Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, LES MISERABLES is not only superb adventure but a powerful social document. The story of how the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to escape his past and reaffirm his humanity, in a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance, became the gospel of the poor and the oppressed.
"From the Paperback edition.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
It has been said that Victor Hugo
has a street named after him in virtually every town in France. A major reason for the singular celebrity of this most popular and versatile of the great French writers is “Les Miserables ”(1862). In this story of the trials of the peasant Jean Valjean—a man unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, and hounded by his nemesis, the magnificently realized, ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert—Hugo achieves the sort of rare imaginative resonance that allows a work of art to transcend its genre.
“Les Miserables ”is at once a tense thriller that contains one of the most compelling chase scenes in all literature, an epic portrayal of the nineteenth-century French citizenry, and a vital drama—highly particularized and poetic in its rendition but universal in its implications—of the redemption of one human being.
“Hugo's genius was for the creation of simple and recognizable myth. The huge success of ”Les Miserables “as a didactic work on behalf of the poor and oppressed is due to his poetic and myth-enlarged view of human nature.” —V. S. Pritchett
"It was Tolstoy who vindicated [Hugo's] early ambition by judging “Les Miserables ”one of the world's great novels, if not the greatest... [His] ability to present the extremes of experience 'as they are' is, in the end, Hugo's great gift." —From the Introduction by Peter Washington
(1807-1885)was a novelist, poet and dramatist, and the most important of the French Romantic writers. He began to write at a very young age and wrote over fifty novels and plays; including Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.