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Les Misérables
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Les Miserables > Les Mis - Cosette Book 8, Marius Book 1

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Dianne | 1268 comments Oh my this section had me on the edge of my seat! It almost seemed straight out of a movie with the whole plot to smuggle JV out as a corpse in a coffin and then bring him inside his safe haven again. I can only imagine how terrified Cosette must have been when she was without JV for a brief bit. Do you think they are safe at last? Also what did you think about the whole ending section about the gamin? Were there really that many abandoned children in Paris at the time? Horrifying!


Roman Clodia There's a famous short story by Zola whose title escapes me which is about a man mistakenly taken for dead and buried alive... and this section reminded me of it. I was surprised that Hugo didn't make more of JV's horror and terror, not being an author who generally holds back!


Roman Clodia On the gamin, this seems to partly be setting up later developments but also Hugo in crusading mode. Dickens does something similar in Oliver Twist, for example, on the plight of street children.

I was struck, though, at the cheeky jauntiness of Gavroche in comparison with, say, Joe the crossing sweeper in Bleak House - there's something very Parisian in his confidence and liveliness despite his material conditions.


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Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 251 comments I thought Book 8 was parody. The conversation between Mother Innocence(?) and F. was funny -- reminded me of Who's On First. The dumping of Sister Crucifixion(?)'s body under the Altar and burying an empty casket at the cemetery -- a burgeoning criminal enterprise: The Gang Of Little Sisters Who Steal Your Soul ... and Cadaver. And then the [Quick grab her she's ugly] remark by one of the sisters to Mother Innocence upon getting a good look at Cosette's face.


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Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 251 comments Yes, Cosette has suffered a lot of abuse without any offsetting love. That makes me wonder how the strict rules of the convent, it's school, and the nuns' ascetic life style will affect her. That and only seeing JV one hour a day. (Just like prison). She'll probably get a good education, though.


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I enjoyed this book. I do feel sorry for Cosette, she just accepts what happens to her without asking questions. I don't think a strict convent school will help her thrive, but as you said Xan she will get a good education and be seen as an equal with her peers at the school.

I enjoyed the tension of the burial section and thought it was brilliantly done. It was quite an extreme way to escape but quite clever. I also enjoyed how long it took for Fauchelevent to realise it was a method of escape


Hummingbirder | 90 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "I thought Book 8 was parody. The conversation between Mother Innocence(?) and F. was funny -- reminded me of Who's On First. The dumping of Sister Crucifixion(?)'s body under the Altar and burying ..."

I agree. It was macabre, but it reminded me of an old Hollywood screwball comedy.

I am sorry I've been absent. I probably will be for a while. We just signed the contract to purchase the condo in Florida, so I'm going to be pretty busy.

I'm also pretty happy, and thankful to God and all the people in our lives who helped us along the way to our dream home.


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Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 251 comments Congratulations, HB. Enjoy.


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I was also shocked by the stories of the abandoned children. I suppose there is a contrary between those children, who are poor but in relative freedom, and Cosette who grew up as a servant in extreme poverty but with adequate food and a roof over her head.

I’m not sure if either is better than the other


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Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 251 comments Marius, Book 1

Whoever you are, you who go by the name of Prejudice, Abuse, Ignominy, Oppression, Iniquity, Despotism, Injustice, Fanaticism, Tyranny, watch out for the wide-eyed gamin. This little kid will grow up.

Yes, and I happen to be reading Oliver Twist as I read this. Assuming Paris was like London regarding abandoned children, the police weren't looking very hard if they only picked up 260 annually.

I like that Hugo chooses to describe Paris by its forgotten children. It puts it in another light.


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Bron (bron23) | 49 comments I loved book eight. I'm not surprised Cosette doesn't ask questions. I am sure she has learned it is better not to given what probably happened to her when still with the Thernadiers if she asked questions. I agree the conversation with the mother and F was amusing and I agree with the comment that it was a little like the 'who's on first' comedy routine.


I agree with the comment as well that if only 260 children were rounded up each year that this seems low for the times. It's feeling like a good set up with Gavroche and his newly renamed family appearing in the picture. It will be fun to see where this leads.


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