاسی پور، آبان مهر، 1395، در 140ص»؛ «اسماعیل عباسی، تهران، سپیده، در 47ص»؛ «الهه تیمورتاش، تهران، سپیده، 1368، در 248ص؛ چاپ دوم سال1370؛ شهاب، تهران، معراجی، در 184ص»؛ «امیر اسماعیلی، تهران، توسن، 1362؛ در 237ص»؛ «عنایت الله شکیبا پور، تهران، فنون، سال 1368، در 384ص»؛ «ابراهیم رها، 1382، در 64ص»؛ «ابراهیم زنجانی با عنوان ژان والژان»؛ «ذبیح الله منصوری، تهران، بنیاد، سال1362؛ در 177ص؛ چاپ سوم 1370؛ »؛

نمیدانم. یادم نمانده این کتاب را چندبار خوانده ام.؛ در کودکی نسخه های کوتاه شده، و خلاصه ی داستان را...، و آخرین بار چند سال پیش بود، باز هم ترجمه جناب «حسینعلی مستعان» را خواندم؛ اگر بگویم مدهوش شدم، راه به سوی گزافه نبرده ام؛ «ویکتور هوگو» بزرگترین شاعر «فرانسه» در سده ی نوزدهم میلادی، و شاید بیش از همین جمله باشند که بنوشتم؛ ایشان با بزرگواری، با انقلابی بزرگ زندگی کردند، و عمری طول کشید تا «بینوایان» را نوشتند؛ یادم مانده جمله ای که نمیخواهم بنویسم؛ بیشترش شاید از یادم رفته باشد؛ نیز تا فراموش نکرده ام نوشته باشم که همین داستان بینوایان نیز همچون بیشتر شاهکارهای جهان چند لایه دارد؛ «ژان والژان»، و «ژاور»، دو شخصیت رمان، «ژان والژان» مردی است که بیست سال از عمرش را، در زندان با اعمال شاقه بگذرانده، مردی است که قانون او را مجازات کرده، و پس از آن که دوره ی مجازاتش تمام شده، جامعه او را طرد نموده؛ اسقف «میریل» او را مییابد، و درک میکند که «والژان»، نیاز به امید دارد؛ نیاز به بازگشت دارد؛ پس به او امید میدهد، و برش میگرداند؛ از آن پس، «ژان والژان» مظهر خدای مسیحی میشود؛ مردی که در باقیمانده ی عمرش، کاری جز عشق ورزیدن، حتی به کسانی که از آنها بیزار است، نمیکند؛ در برابر او، «ژاور» مردی است که به گفته ی خود، در تمام عمر، حتی یک قانون را هم نشکسته است؛ مردی است که تمام هم و غمش اجرای قانون است؛ تا جاییکه آنگاه که خود مرتکب جرمی میشود، با سرافکندگی خود را معرفی میکند، تا به سزای کارهایش برسد؛ این دو شخصیت، یکی نماد خدای مسیحی، و آن دیگری نماد ��دای «یهودیان» است، بارها باهم درگیر میشوند؛ یکی از درگیریها، بر سر «فانتین» است؛ زنی روسپی که شاید شباهتی به «مریم مجدلیه» داشته باشد؛ «ژاور» بی آنکه به گریه زاری «فانتین» گوش دهد، و یا به دختر کوچک او «کوزت»، اهمیتی بدهد، او را محکوم به شش ماه زندان میکند؛ اما «والژان»، با اینکه «فانتین» به او اهانت میکند، و به رویش، تف میاندازد، دستور آزادی او را صادر میکند؛ یکی، هیچ نرمشی در برابر قانون شکنی نشان نمیدهد، و آن دیگری، آغوشش را برای گناهکار میگشاید؛ یکی دیگر از تنشها، در پایان داستان است؛ جاییکه «والژان»، آغوش خود را برای خود «ژاور» میگشاید؛ با اینکه توانایی کشتن «ژاور» را دارد، او را زنده رها میکند؛ «ژاور» نمیتواند این رفتار را تاب آورد، و درک کند، گیج میشود؛ او که تا آندم همه چیز را با دیدی انعطاف ناپذیر میدید، دچار تزلزل میشود؛ میبیند که مردی قانون شکن، توانسته مرد بزرگی شود؛ میبیند که هم بازداشت کردن آن مرد اشتباه است، و هم بازداشت نکردنش بشکستن قانون است؛ نهایتاً، نمیتواند دوگانگی را تاب آورد و بپذیرد، خود را در رودخانه ی «سن» میاندازد، و خودکشی میکند و اینگونه، از دیدگاه «ویکتور هوگو»، خدای «یهودیت» میمیرد، و خدای «مسیحیت» زنده و باقی میماند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 05/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 11/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
August 11, 2021
(Book 873 from 1001 books) - Les Misérables = The Miserables, Victor Hugo

Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century.

In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title.

However, several alternatives have been used, including The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, The Victims and The Dispossessed.

Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.

بینوایان - ویکتور هوگو (جاویدان ، امیرکبیر ، توسن) ادبیات فرانسه؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه مارس سال 1966میلادی، بار دیگر در ماه مارس سال2006میلادی

عنوان: بینوایان؛ نویسنده: ویکتور هوگو؛ مترجم: حسینقلی مستعان؛ تهران، مطبعه ایران پاورقی، 1310، سپس به صورت کتاب در ده جلد و سپس در پنج جلد؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، جاویدان، 1331، در دو جلد، چاپ دیگر تهران، امیرکبیر، 1349؛ در دو جلد 1647ص؛ چاپ دیگر 1363؛ چاپ چهاردهم 1370؛ شانزدهم 1382؛ شابک دوره 9640004189؛ هفدهم 1384؛ هجدهم 1387؛ شابک دوره دوجلدی 9789640004180؛ نوزدهم 1388؛ بیستم 1390؛ بیست و سوم 1391؛ بیست و چهارم 1392؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، بدرقه جاویدان، 1386، در دو جلد، موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 19م

مترجمین دیگر متن کامل خانمها و آقایان: «نسرین تولایی و ناهید ملکوتی، تهران، نگاه، 1393، در دو جلد، شابک دوره 9789643519568»؛ «عنایت الله شکیباپور در دو جلد، چاپ دیگر تهران، گنینه، 1362، در دو جلد؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، فنون، 1368، در دو جلد؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، قصه جهان نما 1380، در دو جلد و 962ص»؛ «کیومرث پارسای، تهران، سمیر، 1389؛ در پنج جلد، شابک دوره 9789642200474»؛ «محمد مجلسی، تهران، نشر دنیای نو، 1380، در چهار جلد (جلد یک - فانتین، جلد دو - فانتین، جلد سه - ماریوس، جلد چهار - ژان والژان)؛ چاپ سوم 1390»؛ «مرضیه صادقی زاده، تهران، آسو، 1395، در دو جلد؛ شابک دوره 9786007228982»؛ «مینا حسینی، تهران، فراروی، 1393، در دو جلد، شابک دوره 9786005947434»؛ «محسن سلیمانی، تهران، افق، 1388، در دو جلد؛ چاپ دوم 1389؛ چاپ ششم 1392»؛ «وحیده شکری، گرگان، هفت سنگ، 1395، در دو جلد»؛

مترجمین دیگر متن خلاصه شده: «گیورگیس آقاسی، تهران، پیروز، 1342، در 335ص، چاپ دیگر تهران، سکه، 1362، در 335ص»؛ «فریدون کار، اسب سفید، 1345، در 480ص»؛ «محمدباقر پیروزی، در 340ص، سروش، 1368»؛ «بهروز غریب پور، نشر قره، 1385، در 208ص؛ شابک 9643415155»؛ «مهدی علوی، تهران، دبیر، در 112ص؛ چاپ سوم 1395»؛ «شایسته ابراهیمی، تهران، گاج، 1395، در 136ص»؛ «صدف محسنی، تهران، پارسه، 1395، در 399ص»؛ «مصطفی جمشیدی، امیرکبیر از ترجمه مستعان، در 129ص»؛ «سبحان یاسی پور، آبان مهر، 1395، در 140ص»؛ «اسماعیل عباسی، تهران، سپیده، در 47ص»؛ «الهه تیمورتاش، تهران، سپیده، 1368، در 248ص؛ چاپ دوم 1370»؛ «شهاب، تهران، معراجی، در 184ص»؛ «امیر اسماعیلی، تهران، توسن، 1362؛ در 237ص»؛ «عنایت الله شکیبا پور، تهران، فنون، 1368، در 384ص»؛ «ابراهیم رها، 1382، در 64ص»؛ «ابراهیم زنجانی با ع��وان ژان والژان»؛ «ذبیح الله منصوری، تهران، بنیاد، 1362؛ در 177ص؛ چاپ سوم 1370»؛

کتاب نخستین بار 1862میلادی نشر شده؛ و در کشور ما نخستین بار در سال 1310هجری خورشیدی با برگردان روانشاد «حسینعلی مستعان» به چاپ رسیده است؛ نمیدانم؛ یادم نمانده، این کتاب را چندبار خوانده ام؛ در کودکی نسخه های کوتاه شده، و چکیده های داستان را...، بارها فیلم های شکوهمند اقتباس شده را، در سینماها و تلویزیون نگریسته ام، آخرین بار چند سال پیش بود، باز هم ترجمه ی روانشادمان «حسینعلی مستعان» را خواندم؛ دوستی از «آلمان» کتابهای بینوایان را خواسته بودند، خریدم و پیش از فرستادن، دوباره آنها را خواندم، اگر بگویم مدهوش شدم، راه به سوی گزافه نبرده ام؛ «ویکتور هوگو» بزرگوارترین شاعر «فرانسه»، در سده ی نوزدهم میلادی بودند، شاید هم بیشتر از همین جمله باشند، که بنوشتم؛ ایشان با بزرگواری، با انقلابی بزرگ زندگی کردند، و عمری به درازا کشید تا آن را نگاشتند

نقل از متن: (امپراطور گفت: کیست این مردک که مرا نگاه میکند؛ «میری یل» گفت: اعلیحصرتا، شما یک مردک را نگاه میکنید و من یک مرد بزرگ را، هر یک از ما میتواند، استفاده کند)؛ پایان نقل از کتاب بینوایان، قسمت اول فانتین، کتاب اول یک عادل - 1 - مسیو میری یل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 23/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 19/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,633 followers
March 7, 2017
I'm in the minority unfortunately. I thought the book was okay. I was hoping it would blow my mind and be a favorite like The Count Of Monte Cristo, as I was afraid of that book too, but alas, it was not =(


I might as well put the ole spoilers tag up on here! Oh and even though Jean's name will be changed in the book, I'm sticking with Jean so I won't get all messed up!



1)An Upright Man
2) The Fall
3) In The Year 1817
4) To Trust Is Sometimes To Surrender
5) The Descent
6) Javert
7) The Champmathieu Affair
8) Counter-Stroke

I worry at times when reading classic books because I feel I won't understand a lot of them. And some I haven't. Come to think of it, I have read books that aren't classic and never understood them and still loved them. I'm strange, I know.

I felt the same way when I went into The Count of Monte Cristo. I was so worried I wouldn't get it enough to like it and uh, it's one of my favorite books to date!

Les Mis has given me some trouble during the first of the book. I have felt like I'm not going to like it too much and then there would be parts that I just loved. So we shall see when I finish it awhile from now.

I really liked M. Myriel, he was a very nice man. I mean just because he's a man of the cloth doesn't mean he will be nice but he was and I loved him. It was sad when he died.

Jean Valjean was a prisoner of 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to try to feed his sister and her seven children. They don't care if people or kids starve to death and going to jail for 19 years. Wow! Jean only heard of news one time of his sister and the youngest child working and going to school. No one knows what became of the rest of the children.


After the 19 years Jean was let out on parole. He couldn't find a place to take him in for the night and feed him. He had money but they didn't want a criminal in their inns. But he came upon M. Myriel who was a Bishop at the church. (if I have it all correctly) He let Jean have a bed for the first time in years, gave him food and was very kind to him. In turn, Jean stole away in the night with the silverware. But being the kind man M. Myriel was he didn't press charges when the coppers dragged Jean back. He did tell something to Jean that made him change his ways.

The bishop approached him and said, in a low voice. "Do not forget, ever, that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man.

Jean Valjean, who had no recollection of any such promise, stood dumbfounded. The bishop had stressed these words as he spoke them. He continued, solemnly, "Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul I am buying from you. I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God!"

Jean was a changed man after this and it was good.

Next is the story of Fantine. This broke my heart! Fantine and some of her so called friends had suitors and they all thought they were going to be together and get married, all of the wonderful things. But it was not so. The men left the woman with nothing. Fantine was left with child and her so called friends all went separate ways.

Fantine had to leave little Cosette at a home until she got enough money to get her. The home was a fake and they were rude and horrible people. Fantine sent them money to keep Cosette. Year after year she sent money. She worked for Jean who had a different name and owned a business. Sadly for Fantine she was fired because of some jerk workers and Jean never knew about it.

Fantine was forced to sale her hair, some of her teeth and become a whore so Cosette would be okay.


One day Fantine was taken to jail for scratching a jerk man. Jean found her there and took her to the hospital. He saved her from being put in prison, but unfortunately she had a disease and would not live. He made a promise to find Cosette. It was so very sad that she had to live the life she did and never see her daughter ever again. She was thrown away........


1) Waterloo
2) The Ship Orion
3) Fulfillment Of The Promise Made To The Departed
4) The Old Gorbeau House
5) A Dark Chase Requires A Silent Hound
6) Petit-Picpus
7) Cemeteries Take What Is Given Them

Soooooooooooooooo, I wasn't feeling this one as much until it got to Jean & Cosette.

Jean found Cosette carrying a heavy water bucket and asked her many questions. He found out she was the girl she promised Fantine he would take care of, her daughter.


Jean watched how the couple were treating Cosette because he was staying at their Inn. He as livid and so was I at the way Cosette was treated. Jean told them he was taking her away with him, paid them money (overcharged) for his stay there. Oh, and I loved when he went out and bought her a most expensive doll for her alone because only the owners two daughters got toys to play with, it was so bitter sweet.

They stayed on the run for a time. Jean was always on the run on and off as he's always wanted. He can never shake that freaking, Javert.

Jean and Cosette ending up staying with a man Jean had saved awhile back. Jean worked in the little garden.

Jean, who had lost all thoughts of loving anything when he was in prison. He was a hard man with no love, no anything. But then he felt a spark that grew and grew for Cosette, his daughter, for that's what she became. So sweet.

His whole heart melted in gratitude and he loved more and more.
Several years went by like this. Cosette was growing up.


Unfortunately, I'm not liking this book as much as I would have hoped. I love the parts with Jean and Cosette and hope that there will be more and I will at least love it just enough.

*The rest of the sections and books in the book I was reading.*


1) Paris Atomized
2) The Grand Bourgeois
3) The Grandfather And The Grandson
4) The Friends Of The ABC
5) The Excellence Of Misfortune
6) The Conjunction of Two Stars
7) Patron-Minette
8) The Noxious Poor

Saint-Denis And Idyll Of The Rue Plumet

1) A Few Pages Of History
2) Eponine
3) The House On The Rue Plumet
4) Aid From Below Or From Above
5) An End Unlike The Beginning
6) Little Gavroche
7) Argot
8) Enchantments And Desolations
9) Where Are They Going?
10) June 5, 1832
11) The Atom Fraternizes With The Hurricane
12) Corinth
13) Marius Enters The Shadow
14) The Grandeur Of Despair
15) The Rue De L'Homme-Arme

Jean Valjean

1) War Between Four Walls
2) The Intestine Of Leviathan
3) Much, But Soul
4) Javert Off The Track
5) Grandson And Grandfather
6) The White Night
7) The Last Drop In The Chalice
8) The Twilight Waning
9) Supreme Shadow, Supreme Dawn

Selected Bibliography

The story continues on with Cosette growing up, finding Marius and love. A revolution. Javert still on Jean's trail. The marriage of Cosette and Marius. And the deaths of Javert and Jean.

The book did bring some tears to my eyes.

It was really sweet with Cosette and Marius. They were made for each other. Even though Jean wasn't too happy about it, he did save Marius in the end so he would live for Cosette.


Javert finally gave up. Jean had saved him from death and Javert threatened once again to kill him, but alas it was his own life he took. He was just tired.....


Jean was on his deathbed when Cosette and Marius found him. He was so happy to see his daughter and Marius. Jean had an angel watching over him and he went peacefully.


Jean, you were a most wonderful man!


The night was starless and very dark. Without any doubt, in the gloom, some mighty angel was standing, with outstretched wings, waiting for the soul.

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Matt.
919 reviews28.3k followers
February 20, 2023
“They fought hand to hand, foot to foot, with pistols, with sabers, with fists, from a distance, from up close, from above, below, everywhere at once, from the roofs of houses, from the windows of the tavern, from the basement windows of the cellars that some of them had slipped down into. It was one against sixty. The façade of Corinthe, half-demolished, was hideous to behold. The window, speckled with shot, had lost both glass and frame, and was just a shapeless hole, crazily stopped up with cobbles…[One man], run through with three thrusts of a bayonet to the chest just as he was lifting up a wounded soldier, only had time to look up at the sky before he breathed his last…”
- Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (translated by Julie Rose)

I wanted a reading challenge.

This was a reading challenge.

At 1,376 pages, the Julie Rose-translated, unabridged version of Les Misérables is one of the longest single volumes I have ever read. More than sheer length, though, is that length’s composition. This is not an A-to-B type of story. This is A-to-Z, with stops along the way to ponderously scrutinize each and every other letter, describing its shape, its genealogy, and its place in the fabric of the universe.

By the end, I was exhausted, hammered into submission by Victor Hugo’s unwillingness to use one word when an entire chapter will do. The conclusion, I recall, was absolutely beautiful; and yet, by the time I reached that endpoint, all my patience had long since disappeared.

Or perhaps it simply assumed a false identity and retreated to Montreuil-sur-Mer in northern France.


Despite its prodigious size, summarizing Hugo’s famous novel is rather easy, given the fame of its derivative works. At the center of Les Misérables is Jean Valjean, imprisoned for nineteen years for stealing bread (and subsequently attempting to escape several times). Finally released, he soon realizes that society is not ready to accept him, despite paying for his crimes. He is hounded by the upright and sanctimonious bloodhound Inspector Javert. As he is chased, Jean Valjean comes into contact with Cosette, an orphan who he raises as his own. Eventually, Jean Valjean, Cosette, Inspector Javert, and a supporting cast of many dozens of others, find themselves on the cobbled streets of Paris during the June Rebellion of 1832.

This story is told in inimitable fashion by an author of extraordinary talents. Say what you will about Hugo – and I shall! – the man had unique abilities.

First, he has an extraordinary way with characters. Most of the individuals in Les Misérables are a mile wide and an inch deep; that is, they tend to be either white-hats or black-hats (though in some cases, the black-hats undergo near-religious conversions). Nevertheless, he imbues even the most tangential characters with some memorable detail, with some humanizing aspect. One of my favorites was Monseigneur Bienvenu, the Bishop of Digne, a man who has only one small role to play in this tale, and yet is given a full-dress biography before disappearing offstage.

Second, Hugo is a master of describing a particular place at a particular time. It is not long ago that the world held its breath, transfixed, as Notre-Dame de Paris threatened to crumble before our very eyes. That event sent people rushing to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, for the reason that Hugo’s rapt descriptions had helped save the cathedral in the first place. While Notre-Dame is only fleetingly referenced here, Hugo still delivers a lengthy love letter to Paris, soliloquizing on the granular level, creating a written-word, street-by-street map. If you ever find yourself in a time machine heading to 1830s France, take this as a guide.

Finally, Hugo knows how to create a set piece. Much of Les Misérables is given over to essays and exposition (Hugo will barely allow a character to take a step without delivering a history of the shoe). Sprinkled amidst these word-bogs, however, are some crackling scenes that Hugo carefully builds and skillfully executes. There is a slick chase, a fraught standoff, and a visceral street battle, all of which demonstrate why Les Misérables is so often adapted.

Okay. So that was the good stuff. I wanted to get that out of the way so we could talk about the real issue. Even as an avowed big-book lover, this book is too damn long.


Les Misérables suffers from a near-fatal case of literary edema. It is swollen out of all proportion to its subject.

I know what you’re going to say: Abridgment.

To which I reply: Gross.

I don’t do abridgments. Abridging a book is like kissing an eager and willing cousin. It might be easy, but it ain’t right.

When I read a novel, I want it to be on the original terms, as mediated by author and editor. As far as I know, this is the version that Hugo wanted; thus, this is the version on which I will judge him.

(I cannot judge the translation, other than to say I liked it. There were a few clunky moments and some dialogue that seemed a bit anachronistic as it tried to convey a modern flavor. Overall, I often forgot this was a translation, which is a good thing).

The style employed by Hugo is digressionary to the extreme. Remember when you were young, and it took your mom and dad forever to get to the point? Well, just thank your lucky stars that you weren’t raised by the French romantic poet, dramatist, and novelist Victor Hugo! Because I can guarantee that it would take him a week to explain why you shouldn’t be sneaking out of your room.

The digressions in Les Misérables take many forms. Some are simply a function of overexplaining. For instance, as noted above, we did not need to know everything about the Bishop of Digne in order for him to perform his one crucial act. Similarly, the incidental meeting of two characters at the battle of Waterloo did not require an epic recapitulation of the famous clash. To the contrary, that intersection could have been effectuated in a sentence or – if we’re getting paid by the word – a paragraph. This overexplaining can be a bit taxing, but it is also ably handled and adds a sort of mythical overlay to the narrative.

The other digressions, however, serve only to distract, to burden, to annoy. The essays are the worst. In contemporary times, perhaps, they might have served a purpose. Not any longer. There is, to take one example, a critique on monasticism. I will allow that when Hugo wrote this, convents might have been a great danger to the world. Now, it fails to make the list of “One Trillion Things I’m Worried About.” At page 805, the reader is treated to Hugo going meta on us, as he delivers 20 pages about the use of slang in a novel. Again, this has no present-day relevance in a world in which realistic dialogue (utilizing slang, specific speech patterns, or terms of art) are the norm.

Hugo’s digressions are inexcusably disruptive and antithetical to all notions of pacing and flow. He is like the speedbump on the Indy 500 track, the blind dogleg on the interstate. Every time Les Misérables gets some momentum going, Hugo yanks on the leash. It almost seems an intentional act, as though he is troubled by the thought of his novel being too entertaining. I can accept, as I noted above, the idea that an author might find it necessary to explain the history of a sewer system, before a character attempts to escape through it. What I cannot accept, though, is how this history is presaged by a disquisition on poop that manages to be simultaneously unneeded, gross, and a little racist.

(Yes, there is really an essay on poop. )


Classic novels tend to be challenging to read. It takes a certain amount of discipline and patience and maturity to appreciate them. There was a time, I will admit, that I opened certain books by the likes of Melville, Dickens, and Tolstoy, with a sneer already on my face, ready to puncture time-honored masterpieces with snark and sarcasm (though I stand by every unkind word I uttered about Moby Dick).

I opened Les Misérables cognizant of its challenges, but truly (I believe) openminded as to its quality. It therefore came as a surprise when about halfway through (or a mere 688 pages), I started to dread this. It became my anti-white-whale, a thing that obsessed me but that I wanted to avoid. A good book can lift your spirits and brighten your day; a bad one does the opposite.

Of course, I am old enough now to recognize the arrogance inherent in calling a timeless work like Les Misérables “bad.” (Though arrogance is something that Hugo had in spades. After all, he wrote an essay on poop water and convinced you it was genius). This recognition led to a bit of meditation, as I tried to separate what I liked from what I didn’t, what worked from what failed. I tried to divine an answer as to why this excessive and overlong monument to protracted verbosity has endured.

Ultimately, I think it has to do with the fact that there is a lean, effective tale of bracing moral clarity within these pages. When we think of Les Misérables, even if we haven’t read it, even if we haven't seen the famed musical, we conjure images of broken systems, of justice that will break a man’s back, of city streets abounding with poor children; and we applaud the message of charity, kindness, and goodwill that Hugo preaches.

Of course, when we think of Les Misérables, we also tend to forget that this simple and timeless message is nearly obscured by antimonarchical screeds and learned tracts on sewage.
Profile Image for María.
144 reviews3,070 followers
September 2, 2016
Jamás he leído nada igual. Ni lo haré. Ya sé que eso suena exagerado, pero sé perfectamente que no leeré nada tan bueno de nuevo. Los Miserables está a un nivel que solo Victor Hugo puede llegar a tocar.
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,565 followers
September 24, 2020
I chose to read the hefty Victor Hugo classic for my thirtieth birthday, &, let me tell you, the experience was One Biiiig Bitch. I mean, why EVEN go to the 200 + year old text when the Broadway musical exists! THAT work of art exudes all beauty and majesty in one continuous song that unites the characters through time; ultimately giving us a true theme, or feeling of genuine victory over adversity. The plot, one gorgeous telenovela of a story, replete with jailbreaks, insurrections, betrayals, war, calamities multiplied & order restored is, in short, too much Muchness for one reader to possibly occupy himself with.

This is the longest novel I have ever read (probably Don Quixote, which took me an entire month to read, is the closest second). & as such, it is difficult--a staggering activity indeed--to maintain order in its review, much less in the colossus text itself that's just very disordered, odd, beautiful-but-not-always; it is a mixture (an irritating one at that, & less than a boost toward modernism) of myriad tones & paces, a gargantuan monster from the abysmal depths of time: a list of lists, basically; a lexicon in Everything French Revolution.

What is the purpose of so many compilation of details to make a heap of facts that, quite frankly, fail to make either a juicy romance or gory history. It's infuriating because it takes up so much of your time. And, bottom line, the characters, even Jean Valjean the lament-filled hero who feels guilt palpably like the feel of the guillotine, is a beacon that illuminates but also dis-illusions. (...and Cosette is a ninny, and Fantine gets duped awful by a group of boys and girls, & Javert is a true mystery that ends up having less to do with our story than other less famous villains like M. Thenardier...)

It is basic Law to read this, so I did. It has not aged well, dudes, fur reels. Like some expensive wine that got rancid. A French one.

&, just because I am very generous, these here are the top four best parts (AKA the most heartwarming) in all of Les Mis., if you wanted to know, followed by the four worst:

1) How Valjean gets Cosette from the clutches of the Thenardiers (the dude simply won't let go!)
2) Gavroche's taking-in of the two Thenardier "brats"
3) Marius' self-inflicted poverty
4) the Bishop's story

The worst are these girthy diatribes that provoke (gasp!) some paragraph skippage:
1) on the Sewers
2) on the slang
3) on the Streets of Paris
4) on the barriacades, which reminds the reader that so many French pre-Revolutionary factoids withholds reader's pleasure, somewhat barricading the avid reader's truest delight.
Profile Image for Lisa.
977 reviews3,327 followers
March 19, 2019
What makes a favourite book?

In this case, I will have to say: one single character that broke my heart and shaped my idealism and stirred my anger: Gavroche Thénardier.

"Si l'on demandait à la grande et énorme ville : Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela ? elle répondrait : C'est mon petit."

One of those street children that see and hear more during their childhood than most people ever experience, who carry pain and neglect with them on their daily adventures to survive in a hostile, careless environment, and still manage to find reasons to love and to live, he made me want to work with children when I was myself still only a teenager. I also wept with his sister Éponine, and with Cosette's mother Fantine, and I followed in Gavroche's tracks through the drama of Parisian 19th century history. His fight became my cause.

The main characters, Jean Valjean and his adoptive daughter Cosette, left me rather cold by contrast, as they seemed too perfectly good, too beautiful, too physically strong and mentally one-dimensional to be shaped from real life, and I am not sure Les Misérables would have ranged among my most beloved books, had the novel been slimmed down to their specific plot. The story line of Javert, whose fanatic sense of justice reminds me of later Communist anti-human radicalism, was what made Jean Valjean interesting as a character, rather than his own personality. Would he be caught or not?

I will also have to confess that I would have loved to see the poor, abused Éponine find happiness with Marius, as I truly couldn't find anything exciting in the doll Cosette that Jean Valjean had raised. Éponine had the potential to become a bright young woman, had she not grown up with comically bad parents in severe poverty:

"On sentait bien qu’avec d’autres conditions d’éducation et de destinée, l’allure gaie et libre de cette jeune fille eût pu être quelque chose de doux et de charmant."

The neglected children of Paris - that is what Les Misérables means to me. Ever since I first read the novel during my adolescence, it has accompanied me on my adventures. Gavroche comes to my mind whenever I read about neglected children in the big cities of the world, and now that my own children read the story, and play the soundtrack of the Musical on the piano and sing along with all the pathos they remember from seeing it performed at Broadway in New York, I feel the old shiver down my spine, and I know that one of the sources of my energy as a mother and teacher is to be found in the early feeling of indignation and tenderness towards a child that deserved a better life than he got. He deserved a future. I still believe in that simple idealist dream: each child deserves a future.

"Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!"
February 16, 2020
This is the longest book I've ever read (one might call it a beast) and it is without a shadow of a doubt, the best book I've ever been privileged enough to read. I mean, WOW. I struggle to put into words how I feel about this. Hugo had me smiling, laughing and most of the time crying, all in one chapter. This is in no way a happy tale, as one can probably tell by the title, but it has affected me more than I had anticipated. Hugo certainly knows how to captivate the reader, and captivate, he did.

"The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.”

The character of Jean Valjean, is somewhat of an inspiration. He shows us all, that we are only human, regardless of what we did in the past. We can redeem ourselves, and people do indeed, change.

I am a die-hard fan of the West end show of Les Miserables. It is most definitely my favourite show. The show tells the story well,
but there is a hell of a lot missed out in comparison to the book. The book goes into tremendous detail, and for me, made the already grim tale, even more grim! This is not a negative aspect at all, as in my opinion, I think the realisation of everything that is happening, hits you harder.

"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

Granted, this book is a beast, but it really is worth the time and commitment that it takes to read it! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

" And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you."

There are not enough stars in existence, in order for me to give this book it's true rating, so I'll just have to give the book five stars, and acknowledge the book's wonderful existence daily as it takes pride of place on my bookshelves. Thank you Victor Hugo, for breaking and mending my heart in 1232 pages.
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books1,343 followers
February 27, 2018
This will be another review-as-I-go!

First, a thank you to Rachel for recommending the Fahnestock and MacAfee translation, which is wonderful so far!

Next, a question: Why have I been so drawn lately to these 1,500 page 19th century behemoths? War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, and now this. Am I just a glutton for punishment? Or just showing off? I hope not. When I think about it, I think it has to do with the moral scope and depth of the work and the way these books really wear their morality on their sleeves. They're complex, yes, but they're not hiding their morality behind some veneer of "show, don't tell." They're not afraid to plumb the moral depths of the societies they depict, and I think, when I look around at the society I inhabit, that I hunger for more of this. So here I have it.

Hugo certainly takes his time setting up the main action, with a long introductory section on the Bishop (Myriel) before we get to the main character, Jean Valjean. But for some reason it works, so that by the time Valjean arrives on the scene, we have a sense of the place he comes to and the reactions he'll face. Even then, Myriel stands apart from the others in his generosity and kindness, such that the other characters don't even comprehend his attitude. Which of course says as much about contemporary attitudes toward ex-convicts as it does about Myriel himself.

Then the scene shifts, and we're treated to a lighthearted section of youthful fun, but there's a dark undercurrent here too--the illegitimate child born to Fantine, the child named Cosette, who's given up to another family while Fantine finds work and who soon transforms from a happy toddler to a bedraggled house servant. Oh, the heartbreak and misery we experience when she's described sweeping the sidewalk in the cold, dressed only in rags.

The scene then shifts to follow Fantine, and we see her gradual decline as she tried ever more desperately to raise money to send the family housing her daughter. Eventually she sells her two front teeth and becomes a "woman of the streets," which is where she has a run-in with the police officer Javert--a character reminiscent of Angelo from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, a stern agent of the law whose facade of righteousness conceals much. Luckily for Fantine, the mayor intercedes on her behalf.

Then the two parts of the story so far--that of Valjean and that of Fantine--come together, when it's revealed that the mayor is himself Valjean, years later. Oh, the plot thickens, because Javert was an officer who knew and tried to find Valjean years ago, and suddenly declares to the mayor that Valjean was found in the distant town of Arras and will be tried. What does Valjean do? Continue to conceal his identity so that he may do more good, knowing that someone else will suffer in his place? Or declare himself and lose everything? It's quite a magnificent dramatic moment.

And the drama really picks up pace when Valjean rides to Arras to the trial. Will he get there on time? And then there he is, in the courtroom: will he reveal himself? And when he does: will he be arrested right away? How can he escape? It's pure melodrama, in a way, yet fused to the deep moral quandary in the character that makes it irresistible.

One of the techniques I see Hugo employing is to switch storylines suddenly, leaving the reader with no idea how they relate, until at the very end of the storyline, he reveals it: Aha! When Valjean is on his way to Cosette, Hugo makes a huge detour into the history of Waterloo and Napoleon's downfall, and you wonder for pages and pages what this has to do with the story, and then at the very end, we see that one of the haggard men stealing from corpses is the father of the family keeping Cosette, and that another officer, who thinks the haggard man has saved him, declares himself in his debt. You can feel Hugo in those lines lowering the boom for more drama to come.

Hugo is really setting things up now. We get Valjean and Cosette finally ensconced in Paris, and then the scene shifts to examine a new character, Marius, the son of Pontmercy (who thought the father of the family keeping Cosette saved him). Again, you can see the giant cogs in motion, setting up the eventual collision between all these forces. Just an awesome array of characters and plot points, and I can't wait to see how it's going to come together!

Not surprisingly, Marius and Cosette grow up and grow fond of each other through random meetings in Paris. If I had one critique of this book, it's that so much depends on these random meetings of the characters. They keep bumping into each other, as if there were only a few people in the city. But this is a minor critique, and the randomness might even be intentional, making the point that much of life is similarly guided by chance encounters.

Now the political scene intervenes: the uprising. One of the saddest characters in the book is Epinone, the daughter of the horrible innkeeper, who acts more than once to keep Marius out of danger. She's clearly in love with him, but she's been so deformed by poverty and the demands of her harsh parents that she feels unable to express that. Anyway, the uprising is where she performs her ultimate act of bravery and self-sacrifice, and it nearly brought tears to my eyes.

I can't really do the ending any justice through summary. Let me just say that Hugo brings this entire monumental project together masterfully. If Modernism is defined by ironic detachment, this is the ultimate pre-modern work. It's earnest, political, passionate, encyclopedic, and moralistic in the very best sense. Hugo clearly has a point he's trying to make about human goodness, and I deeply appreciate the project. To say it's moved me is a terrific understatement. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it and its characters since finishing reading a couple of days ago. This is an epic and almost mythical work, and it stands as one of the best novels I've read.
Profile Image for Mohamed El-shandidy.
115 reviews315 followers
August 4, 2022

في البداية أعتذر عن طول المراجعة ، فما انتهيت من القراءة حتي بدأت الكتابة لأسرد كل أفكاري ، مطلقاً لِجام قلبي و قلمي , محافظاً علي نسمات الرواية من الضياع .

هل تعلم شعور أن تتوقع الكثير من رواية ما ، ثم تبدأ في قراءتها فلا تجد ما تتوقعه ، بل تعصف بك الرواية عصفاً ، و تجدها أفضل بكثير مما كنت تنتظره.

من أي إلهام كتب (فيكتور هوجو) روايته ؟ من أي وحيّ استلهم الكاتب قصته ؟
بأي قلم خط الشاعر قصيدته ؟ أي بئر أدلي بدلوه فيها ليسقينا كلماته ؟
كيف السبيل لمثل هذا الحسّ و النظمِ ؟

هل كان يعلم (هوجو) أنه سيكتب ملحمة خالدة يبقي ذكراها مئات السنين ؟

أجل كان يعلم , لا يمكن أن تأخذ قرار أن تكتب رواية تُفني فيها عمرك , تستغرق منك اثني عشر عاماً - قضي نصفها في المنفي - دون أن تدرى أنك تكتب شيئاً للتاريخ .

فحين أنهي ( هوجو ) الرواية و بعث بها للناشر قال له :
" أعتقد أني قد كتبتُ أفضل أعمالي و أعتقد أنها شيئ عظيم . "

البؤساء , من أشهر الأعمال الأدبية في التاريخ لا تكاد أن تخلو قائمة بأفضل روايات العالم منها .

و ها أنا أقرأ الرواية سعيداً بأني أخيرا سأجيب عن سؤال: ( ما أفضل رواية قرأتها ؟ ) بقلب مطمئن انها البؤساء .

من السخرية أن القراءة دائما مدخل سرور و فرحة لي و يكون أفضل ما قرأت من الأدب اسمه البؤساء.🌚😅

بأي عنصر أبدأ المراجعة ؟

🔴 ربما يجب أن أبدأ بأقرب عنصر لي و هو القصة , كُتبت القصة بحبكة درامية رائعة خالدة , تأخذ بالألباب , لا تتوقعها و في نفس الوقت تتلمسها و تتعرف عليها كالقدر المكتوب , عندما تنهيها لن تصدق أنك خرجت من هذا العالم الواسع الساحر.
عن الخير و الشر ، عن الدين و القانون ، عن المَلَكية و الجمهورية ، عن الحب و الحقد.
كأن الكاتب يأخذك من يدك لتلمس أتعس معاني الشقاء , ثم يطوف بك ليريك أعذب آيات الوفاء.

تبدأ القصة بأسقف صالح في مجتمع فاسد , تجمّلت نفسه و تشبعت بحب الزهد و العطاء ، تجمعه الصدفة - إحدي الصدف التي يحيكها القدر بعناية - بالمجرم ( جان فالجان) و الذي قد سلبه السجن براءته و حكم عليه - حتي خارجه - بالخبث و المهانة و كأنه ترك عليه جرحاً منفراً لا يندمل لا يلبث أن يراه أحد حتي يهرب.
وكان هذا اللقاء إيذاناً بتفجر النور من الظلام و الماء من حجارة قلب ( جان فالجان ).

ليصير هذا الرجل بطل قصتنا و ليقابل فيما بعد (فانتين) و التي كانت مثالا حياً للبؤس الذي يحل علي فتاة ريفية غرتها أضواء المدينة مقبلة عليها بلا حكمة ، و من ثم لتعهد إليه ب(كوزيت) هذا الملاك الصغير بعدما تركتها بين براثن الوحوش الفاتكة.

و في إطار ساحر نطفو في سماء باريس نرى الأمل و الشجاعة و النقاء , و نركن إلي أقذر البقاع و نشهد الخيانة و الازدراء.

⚪ أما عن الأسلوب ، فهو أسلوب شاعري فاتن رفيع , مَكَّن الكاتب من شرح أكثر الأفكار تعقيداً و سبر أعمق الأسرار مكاناً و وصف أكثر الأماني جمالاً و أفظع الوقائع قبحاً .
و يُصنف كرائد في المدرسة الرومانسية.

🔵 أقرب ما لمسني في هذه الرواية أن تكون مُحسناً لا تتخير في إحسانك الأشخاص فالكل يستحق قبساً منه , كن طيب النفس و ستجد ضالتك في النهاية تسعي إليك ,
أن يعيش ( جان فالجان ) في قلبك كشخص طيب و كفكرة نقية و ضمير يقظ و ثقة عالية و شجاعة ضارية و قوة عادلة .

أما عن الكاتب (فيكتور هوجو) سأكتفي بأن أقول عنه أن كتاباته أثرت بشكل بليغ علي جميع كتاب العالم بداية من (شارلز ديكينز ) و ( دوستويوفيسكي) حتي وقتنا الحالي و هذه الرواية تم تحويلها لكثير من الأفلام و المسرحيات حتي لها إنمي ياباني .

تعليقي الوحيد هو أن الثلث الأخير من الرواية لم يكن بجمال و سحر ما سبقه.

الترجمة كانت بقلم ( منير البعلبكي ) و كانت ترجمة باهرة فصيحة بذل فيها جهدا عظيما و أعتقد أنها من أفضل الترجمات لهذه الرواية علي مستوي العالم.

❓كيف نقرأ البؤساء ❓
لا يخفي حجم الرواية الكبير ، خمسة أجزاء كل جزء يقارب ال500 صفحة أي أن الرواية تقارب ال2500 صفحة !
أمامك طريقان :
- النسخة المختصرة هي سرد من المترجم للقصة و كأنك جلست لأحد الأصدقاء يحكي لك قصة البؤساء ، ستصلك فحوي القصة و ستضيع روعة الأسلوب و بلا شك سيفوتك الكثير من التفاصيل المهمة لبناء القصة ، لا أرشحها.

- النسخة الكاملة و أوصي جدا بالنسخة الورقية ، لكن للأسف ستجد الكثير من الأحداث التاريخية و التفاصيل المملة , ستجد فجأة يشرح اللغة الفرنسية العامية ، و يحكي لك تفاصيل حرب (ووترلو) و أحيانا يتحدث عن مجارى باريس ، و هذا يرجع إلى رغبة ( فيكتو رهوجو ) في أن تكون البؤساء مجمع أدبه فوضع فيها كل شيئ .

✔️ و الحل ببساطة أن تقرأ النسخة الكاملة و حين تشعر أن الكاتب ابتعد عن مجرى الأحداث , تطلع علي النسخة المختصرة لتعلم ما هي الخطوط العريضة المختصرة ، علي سبيل المثال كان جزء بداية الثورة مملاً جداً تم سرده في 40 صفحة ، ستجده مختصراً في ثلاث صفحات و هذا ما يعوزك منه .

🍀🍀 سأتركك الان مع بعض من الاقتباسات :

- " إياك إياك أن تنسي أبداً أنك قد وعدتني أن تستخدم هذه الفضة لتكون إنساناً أميناً ،
أخي (جان فالجان ) أنت لم تعد تنتمي للشر بعد الآن بل للخير ، إني أشترى روحك و إني أستردها من ظلمة الفكر و الهلاك و أهبها إلي الله ."
نظر إليه (جان فالجان) متعجباً لأنه لم يعده بشيئ من قبل.

" كُتب يوماً أننا نقضي نصف العمر و نحن ننتظر لقاء من سنحبهم ، و النصف الآخر في وداع الذين أحببناهم ".

" جفت تلك الدمعة التي كانت عينه تسفحها حزنا على جدوب أمله ونضوب ماء حياته ، ولعلها ملت هي الأخرى من الانسكاب دون جدوى .. جفت تلك العين المفكرة – والعيون كثيرا ما تفكر".

و نظر نظرة تنضح بالصفاء و خرجت الكلمات من بين شفتيه :
" الموت ليس شيئاً رهيباً ، الرهيب هو أن لا تعيش . "

" هذا الرجل ارتضي كل شيئ , و التمس العذر عن كل شيئ , و غفر كل شئ , و بارك كل شيئ و تمني الخير لكل انسان ... "

" و كان هذا كفيلا أن يسوي كل شيئ ماعادا روحي , كان ثمة بهجة تحيط بي من كل جانب و لكن أعماق نفسي ما تزال سوداء , و ليس يكفي المرأ أن يكون سعيدا , إن علينا أن نكون راضين عن أنفسنا . "

❞ إنه ينام ، و رغم أنّ القدر كان غريباً جداً معه لقد عاش ،
و لقد مات عندما فقد ملاكه , إن الأمر حدث ببساطة , كما يهبط الليل و حين يولي النهار .

تمت .✨.
9 / 5 / 2022

Profile Image for Piyangie.
519 reviews416 followers
December 17, 2022
This is one of the most beautiful and best books that is ever written about human suffering; a true masterpiece. It is no exaggeration on my part to say so, and those who have read and liked it would agree with me. I have seen the musical and a miniseries, but the book surpasses them all. In my opinion, nothing can be compared with the book. Reading this was such a rewarding experience.

While many areas including politics, progress, religion, morals are discussed in this lengthy work, the story as we all know is the story of Jean Val Jean, a victim of human injustice. Val Jean is an unorthodox hero – a social outcast. Through his story, Hugo brings to life the immense suffering the underprivileged class goes through. This is the central theme of the story. The physical suffering, the mental agonies, the moral dilemmas the people of this class go through are heartbreaking. Poverty, lack of education, ignorance, and negligence of the rulers have heavily contributed to the dreary lives and living conditions of this deprived class. Hugo penetrates deep into their lives and captures their misery sincerely and sympathetically. His compassion for them flows through his heart-touching writing.

The background to the story runs from the eve of the battle of Waterloo to the Paris insurgency of June 1833. Hugo presents an account of these turning points of French history to the readers while entwining his story well with it. The chosen background in which the story is set gives Hugo the freedom to freely express his political and social perspective.

Jean Val Jean, Fantine, and Cosette are the main characters Hugo creates to portray human suffering. Hugo covers all classes with them. There are other minor characters too, but these three characters stand out in the story for the unaccountable miseries they go through. Jean Val Jean, as was said above, is the hero. He is constantly persecuted by society and by the law. The early encounter with the bishop Bienvenu helps him to replace his hatred with love; love for the god and mankind. He starts a new life and becomes successful, and remembering the kindness and guidance of the Bishop, he becomes generous and benevolent. Society reaps all the benefits and law respects him, only till his identity is revealed. When his identity is exposed, both law and society become his pursuers, feigning a blind eye to his virtues. This cruelty is shocking and heartbreaking. The despair he goes through of being a social outcast all his life no matter how reformed and close to god he has become is strongly portrayed. Hugo accuses the society of its cruelty, condemns their actions, and shows that despite the stones cast at Val Jean, his faith in God and his righteousness are never impaired. He suffers, yet forgives and loves. Hugo brings out a Christ-like hero in him.

One shouldn’t, however, think that Les Misérables is only about misery and suffering. There is also love and happiness. There is fatherly love between Val Jean and Cosette, and love and perfect bliss between Cosette and Marius. These happy relations pour sunshine to the story amidst the heavy, dark clouds.

Hugo’s writing is beautifully descriptive, poetic, passionate, dramatic and emotion arousing. I cannot recall a book that broke my heart as much as this book did. There were many moments that I truly cried. And there were certain parts which were too painful to read. These include two heart-stricken moments, one concerning Val Jean when he revealed his true identity at Champmathieu's case and to Marius, and the other is when the insurgency is described where many innocent and youthful lives were lost fighting for an idealogy.

The book has been criticized for its too detailed historical accounts. Perhaps they are too detailed, but for my part, I found them informative and helpful to fully understand the backdrop in which the story is written.

The story, apart from the historical details, was emotionally exhausting, but at the same time rewarding. I loved the read, although it mercilessly broke my heart. Thank you, Hugo, for leaving with us such a remarkable and unique literary treasure.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
October 26, 2016
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 risks his freedom in order to save his starving family; he risks his mortality and his morality: he risks everything. He is a truly selfless man, a great man. And what are the consequences for trying to save a starving boy? What is the justice of the land?



Pure Corruption.


In this the author captures social injustice in its most brutal form; he shows the foolishness of unbending laws, of a system that refuses to open its eyes, and how the common man will always suffer under the yolk of the powerful. But, somehow, Valjean just about retains his decency and his humanity. Somehow in the face of sadistic ruling, he manages to remain Valjean; he even manages to better himself and improve the world around him. Yes, he makes a mistake that leads to the death of an innocent; yes, he was responsible for the snuffing of the life he ignored. However, he redeems himself in a truly extraordinary way, and eventually pays an even greater sacrifice. The world needs more men like Valjean.

Then if that wasn’t enough, Valjean even offers his nemesis forgiveness. He sees Javert for the product of society that he is; he looks at him and only sees pity rather than hatred, which would have been a much easier emotion to experience. Valjean does what few men would have the strength to do, and in the process shows his true inner-strength. Javert was fully responsible for his actions. He is a pitiable character. To his cold, singular, narrow-minded, law based logic, Valjean was a simple criminal. Nothing more, nothing less. Javert cannot look beyond the surface. He dedicated his life to preventing this villain form getting away. In this, he is as much a victim as Valjean. When he eventually realises the true errors of his ways, he is broken. He is no more. Javert is not the real villain: it is society.


And this is only one aspect of this superb novel. Javert and Valjean are not the only victims of this novel. Pushed aside, forgotten about, is the miserable Fantine. She represents the tragic state of women’s place in such a society. No one cares about her. She is just another woman in the street, another countless victim of misrule: someone to be trampled over. But, Valjean shows that life isn’t completely dark. From such corruption, a heart can remain true to itself and continue beating.

Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,839 followers
May 23, 2013
I dreamed a dream of reading this book - and I accomplished it! Surprisingly easy to read - even though it did take quite some time. Hugo does go off on quite a few tangents, but the whole experience was fantastic!
Profile Image for Guille.
757 reviews1,553 followers
December 24, 2020
Si usted lector se encuentra entre los miles y miles de entregados admiradores de esta obra tengo el deber de advertirle que las palabras que leerán a continuación pueden herir su sensibilidad.

Los miserables es la narración de una lucha a muerte. Una lucha que más o menos se podría presentar de la siguiente manera:
En la esquina derecha del ring, distinguido por una luz interior, de una magnificencia sobrehumana, vejado por las mayores injusticias, héroe de las más despiadadas tragedias, ataviado con un abrigo amarillento, raído y entallado, con sombrero deformado: el “EX PRESIDIARIO ANGUSTIADO“…JEAAAAAN VALJEAAAAN, ¡¡¡el éxito del hombre, la encarnación del perdón!!!

Al otro lado, portador de enormes patillas, engalanado con un levitón largo y esgrimiendo un garrote amenazador, con la mirada oscura, la boca fruncida y temible, y un gesto feroz de mando: “PERRO DE PRESAAAAAA” JAVEEEEERT, ¡¡¡representante de la ley ciega, de la imposibilidad de la redención, emisario plenipotenciario del castigo implacable y terrible como única respuesta al delito!!!
Tan desigual combate se resuelve, como no podía ser de otra manera, por K.O en la quinta parte, libro tercero. Un triunfo que lleva aparejada la gran victoria de la idea que vertebra toda la novela: la bondad innata del hombre, esa bondad que permitirá, más tarde o más temprano y gracias a la educación universal, alcanzar el paraíso en la tierra.

Esta ingenua idea del hombre junto con la descarada parcialidad exhibida no hubieran sido suficientes para molestarme en la forma en la que lo ha hecho. Es más, el estilo de Víctor Hugo, en contra de la opinión de Flaubert —incorrecto y vulgar— me ha parecido que alcanza, en no pocas ocasiones, una gran altura, que su lirismo apasionado, potente, su prosa derrochadora y rica me habrían compensado sobradamente tal candidez y tan escandaloso favoritismo. Pero por lo que no hay compensación posible, lo que soy incapaz de perdonar, es su portentosa necesidad de comunicarnos sus vastos conocimientos sobre los temas más variopintos y aburridos, su viciosa inclinación a apabullarnos con detalles y explicaciones cargantes e innecesarias, evitando así al torpe lector todo esfuerzo de su escasa imaginación, su tendencia al retorcimiento de la historia hasta límites paródicos, su gusto por los hechos sorpresivos, coincidencias inexplicables, encuentros inverosímiles y efectistas, su grave inclinación al melodrama, a los amores castos y desgarradores, a los odios desaforados, a las intolerables miserias, su devoción por personajes que son encarnaciones puras, simples y asexuadas, símbolos de lo más excelso y lo más bajo del ser humano y siempre bajo el prisma romántico que sitúa lo emocional muy por encima de lo racional.

Conste que avisé.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,057 reviews1,725 followers
September 23, 2018
دو خدا، دو خداباور

Les Miserables 1998, Liam Neeson

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 می فرستد تا بار گناهان آدمیان را به دوش بکشد. اگر از گله ای یک بره جدا شود و در ورطه ی هلاک بیفتد، نود و نه گوسفند را رها می کند و به دنبال بره ی گمگشته می رود.
خدای مسیحیت، بخشایشگر است و معروف ترین موعظه ی او، این که "گونه ی دیگر خود را پیش بیاور!"

دوم: داستایفسکی در قسمتی از "برادران کارامازوف" گفت و گویی را می آورد. در یک طرف، "ایوان کارامازوف" برادر وسطی است که مقاله ای نوشته و در آن گفته که ملکوت موعود مسیحیت، محقق نمی شود مگر بعد از این که حکومت کلیسا برقرار شود.
در طرف دیگر، راهب روشن ضمیری است که می گوید حکومت، نیاز به قانون محکم دارد و قانون محکم، نیاز به مجازات قانون شکن. ولی وقتی قانون شکن مجازات شد و جامعه او را طرد کرد، نیاز به جایی است که پناهش دهد، باورش کند، توبه اش را بپذیرد و او را باز گرداند.
و اگر کلیسا در منصب مجازاتگری نشست، منصب توبه پذیری اش را از دست خواهد داد.

این کتاب
"ژان والژان" و "ژاور"، دو شخصیت معروف رمان "بینوایان"، هر دو معتقد به خدا هستند؛ اما خدایی که هر یک می پرستد، غیر از دیگری است.
ژان والژان مردی است که بیست سال از عمرش را در زندان با اعمال شاقه گذرانده. مردی است که قانون او را مجازات کرده و پس از آن که دوره ی مجازاتش تمام می شود، جامعه او را طرد می کند.
در این حال، اسقف "میریل" او را می یابد و درک می کند که او، نیاز به امید دارد. نیاز به بازگشت دارد. پس به او امید می دهد و بازش می گرداند.
از آن پس، ژان والژان می شود مظهر خدای مسیحی. مردی که در تمام عمرش، کاری جز عشق ورزیدن نمی کند. حتی به کسانی که از آن ها بیزار است.
در مقابل، ژاور مردی است که به گفته ی خود در تمام عمر یک قانون را هم نشکسته. مردی است که تمام هم و غمش اجرای قانون است. تا جایی که وقتی خودش مرتکب جرمی می شود، با سر افکندگی خودش را معرفی می کند تا به سزای کارهایش برسد.
این دو شخصیت، که یکی نماد خدای مسیحی و دیگری نماد خدای یهودی است، بارها با هم دچار تنش می شوند.
یکی از این تنش ها، جایی است که بر سر "فانتین" ستیزه می کنند. زنی روسپی که شاید شباهتی به "مریم مجدلیه" داشته باشد. ژاور بی آن که به گریه و زاری فانتین گوش دهد و به دختر کوچکش، "کوزت"، اهمیتی بدهد، او را محکوم به شش ماه زندان می کند؛ اما والژان، با آن که فانتین به او اهانت می کند و در رویش تف می اندازد، دستور آزادی او را می دهد.
یکی، هیچ نرمشی در برابر قانون شکنی نشان نمی دهد و دیگری، آغوشش را برای گناهکار می گشاید.
یکی دیگر از این تنش ها، در انتهای داستان است. جایی که والژان، آغوش خود را برای خود ژاور می گشاید. با این که توانایی بر کشتن ژاور دارد، او را زنده می گذارد. ژاور نمی تواند این رفتار را درک کند و به همین دلیل گیج می شود. او که تا کنون همه چیز را با دیدی انعطاف ناپذیر می دید، اکنون دچار تزلزل می شود. می بیند که مردی قانون شکن، توانسته مرد بزرگی شود. می بیند که هم بازداشت کردن این مرد اشتباه است و هم بازداشت نکردنش.
نهایتاً، وقتی نمی تواند این دوگانگی را بپذیرد، خود را در رودخانه ی "سن" می اندازد و خودکشی می کند.
و این گونه، از دیدگاه ویکتور هوگو، خدای یهودیت، می میرد و خدای مسیحیت باقی می ماند.
November 20, 2016
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 recognise his enemy, if the author had prosopagnosia he wouldn't think it at all strange that Valjean might have people he never recognised (as well as those he always did and those he sometimes did) because that's how it is with face blindness. Of course, I will never know for sure, but it makes more sense to me to think of it this way.

I loved this book. I was expecting something somewhere between Trollope's extraordinary writing and Zola's wonderful stories - and I got it! Great literature indeed, and what a character Jean Valjean is.

His story is almost biblical, one of redemption. One who travels the path from evil to good with scarcely a stumble but many an obstruction along the way. Hugo uses the book, much as Tolstoy liked to do, to expound his personal philosophy and also the condition of the peasants, les miserables.

If you like classics and sagas, its a good holiday book. Start before you go, read it on the plane, a little by the pool and when lying on the beach, and then when you get home, there will still be more to read about these people who are your friends and family now.

Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,303 followers
May 8, 2023
4* îndeosebi pentru episodul Gavroche.

Și pentru sentimentul de liniște și securitate pe care îl trăiam ori de cîte ori citeam paginile despre ascunzătoarea din burta elefantului din Piața Bastilia. Le-am parcurs de atîtea ori, încît le-am învățat pe de rost. Episodul a circulat ca broșură pentru copii, probabil că abia începusem școala. Extrasul cu viața lui Gavroche (VI: 2) m-a făcut curios cu privire la întregul roman. L-am citit puțin mai tîrziu. Iar sfîrștul lui m-a dezamăgit. Cum se poate ca frumoasa Cosette, justițiarul Marius (pentru care bătrînul ocnaș și-a sacrificat viața) să-l trateze pe Jean Valjean cu atîta indiferență? Mi se părea nedrept, un păcat strigător la cer. Mă întrista mai ales următorul pasaj:
„În cimitirul Père-Lachaise, aproape de groapa comună..., într-un colţ pustiu, lângă un zid crăpat, sub o tisă pe care urcă o iederă, printre smocuri de pir şi de muşchi, e o piatră... Ploaia a înverzit-o, vîntul a înnegrit-o. Nu e pe lîngă ea nici o potecă, şi lumii nu-i place să meargă pînă acolo... Această piatră nu are pe ea nici o însemnare. Nu s-a gîndit nimeni, tăind-o, decît la mărimea unui mormînt şi n-a vrut nimeni decît s-o facă destul de lungă şi destul de îngustă ca să acopere un om. Nu e scris pe ea nici un nume”.

Să nu uităm că Gavroche - alături de liliala, devotata, umila Éponine, care îl iubește în taină pe Marius - era copilul siniștrilor soți Thénardier („Taică-su nu-i purta de grijă, iar maică-sa nu-l iubea”). Din fericire, ereditatea nu funcționează în acest caz. Éponine se aruncă în fața gloanțelor și îi salvează viața lui Marius. Iar bunătatea voioasă și curajul neasemuit ale lui Gavroche răscumpără într-un fel răutatea părinților.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,864 reviews522 followers
April 6, 2023
Of all the French literary classics, undoubtedly, The Miserables is unforgettable. For those who know the work, it is undeniable that it always leaves something of transitory reflection (or not) in us. For those unfamiliar with the book, as the title explicitly represents, it talks about human disability. Jean Valjean, the main character, portrays the injustice committed by "justice." He is arrested and convicted for a certain period when he steals bread at a market to satisfy the nostalgic hunger of his sister and his nephews. But for trying to escape several times, his sentence is always prolonged. People understood that he spent fifteen years there working as a prison worker. Despite being the main one, Jean Valjean is not the only one who stands out in this story. We cannot forget about Francine, a beautiful young woman with long blond hair and perfect teeth. His smile would delight any reader who read the book's description, but this beauty is short-lived. Due to the conditions, she leaves her only daughter in the care of a greedy couple who likes to take advantage of everything. Perhaps because of the irony of fate, Francine's daughter falls into the consideration of Jean Valjean, and this one, if I may say, cares like his own daughter. But as in real life, nothing is peaceful. Fiction also gains a touch of rarity, and a detective chases Jean several times.
If he gets caught or not? What happens to the girl? What happens to Francine? If we're there other characters? What else happens in this extraordinary adventure? Just if you read the book to know. But I will tell you one thing: you will not regret it.
Profile Image for Miriam.
1 review20 followers
September 26, 2007
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 which familiarity with one helped me to appreciate the other more; naturally the musical had to cut out and/or alter significant portions of the novel's plot in order to fit a reasonable time frame, but even as I read the novel and discovered all the things that were left out of the musical, my respect for the artistic choices made for the latter were increased tenfold. Of course the characters were portrayed in significantly richer detail in the novel, Fantine and Marius in particular. The adult Cosette, however, is singularly droll in both the book and the musical, paling in comparison to the character of Eponine in both; Hugo seeks to set Cosette up as the perfect angelic virgin, and in doing so, he makes her both unrealistic and mind-numbingly boring -- this is my only complaint about the book, other than the ways in which Hugo sometimes deals with women in general, though you have to consider that he was, to some extent, a product of the times.

Hugo does shoot himself in the foot in one way; his plots are so absorbing that I found myself temporarily skipping over chapters-worth of exquisite prose to find out what happened next, as Hugo had a nasty little habit of setting up wonderfully tense scenes full of suspense and intrigue, only to present you with something like the history of the French sewer system on the next page. But his descriptions are every bit as rich and wonderful as his action plots; my favorite line from the novel is, "Every bird that flies has a shred of the infinite in its claw," which can be found in the middle of a breathtaking paragraph praising the complexities of the natural world, but I cannot for the life of me remember what that was supposed to relate to in terms of the actual storyline of the book.

This book is not to be missed. But if you have too short an attention span, then at the very least, see the musical, on Broadway or better if you can. There is, after all, a very good reason why they call it the greatest musical of all time.
Profile Image for Jonathan Terrington.
593 reviews559 followers
September 8, 2017
"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

There are few novels which one can consider true masterpieces and among the greatest pieces of writing ever written. The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Complete Sherlock Holmes and Complete Stories and Poems number among these as examples. However there are some momentous epics in terms of themes such as Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and this great work: Les Misérables, which despite their length are well worth the investment.

Les Misérables, as a novel, is far grander than its worthy adaptations (of which the 1998 film with Liam Neeson and the stageplay are the finer works). It is not the simple tale of Jean Valjean escaping from Inspector Javert. It is so much more. It is: a love story, the love story of France as well as a romance; a tragedy, a catalogue of the miserable citizens of historic France; a historical chronicle, a mapping out of the cultural landscape of one image of time; above all it is a literary masterpiece.

Victor Hugo may have his failings in this novel. At times he falls into pompous verbosity, rambling on about subjects which appear to lack relevance to the story. However, what he has achieved in this novel is nothing short of remarkable. This is literature at its finest, a book recording the suffering and beauty of humanity and reflecting upon it in language which is both complex and simple despite translation. Speaking of translation, this version by Charles E. Wilbour appears quite excellent (if old fashioned). And therefore anyone interested in reading this work is encouraged to get a true unabridged version. Reading the abridged versions will only ruin the charm of the story and perhaps your understanding of the story itself.

This review has been moved to my site, click this link to read the rest!
Profile Image for Roel ✿.
100 reviews125 followers
February 15, 2021
If there ever was a book that took me by surprise, it would be Les Misérables. And I am not just talking about the many plot twists.

This book contains, quite possibly, the largest number of literary themes and personas I have ever encountered in just one single body of work. Rogues, rebels, police officers, prostitutes, bishops, the poor, the rich, social injustice, love, hate, compassion, redemption, death... All merged together into one gigantic mishmash of storylines and character backgrounds and set up against the background of the political uproar following the French Revolution.

The central character, ex-convict Jean Valjean, is one of the best characters I have ever read about. After stealing bread to save his sister's starving children, he is sent to the galleys to waste away as a slave for years and years. His trauma is hinted at in every corner of this book, and it is all so beautifully done. The arc of redemption Hugo gave him kept me hooked until the very last chapter.

"A few minutes only separated Jean Valjean from that terrible precipice which yawned before him for the third time. And the galleys now meant not only the galleys, but Cosette lost to him forever; that is to say, a life resembling the interior of a tomb."

Jean's story alone would have kept me reading, but Les Misérables throws new characters your way any time you are not expecting it — bringing new bits of philosophy and insight into the human psyche as they come. Each character is connected to Jean in some way, but also has enough distinct features and characteristics to never fall into the background. Gavroche, for example, only really becomes important to the storyline once the June Rebellion starts; however, I spent enough time reading about him to know exactly who he is and what he stands for.

This book made me cry (multiple times, oops); as the title states, this is anything but a happy story. But the author's humor shines through very often too. At times, the characters are made fun of; at others, there is some light-hearted remark or witty dialogue to lighten the mood:

"Monseigneur, you who turn everything to account have, nevertheless, one useless plot. It would be better to grow salads there than bouquets."
"Madame Magloire," retorted the Bishop, "you are mistaken. The beautiful is as useful as the useful." He added after a pause, "More so perhaps."

The pacing is slow. Very slow. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, as the page count is what the story is notorious for. I took the book with me and read it everywhere: in a city apartment on the 46th floor, outside in the garden, and even on the boat I took a trip with last summer. Luckily, the story is divided into "books", which are in turn divided into small chapters. It makes reading this more manageable. And even when you aren't particularly invested in a certain chapter or character, there's always pretty writing to look at!

The sole reason I can't give Les Misérables ALL of the stars is because I am very strict when it comes to five-star ratings. I sure as hell won't be re-reading this book. I think. Plus, those endless chapters with elaborate explanations of battle strategies, Waterloo, and sewers did not impress me. As much as I appreciate the way Hugo's mind worked, I would have liked to see him stray less from the actual plot. Hugo's area of expertise is very clearly the flip side of life in 19th century Paris, but I could have done with a little less information.

That said, read this book. Please. Maybe an abridged version, though.

"Nothing oppresses the heart like symmetry."


Additional Notes:
- It took me so damn long to finish this book that I'm starting to think my reading slump was partially caused by it. Literally a book hangover
- The fact that I read this over lockdown makes me even more attached to it, I think. I'd recommend this to anyone with a bit of time on their hands :)

Profile Image for Giannis.
111 reviews24 followers
November 17, 2022
«Δεν είναι τίποτα να πεθαίνεις. Είναι φριχτό να μη ζεις!»

Υπάρχουν βιβλία που όταν έχεις ολοκληρώσει την ανάγνωση τους, νιώθεις ευλογημένος. Ενα τέτοιο βιβλίο είναι και οι Άθλιοι. Ένας"φάρος" ανθρωπιάς που θα συγκινήσει και θα ανάψει τη «φλόγα» που κρύβουμε όλοι μέσα μας, όσο Άθλιοι και αν είμαστε!

Το βιβλίο μας εξιστορεί τη καθημερινότητα κατοίκων του Παρισιού, διαφορετικών οικονομικών στρωμάτων, και μας περιγράφει την αθλιότητά τους. Άλλοι γιατί ήταν άθλιοι στη ψυχή και άλλοι γιατί η κοινωνία τους εξαθλίωσε και τους εξανάγκασε να ζουν στο π��ριθώριο. Όμως, η καρδιά των περισσοτέρων παρέμεινε ζεστή όσα χτυπήματα και αν είχε δεχθεί το κορμί, η αξιοπρέπεια και η ύπαρξή τους η ίδια.
Παρότι όλοι οι χαρακτήρες αναλύθηκαν υπέρ του δέοντος από τον «μεγάλο» Βίκτωρ Ουγκώ, ο πραγματικός πρωταγωνιστής ήταν ο Γιάννης Αγιάννης. Ένας σύγχρονος… Ιησούς Χριστός ο οποίος απέδειξε ότι μία μόνο στιγμή, αρκεί για να αλλάξει η κοσμοθεωρία σου. Ότι όσο "Άθλιος" και αν αν έχεις υπάρξει, μπορείς να βοηθήσεις τον εαυτό σου και τους γύρω σου. Ο ήρωας ήταν υπερβολικά συμπαθής και «Άγιος», αλλά αυτή η συμπεριφορά έκρυβε ένα προσωπικό στοχο. Χρειαζόταν εξιλέωση και για να το πετύχει αποφάσισε να δοθεί ολοκληρωτικά σε μία ανθρώπινη ύπαρξη. Σε μία εξαθλιωμένη ψυχούλα, που τα μάτια της, κάθε φόρμα που τον κοιτούσαν, μαρτυρούσαν την απέραντη ευγνωμοσύνη προς το πρόσωπό του.

Το βιβλίο το τέλειωσα σε μόλις μία εβδομάδα (που είναι τα χρόνια, ωραία χρόνια 🤣) παρ' όλο που γράφτηκε σχεδόν πριν από δύο αιώνες. Είχε τόσο ωραία ροή, πλούσιο λεξιλόγιο, λεπτομερή περιγραφή του Παρισιού και των δύο «κόσμων» που κυριαρχούσαν εκείνη την εποχή, καθώς και χαρακτήρες τόσο καλογραμμένους που δεν αφήνει κανένα περιθώριο αμφισβήτησης για την "πένα" του Ουγκώ.

Υπέροχο, μαγευτικό, συγκινητικό. Ένα βιβλίο που ανήκει στο Πάνθεον της λογοτεχνίας δικαίως. Ένα βιβλίο που ούτε το 10/10 μπορεί να το χαρακτηρίσει, ούτε ένα μικρό (διθυραμβικό) review μπορεί ν
Profile Image for Raya راية.
771 reviews1,339 followers
August 12, 2018
"إن الآثار الأدبية الإنسانية كالآثار المعمارية والفنية لا تزداد مع الأيام إلّا حُرمة ونفاسة بل وإشراقًا في بعض الأحيان. وإنما يتأكد هذا المعنى أكثر حين تكون القضايا التي يعالجها الأثر الخالد مطروحة، ما تزال، في بلادنا، سواء على الصعيد النظري أو على الصعيد العملي، أو على الصعيدين جميعًا".

منير البعلبكي في مقدمة ترجمته الكاملة لرواية البؤساء

تعود بي الذاكرة إلى أيام المدرسة الابتدائية عندما كنت في الصف السادس، كنا في مكتبة المدرسة الصغيرة، ووقعت عيني على رواية ضخمة، كان عنوانها البؤساء، كانت ضخمة جدًا وكانت أول رواية مسّتها أصابعي، وكانت ورقاتها صفراء مهترئة، قَلبت صفحاتها وأتذكر بأنني قرأت الصفحة الأولى منها ولم أفهم شيئًا، ما معنى أسقف؟ مدينة ديني؟ كلمات وألفاظ غريبة، وعاهدت نفسي بأني حين أكبر سأقرؤها وأفهمها. مرت السنون وأصبحت في الصف التاسع، وفي درس قواعد اللغة العربية قرأت نصًا قصيرًا، وكُتب في الهامش بأن النص مقتبس من رواية البؤساء لفيكتور هوغو، وأتذكر أيضًا بأنه يتحدث عن معركة واترلو ونابليون. وصلت الصف الأول الثانوي، وذهبت إلى مكتبة المدرسة، واستعرت رواية البؤساء، وقرأتها لأول مرة –وأذكر أنها لم تكن ترجمة كاملة-، سكنت هذه الرواية روحي ووجداني. دخلت الجامعة ومباشرة ذهبت إلى مكتبتها الضخمة وفي قسم الأدب والروايات وهناك في رف عالٍ كانت المجلدات الخمسة من الرواية مرتبة، استعرتها وقرأتها وعشت معها وفيها أيامًا طويلة. عاودت قرأتها بعد ذلك ثلاث مرات ولكن بترجمات مختلفة. حاولت البحث كثيرًا عن النسخة الكاملة لأقتنيها ولكني لم أجدها، ومؤخرًا نشرت دار العلم للملايين الترجمة الكاملة بمجلدين اثنين، وعاودت قرأتها للمرة السادسة. وإن قدّرني الله ومد في عمري سأقرؤها وأقرؤها وأقرؤها.

تتناول هذه الرواية الضخمة موضوعًا مهمًا جدًا ألا وهو حال الأشخاص الواقعين تحت ظلم المجتمع، وتحت المظالم يخلقها القانون، والحضارة، والأعراف الاجتماعية. وبؤساء هذه الرواية ما هم إلّا نماذج تصوّر حال البشر المظلومين في كل عصر ومكان.

جان فالجان

هذا البائس الذي قضى في سجن الأشغال الشاقة 19 عامًا من أجل رغيف خبز! وحين يخرج، يرى المجتمع يغلق أبوابه في وجهه، نفسه المجتمع الذي أفقر أسرته واضطرّه إلى السرقة، نفس المجتمع الذي وضع قوانينه الصارمة، نفس المجتمع الذي عاقب والذي حَرَم والذي خلق كل هذه المظالم، ظلمه شابًا وظلمه سجينًا وظلمه حرًا! مما شكّل في داخل نفسه كرهًا وحقدًا شديدًا على هذا المجتمع.

"إن النفوس المتردّية في قعر الشقاء الأقصى، والرجال البائسين الضائعين في الأعماق السفلى حيث يحتجبون عن العيان، وأولئك الذين صبّ عليهم القانون لعنته –إن هؤلاء جميعًا ليحسّون فوق رؤوسهم بكامل ثقل ذلك المجتمع البشري المخيف إلى أبعد الحدود في عين المنبوذ خارجه، الفظيع إلى أبعد الحدود في عين القائم تحته"

ومن غير ذلك الشقي المتردّي في قعر الشقاء أكثر حاجة إلى الإحسان وإلى معاملته كبشر! وهذا ما أحدثه الأسقف ميرييل في نفس جان فالجان، فحطّم في نفسه الحقد وأضاء فيها شعلة الخير.

"إن السماء لتبتهج للدموع التي يسفحها آثم تائب، أكثر مما تبتهج لمئة بُرد أبيض يرتديها مئة رجل صالح"

وخُلق جان فالجان خلقًا جديدًا، وأصبح الأب مادلين، وذهب إلى قرية بعيدة وأنشأ هناك صناعة وأحسن إلى الكثيرين وأحب الناس وأحبوه. لكن ضميره الذي أيقظه الأسقف ميرييل، أبى عليه أن يرى شخصًا آخر يُساق إلى السجن مكانه، فاعترف على نفسه بأنه هو نفسه جان فالجان.

"إنه لا يستطيع أن يلج باب القداسة في عيني الله، إلّا بالعودة إلى العار في أعين الناس!"

فعاد مرة أخرى إلى سجن الأشغال الشاقة, وبتيسير الأقدار استطاع أن يهرب.


هذه الفتاة الجميلة البريئة التي لم يرحمها المجتمع من ظلمه أيضًا وأوقع عليها شقاءً أكبر. فبعد أن غرر بها أحد الشبان المتعطّلين الأغنياء، وهجرها، وضعت مولودتها وبدأت تشق طريقها في بحر الشقاء المتزايد. فعملت لتعيل نفسها وابنتها، ولم يكتف المجتمع بما أوقعه عليها من شقاء، فتربّصت بها أعين المتربّصين واتُهِمت ظلمًا وطُردت من عملها، فلم تجد مأوى سوى الشارع، تعذّبت ومرضت وباعت نفسها من أجل أن تقيم أود طفلتها.

"ما هي قصة فانتين هذه؟ إنها قصة المجتمع يشتري أمَةً رقيقة. ممن؟ من الشقاء. من الجوع، من البرد، من الوحدة، من التخلّي، من الحرمان. صفقة موجعة. نفسٌ بشرية مقابل كسرة من الخبز. الشقاء يَعرض والمجتمع يقبل."

تقاطعت حياة جان فالجان –الذي كان في تلك الأيام الأب مادلين- وفانتين، فعلم بوضعها وأحسن إليها وأشرف على تقديم العلاج لها، ووعدها بأن يحضر ابنتها لها، لكن الأقدار لا تسير بما نشتهي، وماتت فانتين قبل أن ترى ابنتها.


لأن "العذاب الاجتماعي يبدأ في كل الأعمار" ولا يفرّق بين رجل وامرأة وطفلًا، رزحت كوزيت الطفلة تحت نير المظالم الاجتماعية في سن مبكرة جدًا، حيث تركتها والدتها فانتين، في رعاية تيناردييه وزوجته، اللذان كانا يستغلّان وضع الأم ما أمكنهما الاستغلال، وحين انقطعت الأموال التي كانت ترسلها فانتين –لأنها ماتت- جعلا تلك المخلوقة البريئة الصغيرة خادمة في فندقهما الحقير. لكن ذلك لم يستمر، فجاء جان فالجان وأنقذها من هذين الغولين البشريين. وذهب بها إلى باريس. لقد لمس الحب بأنامله المضيئة قلب جان فالجان لأول مرة، فأحب كوزيت كروحه.

"ذلك بأنها جدّ مبهمة وجدّ عذبة هذه العاطفة العظيمة الغريبة التي تعمُرُ القلب في حبه الأول"

"كان أبًا فيه حتى الأم ذاتها، أبًا أحب كوزيت، وعبدها، وكانت له تلك الطفلة ضياء، وكانت بيتًا، وكانت أسرة، وكانت وطنًا، وكانت فردوسًا"

وأحبت كوزيت ذلك الرجل الذي هبط عليها من السماء كملاك وخلّصها من براثن الشقاء، ولم تعرف كوزيت قريبًا أو أبًا أو أمًا أو أحدًا في الحياة غير جان فالجان.
"وكانت إذا ما جلس تُريح خدّها على شعره الأشيب، وتسفح دمعة في صمت، قائلة لنفسها: "لعله؟ لعل هذا الرجل أمُي"!"

عاش جان فالجان وكوزيت في دير بيكبوس الصغير الذي آواهما من ترصّد جافير لسنوات طويلة، فكبرت وكوزيت وتعلّمت، وعمل هو كمزارع هناك. فلم يعرف سعادة سوى بالقرب من طفلته وهي لم تعرف سعادة سوى بجانبه
"كان هو سناد هذه الطفلة، وكانت هذه الطفلة هي نقطة ارتكازه. إيه أيها اللغز الإلهي الذي لا يُسبر غوره، لغز توازن القدر!"

عاش جان فالجان من أجل كوزيت.


مفتش الشرطة الذي لاحق جان فالجان من أول الرواية إلى آخرها. وجافير الذي لم يكف أبدًا ولم ييأس من اللاحق بجان فالجان وإعادته إلى السجن. ويمثّل جافير برأيي، سلطة القانون والمجتمع التي تأبى أن تترك السجين- المظلوم وشأنه، والتي لم ولن تستطيع أبدًا أن تبرّر الجريمة التي أوجدتها هي.
"أكان ثمة، إذن، حالات يتعيّن فيها على القانون أن يتراجع أمام الجريمة مجلببة بالسناء، وهو يغمغم بالمعاذير؟"

انتحر جافير أخيرًا لأنه لم يتحمل أن يُحسن عدوّه جان فالجان إليه وأن ينقذه من الموت. لم يتحمل يقظة الضمير ومحاسبة النفس، لم يتحمل أن يرى في قانونه ثغرات وتجاوزات.
"أن يضطر إلى الاعتراف بهذا: أن العصمة من الضلال ليست معصومة؛ وأنه قد يكون في العقيدة الجوهرية خطأ ما؛ وأن القانون حين يتكلم لا يقول كل شيء؛ وأن المجتمع ليس كاملًا؛ وأن السلطة مشوبة بتردد؛ وأن التصدع في ما هو غير قابل للتغير ممكن؛ وأن القضاة ناس من الناس؛ وأن القانون يُخدع؛ وأن المحاكم قد تخطئ! أن يرى صدعًا في بلور القبة الزرقاء الهائل"


الشاب الجميل الذي تربّى في كنف جدّه لأمه. يتيم الأم, لا يعرف أباه الكولونيل، الذي حرمه جدّه منه، فزرع في رأس الطفل أن يكره أباه وينبذه. لم يعرف ماريوس أباه إل��ا حين مات، فكانت تلك نقطة تحوّل في حياته واكتشف مقدار حب أبيه له، ومآثر أبيه في معارك نابليون. فقرر ترك منزل جدّه وثروة جدّه، وأن يعيش مع رفاقه يشاركهم بؤسهم، وبؤس أبيه من قبله. تحول م��ريوس من شاب تربّى في بيئة برجوازية إلى نابوليوني. وفي تلك الفترة رأى كوزيت، فأحبها وأحبته. وهنا نرى بوضوح نفس فيكتور هوغو التي تدعو الناس إلى الحُب بكل قوة وبأن الحُب هو نور الحياة وأسمى عاطفة يستشعرها الإنسان.

رسائل ماريوس إلى كوزيت

تيناردييه وزوجته وشركاؤه في جرائمه

تشكل هذه الفئة أدنى فئات المجتمع، التي تعيش في كنف الظلام وتمارس شرورها وحقارتها وجرائمها فيه. هذه الفئة التي حرمها الجهل والظلام من أي فضيلة إنسانية سامية. فتحاول استخدام مهاراتها التدميرية الشريرة من أجل تحقيق مصالحها الذاتية الأنانية.

أصدقاء الألفباء

أصدقاء ماريوس؛ مجموعة من الطلبة والعمال الذين جمع بينهم حُب فرنسا وحلمهم بالجمهورية، وهم: آنجولراس، كومبوفير، جان بروفير، فويي، كورفيراك، باهوريل، ليغل، جولي، غرانتير.

"إن للمخاطر العظمى هذا الجمال، وهو أنها تلقي النور على أخوّة الغرباء"

وكلهم ماتوا في ثورة حزيران/يونيو 1832.

يثور فيكتور هوغو في روايته على الظلم الذي يوقعه المجتمع على أفراده ويعاقبهم ويجرّمهم على أشياء صنعها هو، فنراه يصرخ في مواضع كثيرة بضرورة نشر التعليم المجاني بين الناس، لأن التعليم هو النور الذي يمحي ظلام الجهل؛ وما الجهل إلّا البذرة التي تبنت منها كل جريمة وشر:

الأسقف ميرييل: "علّم الجاهل ما وسعك التعليم. إن المجتمع ليُجرمُ حين لا يزوّد كل امرئ بالعلم المجاني. إنه لمسؤول عن الظلام الذي يحدثه. وحين تُترك النفس في الظلام، فعندئذ تُقترف الآثام. والمجرم ليس ذلك الذي يقترف الإثم، ولكنه ذلك الذي يُحدث الظلام."

"إن جميع الإشعاعات الاجتماعية السخيّة لتنبثق عن العلم، عن الأدب، عن الفنون، عن التعليم. اصنعوا رجالًا؛ اصنعوا رجالًا. امنحوهم الضياء لكي يعطوكم الدفء. وسواء عاجلًا أم آجلًا، ستحتل مسألة التعليم الشامل الباهرة مكانها بسلطان الحقيقة المطلقة الذي لا سبيل إلى مقاومته".

"إن تحت المجتمع –ونحن نصرّ على ذلك، كهفًا ضخمًا هو كهف الشر، ولسوف يظل هذا الكهف قائمًا تحت المجتمع، إلى يوم يزول الجهل".

"دمّروا الكهف المسمَى الجهل تقتلوا الخُلد المسمَى الجريمة".

"إن التقسيم الحق للناس هو الذي يجعلهم نوعين: مشرقين ومظلمين. والعمل على إنقاص عدد المظلمين، وزيادة عدد المشرقين هو الغاية. من أجل ذلك نصيح: التعليم، المعرفة! إن تعليم القراءة أشبه شيء بإضرام النار. وكل مقطع يُهجَّى إنما يطلق شرارة".

ويسلّط الضوء أيضًا على تشرّد الأطفال وشقاءهم ويرى أن الجريمة تبدأ بتشرّد الأطفال. وتمثّلت هذه الفئة بكوزيت الطفلة وغافروش إيبونين وآزيلما وابني تيناردييه الصغيرين.

"والحق، أن الذي لم يرَ غير بؤس الرجل لم يرَ شيئًا؛ يجب أن يرى بؤس المرأة. ومن لم يرَ غير بؤس المرأة لم يرَ شيئًا؛ يجب أن يرى بؤس الطفل".

إن بؤس الأطفال هو الصورة الفجّة على قسوة المجتمع وظلمه.

إن رواية البؤساء ليست فقط رواية اجتماعية، وإنما وثيقة تاريخية مهمة، تصوّر عصرًا كاملًا تضاربت فيه الأحداث وتغيّر فيه وجه أوروبا والعالم. جسّدت الرواية تاريخ فرنسا في أشد حقبه خطرًا –ليس التاريخ الثورة الفرنسية (1789) كما يظن البعض خطأً- وهي الفترة التي امتدت من بعد خسارة نابوليون لمعركة واترلو، وحكم شارل العاشر والإطاحة به في ثورة تموز/يوليو 1830، والمصادقة على ابن عمه، من فرع أسرة أورليان، لويس فيليب، كملك دستوري لفرنسا، حتى الإطاحة به في ثورة 1848. وكل هذه المظالم الاجتماعية التي صوّرتها الرواية ما هي إلّا نتيجة لتقلّبات التاريخ، وأحوال البلاد، من ملكيات إلى جمهوريات إلى حروب.

لقد كانت النزعات التحررية في فرنسا والحروب النابوليونية صفعة قوية في وجه الملكيات الأوروبية المطلقة، فكانت فرنسا من أوائل الدول التي أدركت حق شعبها في اختيار ن��ام حكمه، وإسقاط الحق الإلهي في الحكم، حيث كان حكّام وملوك تلك الحقبة من التاريخ يحكمون بشكل مطلق ويستمدون سلطان هذا الحكم من الله، وكأنهم ظله على الأرض. فتجاوزت قيم الثورات الفرنسية وإعلان حقوق الإنسان حدود فرنسا إلى دول أوروبا والعالم، فشكّلت خطرًا شديدًا على الحكّام فحاولوا القضاء على نابوليون وإرجاع آل بوربون إلى عرش فرنسا

"لقد وُجدت فرنسة لكي توقظ روح الشعوب، لا لكي تخنقها. فمنذ عام 1792 لم تكن جميع ثورات أوروبة شيئًا غير الثورة الفرنسية؛ كانت الحرية تشعّ من كل رجًا من أرجاء فرنسا. تلك حقيقة ساطعة سطوع الشمس في رائعة النار. وأعمى هو الذي لا يراها".

لكن هيهات أن يقبل شعب ذاق طعم الحرية، العودة تحت ظل الملكيات المطلقة، هيهات أن يقبل شعب تشرّب أفكار فولتير ومونتيسكيو وديدرو أن يرزح تحت الدكتاتورية، فرفضوا وحاربوا، وتمزقت فرنسا وسال دم أبناءها في سبيل هذه الحرية الغالية.

"إن جميع الفتوح الجليلة هي، كثيرًا أو قليلًا، ثواب الجرأة. فلم يكن كافيًا –لكي تندلع ثورة- أن يتنبأ بها مونتيسكيو، ويبشّر بها ديدرو، ويعلنها بومارشيه، ويدبّرها كودنورسيه، ويمهّد لها آروويه، ويتعمّدها روسو. كان من الضروري أن يجرؤ عليها دانتون".

نعم لقد تجرّأ الشعب الفرنسي الذي راهن عليه فيكتور هوغو، واستطاع أن يتنزع حرّيته وحقّه الطبيعي في تقرير مصيره.

"إن هذه الأقدام الحافية، هذه الأذرع العارية، هذه الأسمال البالية، هذه الجهالات، هذه الحقارات، هذه الكلمات، يمكن أن تُصطنع في النضال من أجل تحقيق المثل الأعلى. انظُر من خلال الشعب تلمح الحقيقة. إن هذا التراب الخسيس الذي تطأه بقدميك، إذا ما قذفت به الأتون، وتركته يذوب ويفور، يصبح بلورًا يبهر الأبصار، وبفضله سوف يلمع غاليليو جديد أو نيوتن جديد فيكتشف النجوم".

ولم تصل فرنسا اليوم إلى ما هي عليه من ديمقراطية إلّا بعد أن شهدت الويلات ومات الملايين من أبنائها فداءًا للحرية والجمهورية.

تجلّت قدرة فيكتور هوغو الساحرة في الوصف في هذه الرواية أشد تجلٍّ، فنراه يغوص في نفوس شخصياته ويسبر أغوارها ويكشف لنا ما يعتمل في سويدائها
"هناك مشهد واحد أعظم من البحر؛ ذلك هو مشهد السماء. وهناك مشهد واحد أعظم من السماء؛ ذلك هو باطن النفس البشرية"

ونراه يصف الحُب والمحبين بأعذب وأرق الألفاظ والصفات
"إن أسمى مراتب السعادة في الحياة إيماننا بأننا محبوبون؛ محبوبون لذواتنا –وبكلمة أفضل- محبوبون رغم ذواتنا"

هذه ليس رواية وإنما تحفة أدبية ورائعة من الروائع التي خطّتها يد بني الإنسان يومًا. تضطرب في قلبك كل المشاعر أثناء قرائتها.
شكرًا فيكتور هوغو على ما قدّمته لنا في هذا العمل الخالد.

لنتحدث عن الترجمة قليلًا، تُعدّ ترجمة منير البعلبكي –شيخ المترجمين- الترجمة الكاملة لهذه الرواية الضخمة، فلم ينتقص من تفاصيلها شيئًا. على عكس ما يصدر كل يوم من اختصارات لهذه الرواية، اختصارات معيبة جدًا بحق عمل عظيم كهذا، ترجمات قاصرة جدًا، لم تعطي الرواية حقّها أبدًا، وإنما ساهمت بإيصال أفكار مغلوطة عنها للقراء. فكيف بالله عليكم أن تُختصر رواية ضخمة بهذا الجحم في 400 صفحة، هذه الـ400 صفحة لا تشكّل حقيقةً سوى واحد من أقسامها الخمسة! كيف يمكن لشخص ما أن يقول بأنه قرأ البؤساء (النسخ المختصرة) وهو فعليًا لم يقرأ سوى مختصر معيب عنها! كنت قد قرأت الرواية بترجمة مختصرة 4 مرات، ولم أجد الكثير الكثير الكثير مما يوجد بالترجمة الكاملة. لذلك أدعو الجميع بأن يقرأوا ترجمة منير البعلبكي الكاملة الإبداعية الرائعة، الصادرة بنسخة حديثة من دار العلم للملايين.

ملاحظة على الهامش: أثناء قرائتي لهذه الرواية، وصلتني العديد من الرسائل والتعليقات بأن "البؤساء" خطأ وأن الأصح أن تترجم "بائسون"، وأن أقول لهم يا أخواني وأصدقائي، أنا لست سوى قارئ بسيط، لم أترجم هذه الرواية ولا أشرف على دور النشر التي نشرتها وطبعتها ملايين المرات, وأدعو أي شخص لديه اعتراض على ترجمة العنوان أن يراسل دور النشر ويخبرهم بما لديه.

اختم مراجعتي هذه بصرخة فيكتور هوغو في وجه النظام الاجتماعي:
"حُلّوا المشكلتين، شجعوا الغني، احموا الفقير، أَلغوا البؤس، ضعوا حدًا للاستغلال غير العادل الذي يُنزله القوي بالضعيف، اكبحوا الحسد الطاغي الذي يستشعره ذلك الذي لا يزال على الطريق نحو ذلك الذي بلغ غايته؛ عدّلوا أجور العمل في دقة وعلى نحو أخويّ؛ أضيفوا التعليم المجاني والإلزامي إلى نمو الطفولة، واجعلوا العلم أساس الرجولة، نمّوا العقل فيما تمسكون بالذراع؛ كونوا شعبًا قويًا وأسرة من الناس السعداء في آن معًا؛ اجعلوا الملكية ديموقراطية، لا بإلغائها، ولكن بتعميمها بحيث يصبح في ميسور كل مواطن بلا استثناء أن يكون مالكًا، وهو شيء أيسر مما يُعتقد. وبكلمتين اثنتين، تعلّموا تنتجون الثورة، وتعلّموا كيف توزعونها، وعندئذ تتم لكم العظمة المادية والعظمة المعنوية، متحدتين، وعندئذ تكونون جديرين بأن تدعوا أنفسكم فرنسة"

انتهت بحمد الله.

Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
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March 7, 2018
The experience of reading Les Miserables is akin to that of any lengthy novel. For hundreds of pages you’ll be hooked, dazzled, unable to put it down.

Alt autor vinovat pentru pasiunea mea de a citi. Nu citesc pentru ca e la moda, ca sa par boema sau ca sa devin mai populara, citesc din pasiune , pentru ca imi plac lumile si povestile create de oameni talentati . Nu ma ascund de realitate in spatele unei cari, doar traiesc povestea alaturi de autor si personaje.

Nu cred ca e cazul sa va spun ca e o poveste trista, Coperta pe care am ales-o ilustreaza cel mai bine ce am simtit cand am citit cartea. Banuiesc ca nimeni nu priveste poza de mai sus si se simte fericit, sau se tavaleste de ras…. Eu am citit varianta cu 5 volume, nu-mi aduc aminte editura. Dupa ce citesti cartea iti dai seama de ce Victor Hugo se afla printre monstrii sacrii ai literaturii. O poveste luuuunga , cu multe personaje, dar doar 5-6 centrale (toata lumea a auzit de : Jean Valjean, Cosette, Gavroche), dar nu simti ca citesti sute de pagini. Are fragmente in care te plictiseste cu detaliile istorice legate de generali, de bataliile date de Napoleon, care daca sari peste ele nu iti vaduveste cu nimic firul narativ al povesti. Spre rusinea mea eu saream peste ele, imi place istoria , dar fragmentele respective ma adormeau…..

Este o capodopera pe care o recomand tuturor deoarece simt ca eram mult mai saraca daca nu o citeam. Asa cum am autori preferati ( printre care si Hugo) am si un top 10 carti pe care le-as recomanda fara sa clipesc. Chiar nu pot sa povestesc nici un pic din carte , este mult prea complexa, mult prea bine scrisa, si de-a dreptul fascinanta.

In linii mari pot spune ca vom gasi saracie, nedreptate, fericirea luata din ajutorarea semenilor si din bucuria de a avea copii pentru care sa faci orice sacrificiu. Lupta cu saracia, lupta covarsitoare cu eticheta pusa de societate, fuga permanenta de oamenii legii, privirea peste umar la orice pas. Sa anticipezi miscarile facute de posibilii dusmani, si tot chinul acesta o viata de om. Simti o apasare , tristete, dar in acelas timp nu poti sa nu speri ca totul se va colora in culori mai vii. Cu fiecare situatie nefericita sau de-a dreptul revoltatoare te simti tot mai invaluit in poveste si te apropii de personaje , dorind sa le oferi confort si siguranta. Citind imi lasa impresia sincera ca daca citesc incontinuare ajut personajul aflat intr-o situatie periculoasa sa scape. Nu puteam sa las cartea din mana pana nu se afla intr-un loc sigur / situatie fara pericole.

Destinele personajelor se intersecteaza pe parcursul cartii, iar dupa mai multi ani cand se reintalnesc , nici nu au habar cum si-au influentat uniialtora viata.

Spre sfarsit apare si frumoasa poveste de dragoste mult asteptata. Doi adolescenti frumosi si o dragoste pura.
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