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Victor Hugo Collection > Les Miserables: Part 1 Book 3 & 4

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message 1: by Trisha (new)

Trisha | 492 comments Sorry guys, I seem to have fallen asleep at the wheel and completely forgot to post discussion threads for last week and this week! My apologies :-(
Post away!


message 2: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 0 comments I was completely surprised when the men just up and left the ladies. It was like they were just flings during their "college years". And then to just leave like that! I was equally surprised and appalled to find that Fantine had a child. It is so sad that she had no choice but to leave her daughter with that awful family. The poor girl! I wonder what will become of her.
By the way...what happened to Jean ValJean?


message 3: by Mel (new)

Mel Fouch (melfouch) I must admit the opening chapter of "The Year 1817" did drag a little for me. I can see Hugo was setting the scene but at times it did just seem like just a long list of things that don't have a lot of context if you're not familiar with that period of French history & culture.

But it picked up again when the quartettes were introduced, and "To Trust Is Sometimes to Surrender" was compelling. I simultaneously sympathised with Fantine's terrible predicament and wanted to shake her for the way she chose to deal with it.

And poor little Cosette...


message 4: by Brenda (new)

Brenda G | 9 comments Take away the fancy clothing and some customs of that era, and you have a very typical "spring break". Kids head to the big city for a fling without thinking of the consequences. Unfortunately for Fantine, the consequences were extreme. When you strip away the exterior, one generation is very similar to another.


message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine | 1217 comments I too was surprised by the "surprise" the group of young women received. The young men did strike me as quite frivolous, but even so you wouldn't expect them all as a group to be so flippant about ending their relationships even if they didn't view them seriously. What a horrible situation Fantine, and subsequently Cosette, were left in.

I'm fairly interested in all the different characters, but I do hope we will be done with the introducing of new characters soon and get back to the ones we've already met!


message 6: by Christine (last edited Oct 06, 2014 12:22PM) (new)

Christine | 1217 comments Wait - I am confused about Cosette! My initial impression was that Fantine was pregnant with Cosette when she was dumped by her boyfriend. But in the next section, when Fantine is leaving Cosette with that family, Hugo notes that "practical joke" was 10 months prior; Fantine certainly could've given birth in 10 months time, but the text states that in that scene, Cosette went off to play with the other children, which she couldn't have done if she was only a couple of months old.

Was Cosette already born before Fantine was abandoned by her boyfriend? I'm assuming that man must be Cosette's father, because Hugo mentions several times that it was Fantine's first love affair. What am I misunderstanding here? Or do I just need to keep reading to find the explanation??


message 7: by Bob, Short Story Classics (last edited Oct 06, 2014 02:45PM) (new)

Bob | 4994 comments Mod
The situation between Fantine, Cosette, and ValJean will correct itself and become clear. It is not the first time I have heard about the time line disparity. I don't know if it was an error by Hugo, the publisher, or translation. It is not important. Fantine has a child out of wedlock, struggles to take care of her but can't, so she leaves Cosette with the (can't remember who whey were) and pays them to look after her.

Many of the characters up to now will fade away and be replaced with new ones, but the flood of new characters is not so bad.

I wish I could take the time to read this again, so good.


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine | 1217 comments Bob wrote: "The situation between Fantine, Cosette, and ValJean will correct itself and become clear. It is not the first time I have heard about the time line disparity. I don't know if it was an error by H..."

Okay, thanks for replying Bob. I will just keep reading then. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something!


message 9: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2054 comments The starting 2 pages of this book has stalled me.I have been googling all the things mentioned here.


message 10: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2054 comments Brina, you may like Ourika mentioned here.female author .and about a black woman.


message 11: by Brina (new)

Brina Yes and I can plug into various challenges, thank you.


message 12: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2054 comments Where Jean Valjean and The Bishop learned from their past and always tried to be a better man...
Javert , a rigid man was not so good... he was obsessed with respect of authority and aversion ro to rebellion.a man without compassion or empathy or give in him.


message 13: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2054 comments Cold and fanatic


message 14: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2054 comments hm..madam Victurien and Javert belong to each other.smug,virtuous,self satisfied,uncharitable, judmental bad people who think they are someone.. they don't have a life...


message 15: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2054 comments At least Javert is fair though unjust. As he asked to be dismissed. I am glad he was denied that self satisfaction.


message 16: by Brina (new)

Brina I made it to book 5. I have not encountered Javert just yet but I know his character from the musical and of course I dislike him. The Thendadiers treatment of Cosette is bad enough.


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