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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,674 ratings  ·  209 reviews
Ninety-three, the last of Victor Hugo's novels, is regarded by many including such diverse critics as Robert Louis Stevenson and André Maurois as his greatest work.

1793, Year Two of the Republic, saw the establishment of the National Convention, the execution of Louis XVI, the Terror, and the monarchist revolt in the Vendée, brutally suppressed by the Republic. Hugo's epic
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 15th 2002 by Paper Tiger (NJ) (first published February 19th 1874)
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,674 ratings  ·  209 reviews

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Luís C.
Here's my Hugo's favorite novel. It's the one that made me the most beautiful impression, despite the fierce competition that made him Les Misérables.
I am aware of the uniqueness of my preference and I would attempt to make you understand.
All this is due to my perception of Hugo. For me it is the masterful man of French letters. I think he knew, better than anyone, writing by taking a perspective both high and full of generous and touching understanding. This feature takes the genius, the miracu
Debbie Zapata
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturdaymx
The French Revolution was not simply capturing the Bastille and living happily ever after. As with all revolutions, there were unexpected results.

One of these became known as the Reign Of Terror, lasting from September 1793 to July 1794. Victor Hugo deals with this painful topic in his final novel, 'Ninety-Three.

I'm so close to speechless I can only say that every single person on the planet should read this book now.
Aug 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all non-French people
An incredibly realistic Painting of the French Revolution.

Some might say "it's not realistic, it's pure fantasy, it's much too lyric an passionate, and much too orientated in favor of the revolutionnaries" - indeed, it's only a novel, BUT it's realistic because it shows every aspects of this revolution, and that's precisely because it's lyric that you can understand it. A revolution cannot be described by facts, but by presenting the storm, the hates, the men, in one word : by showing that amazi
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

Translator: Aline Delano

Release Date: July 6, 2015 [EBook #49372]

Language: English

Produced by Laura N.R. and Marc D'Hooghe at (Images generously made
available by the Hathi Trust - and by Gallica (Bibliothèque nationale de France) for the illustrations.)

This book has several translations but we found only this one, made by Aline Delano, to be more closer to the original French text. She also translated from the Russian the
Wayne Barrett
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, 2017, classics, historical

I have read that the English translation is not nearly as good as the original French but the only French I know is 'French fry', so I had to settle. Not that that is a bad thing because in my opinion this was still a great classic from Hugo. This was the final work of the author of such masterpieces as Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, telling of the French revolution of 1793. Admittedly, I had never heard of the book and only know about it because I came across an old copy of i
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This completes for me the trio of novels that tell of the conflict between the Royalist resistance in Brittany and the Republican Revolutionaries after the beheading of Louis XVI. I think I serendipitously read them in the "right" order, which happens to be in publication order: The Chouans, by Balzac, La Vendee by Trollope, and this by Hugo. They each have a somewhat different perspective.

The middle part of this was a slog, but it was sandwiched between two parts that were compelling. The slogg
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing novel. Beautifully crafted, I love the narrative, with the characters standing in as avatars for ideas, and interplay with symmetry and contrasts between the various characters and ideas. Easy to mess up such a dynamic by rendering it too simplistically, but I think Hugo infuses a great level of nuance and subtlety to the enterprise helping ensure his novel doesn’t turn into a 1-dimensional parody.

Personally I love the stylization of the writing, lyrical and poetic, and so much
Rachel Murphy
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I cannot believe I originally gave this book three out of five stars. What a humbug!! I have just listened to the audiobook again, and now starting it all over again....and I'm totally enthralled by it. I think I had expected something different from the outset. As rambling as Les Mis is in passages, yet there will never be another character such as Jean Valjean, and I think I was expecting it ~ but '93 is different, and rightly so. On first reading, certain passages (the ~ literally ~ loose can ...more
Not easy, reviewing this. Parts of this book were stunning, absolutely beautiful - and then there were the rants. A lot of rants, a lot of lists of names - Hugo does this in his other books too, but he seemed to go overboard here. And the whole bit with Robespierre/Marat/Danton, I just couldn't make myself be interested. But then, the chapter "The Massacre of Saint Bartholomew" - where Hugo describes a day with the three toddlers on which the whole story hinges. Lovely, lovely, lovely. And all w ...more
Dec 22, 2009 rated it liked it
The psychology in this book makes it worth the read. People simply don't write like this any more. Hugo takes us through the minds of the several characters with depth and a beauty of words that make classic authors so great. What keeps this from being perhaps one of his better known novels is that it is very contemporary to its time; if you are unfamiliar with the many referenced characters, you will easily become lost or bored. If you can focus on the beauty of the characters' development, and ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
another masterpiece by victor hugo.just amazing
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reign-of-terror

“Au-dessus de l'absolu révolutionnaire, il y a l'absolu humain.”
To me, this statement perfectly summarizes the theme of this book.

Victor Hugo reprises the thorny question of what one should choose when faced with a moral decision. At the climax of this story, three men encounter situations that will challenge their core beliefs. Two of them choose to uphold humanitarian principles over and above any revolutionary concerns-even at the cost of their own lives or mission. The third, however, canno
Patrick Peterson
Fascinating book.
This is my first book by Hugo and I can easily see why he is renowned for his powerful and beautiful writing. The descriptions of the characters in the book are so poignant. The images of the settings are haunting. The drama is unforgettable.

One will never use the term "loose cannon" again loosely after reading the chapter describing what that really meant to the sailors on a fighting ship.

This book was read superbly by Lisa VanDamme for a new project she has just started at: ht
A.D. Crystal
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 OVERWHELMING STARS - to copy my friend Etnik - for my top favorite ARTIST.
'Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars. ... was full of virtues and truth, but they shine out of a dark background.'
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ninety-Three was the last of Hugo’s novels, published in 1874, when the author was 72, eleven years before his death. The topic, the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, was one that Hugo was said, up to that time, to have avoided in his voluminous writings. A republican and a man of deep compassion, it is easy to guess why he might have avoided the challenge of writing a novel about the bloody birth of the French republic. How to do justice to ideas that gave rise to French democracy but also t ...more
Ash Gawain
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1793. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, mighty and perfidious England seeks to weaken the young and little French Republic by helping Marquis de Lantenac, a French Royalist, to stage a counter-revolution in Western France: Normandy, Britany and Vendée. In the subsequent civil war between the ‘Whites’ (the Royalists) and the ‘Blues’ (the Republicans), Lantenac soon discovers he is up agains his own nephew, Gauvain, a noble who has embraced the republican ideals. In the middle of this con ...more
Todd Wells
Sep 29, 2010 rated it liked it
This book was a little difficult for me to get into because of my intermediate knowledge of the French Revolution. I knew Danton, Robespierre, and Marat; however, I was not aware of the more obscure characters from this time-frame. I think the plot was well constructed, and Hugo did a good job depicting the revolutionaries and the conservatives in an unbiased manner. I wish he would have spent a little more time discussing the Paris Commune and the National Convention and possibly skipped a litt ...more
Jun 21, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: classic-fiction
Although obviously not the edition with the Ayn Rand introduction because dear God why.
This is a special book.
Although the first sentence alone should have served as a warning, I continued to read in the hopes that I could use this translation for a literature in translation class. It contains one of the worst translated paragraphs I've ever read:
"But all human beings had disappeared. Where were they. Very far off, perhaps; perhaps quite near, hidden, blunderbuss in hand. The wood seemed deserted. Solitude-- hence distrust. They saw no one; so much the more reason for fearing some
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
How do you review Victor Hugo? This is something I will never figure out. The man was a master. Even though I don't like all of his works (The Hunchback of Notre Dame left me downright angry), you can't deny that he had a way with words and knew how to pull emotion out of his readers, whether they wanted to feel anything or not.

I enjoyed this book, though I don't think it was his best. There were times when the lists of names, places, and events that people at the time were probably familiar wit
Joe Rodeck
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"The conflagration unfurled all its splendours; the black hydra and the scarlet dragon appeared amidst the wreathing smoke in awful darkness and gorgeous vermilion. Long streaks of flame shot far out and illuminated the shadows, like opposing comets pursuing one another."

A sense of grandeur as the author works himself into a frenzy may be scorned by realists, but I love it.

"The deformity of human laws is forced to exhibit itself naked amidst the dazzling rays of eternal beauty."

High flying t
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo is a glorious romantic imagining of an episode from the year 1793, during the French Revolution and the year of the Great Terror. The setting is Brittany where counter-revolutionary forces have risen up to oppose the Revolutionary leaders. The leader of this group, the aged Marquise de Lantenac, is a romantic hero in the grandest sense. His fate is seems to be determined, however the Revolutionary forces are led by his grand-nephew, Gauvain, who at the last provides t ...more
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the best translation (according to an academic friend who has researched it) and this is an incredible book. I am only on the 4th chapter and already I have had at least 5 instances where I have been struck by how perfectly worded a sentence is, or a description is, and I have to stop and read it again. Historical fiction, French Revolution, and already I have encountered a mother's love, pirates, intrigue, deceit and trickery. I am loving it.
update: I finished it. I completely enjoyed
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fell asleep for good after reading 3 pages last night!
Steve Gordon
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best paced of Hugo's major novels. A work of genius really - both thematically and as historical fiction. FIVE STARS I say!
Ilyn Ross
Jul 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I wish it has a happy ending.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is clearly a classic worth reading, but it would not have been as impactful had I not been under the expert guidance of Lisa VanDamme of VanDamme Academy in her "Read with Me" book club:

Hitherto, I imagined that I could appreciate classic literature amply on my own, without the guidance of an expert, but this experience humbled me. I read the book as a composition of an English translation by Paper Tiger and the original French. Each version had its a
Joe Rodeck
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Marat turned green, which was his way of growing pale."

The French Revolution was half war and half opportunistic slaughter of men women and children. No prisoners.

There are heroes on both sides. Hugo goes fairly deep into political ideology showing the pros and cons of each side (though more so for the Left).

"The deformity of human laws must be exposed in their nakedness, in the midst of the dazzling beauty of the eternal."

The spiritual elements are well blended with the paramount stress on c
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Victor Hugo, in full Victor-Marie Hugo (b. February 26, 1802, Besançon, France – d. May 22, 1885, Paris, France), poet, playwrighter, novelist, dramatist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France, who was the most important of the French Romantic writers. Though regarded in France as one of that countr ...more
“An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.” 511 likes
“What makes night within us may leave stars.” 378 likes
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