counter create hit Les Miserables: Volume Two: v. 2 (Wordsworth Classics) - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Les Miserables: Volume Two: v. 2 (Wordsworth Classics)

Availability: Ready to download

Les Miserables is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. First published in France in 1862, it is Victor Hugo's greatest achievement--the ultimate tale of redemption. Former prisoner Jean Valjean struggles to live virtuously after an unexpected act of forgiveness by a kindly bishop changes his life. His righteous actions change people's lives in Les Miserables is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. First published in France in 1862, it is Victor Hugo's greatest achievement--the ultimate tale of redemption. Former prisoner Jean Valjean struggles to live virtuously after an unexpected act of forgiveness by a kindly bishop changes his life. His righteous actions change people's lives in surprising ways and culminate in romance between two young people. Now available as part of the Word Cloud Classics series, Les Miserables is a must-have addition to the libraries of all classic literature lovers.


Compare

Les Miserables is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. First published in France in 1862, it is Victor Hugo's greatest achievement--the ultimate tale of redemption. Former prisoner Jean Valjean struggles to live virtuously after an unexpected act of forgiveness by a kindly bishop changes his life. His righteous actions change people's lives in Les Miserables is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. First published in France in 1862, it is Victor Hugo's greatest achievement--the ultimate tale of redemption. Former prisoner Jean Valjean struggles to live virtuously after an unexpected act of forgiveness by a kindly bishop changes his life. His righteous actions change people's lives in surprising ways and culminate in romance between two young people. Now available as part of the Word Cloud Classics series, Les Miserables is a must-have addition to the libraries of all classic literature lovers.

30 review for Les Miserables: Volume Two: v. 2 (Wordsworth Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    (873 From 1001 Books) - Les Misérables = The Miserables = The Wretched = The Poor Ones = The Wretched Poor = The Victims and The Dispossessed, 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 (873 From 1001 Books) - Les Misérables = The Miserables = The Wretched = The Poor Ones = The Wretched Poor = The Victims and The Dispossessed, 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. عنوانها: «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 ماه مارس سال 1966میلادی؛ آخرین بار 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؛ چاپ هفدهم 1384؛ چاپ هجدهم 1387؛ شابک دوره دوجلدی 9789640004180؛ چاپ نوزدهم 1388؛ چاپ بیستم 1390؛ چاپ بیست و سوم 1391؛ چاپ 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 خانهما و آقایان: «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 عنوان ژان والژان»؛ «ذبیح الله منصوری، تهران، بنیاد، 1362؛ در 177ص؛ چاپ سوم 1370»؛ این دنیا تئاتر است. ویکتور هوگو نمیدانم. یادم نمانده این کتاب را چندبار خوانده ام؛ در کودکیها نسخه های کوتاه شده، و چکیده ی داستان را...، آخرین بار چند سال پیش بود، که عزیزی از کشور «آلمان» کتاب را خواستند، که این فراموشکار باز هم ترجمه روانشاد «حسینعلی مستعان» را خواندم؛ اگر بگویم باز هم مدهوش شدم، راه به سوی گزافه نبرده ام؛ «ویکتور هوگو» بزرگوارترین شاعر «فرانسه»، در سده ی نوزدهم میلادی، و شاید بیشتر از همین جمله نیز باشند که بنوشتم؛ ایشان با بزرگواری، با انقلابی بزرگ زندگی کردند، و عمری طول کشید، تا رخدادهای آن روزگاران را بنوشتند؛ بینوایان تصویری راستین، از مردمان کشور «فرانسه» در سده ی نوزدهم میلادی است؛ چهره ی چند قهرمانان، در کتاب «بینوایان» برجسته تر ترسیم شده؛ «ژان‌والژان: مردی میانسال، و خسته، با نیم تنه ‌ای کهنه، و شلواری وصله ‌دار، که پس از گذراندن نوزده سال زندان، با اعمال شاقه، پس از تمام شدن ایام محکوکیت، جایی برای رفتن ندارد، و کسی پناهش نمی‌دهد، حتی در لحظه ‌ای حاضر می‌شود، دوباره به زندان برگردد، ولی راهش نمی‌دهند، او در اوج درماندگی، و سیه‌ روزی، به خانه ی اسقفی پناه می‌برد؛ اسقف با خوشرویی، از ایشان پذیرایی می‌کند، اما مهمان ناخوانده، نیمه شب، ظروف نقره ی اسقف را، به سرقت می‌برد؛ او ساعتی بعد، به دست ژاندارم، دستگیر، ولی بزرگواری اسقف، مسیر زندگی «ژان‌والژان» را دیگر می‌کند...؛ اخلاق، فضیلت، پستی، ستم، رویدادهای تاریخی؛ با ژرف‌اندیشی، در داستان بررسی می‌شوند، و «تناردیه»، «فانتین»، «ماریوس» و دیگر قهرمانان کتاب، با نظم ویژه ‌ای، در برابر هم قرار می‌گیرند، و اثری جاودانه می‌آفرینند؛ اگرچه داستان «بینوایان»، از عشقهای خیال‌انگیز نیز، سرشار است، اما جلوه های واقع ‌بینانه ی زندگی مردمان همدوره ی«ویکتور هوگو» نیز، به دیده ها مینشینند؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 26/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    محمّدفؤاد

    ریویو در اینجا: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ریویو در اینجا: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    You know an author has done something right when, the moment you have finished his book, you want to start it over and read it again right away. Wuthering Heights was that kind of book for me. That story of obsession and dangerous love completely drew me in. Les Mis is another. Because that story of goodness and redemption set in the midst of dangers and adversities is impossible not to get caught up in. I have fallen madly in love with this book, but Hugo put so many layers and themes into it th You know an author has done something right when, the moment you have finished his book, you want to start it over and read it again right away. Wuthering Heights was that kind of book for me. That story of obsession and dangerous love completely drew me in. Les Mis is another. Because that story of goodness and redemption set in the midst of dangers and adversities is impossible not to get caught up in. I have fallen madly in love with this book, but Hugo put so many layers and themes into it that I barely know where to start or even how to write this review. I think I have to divide it into different parts: The characters, the story and the parentheses. Here goes: The characters Hugo has a knack for creating interesting, fascinating characters that leap from the page. Jean Valjean is one of the most complex and compelling characters you will ever meet in a piece of literature, and the story is well worth reading for him alone. Little Gavroche jumped straight from the novel into my heart, and I think he will stay there. Hugo created a wealth of characters, and they are just so very well done – the crooked and rotten, the good and self-sacrificing, the brave, the idealist, the conscientious though menacing, the struggling… oh, I could go on forever. But I won’t, for fear of boring you The story The story is one hell of a ride. It is fast-paced, and Hugo throws several cliff-hangers at you. For a novel this long (the original French version is about 1900 pages I think) it is amazing that Hugo can keep the reader interested right until the end (exceptions are made for some of his parentheses). The Champmathieu affair, Valjean and Cosette escaping Javert in Paris, the buried alive episode, and the ”imprisonment” of Valjean in the Gorbeau House especially had me at the edge of my seat. It is reading episodes like that that makes reading such a pleasure. Througout the story Hugo makes sure to keep the dangers lurking just around the corner. You are never sure that your characters are safe – death, loss, murder, and the fearful galleys are never far away. Plus, not only is there a despicable, rotten family always ready to make life painful for our hero, but the criminals we are introduced to make the sinister atmosphere complete. Not that it is all dreary – you will find many light-hearted, funny and inspiring moments as well. But still, you never know how long it will last. The parentheses You rarely see a review of Les Mis that leaves out what Hugo himself called his parentheses and this is no exception. Every now and then, Hugo pauses the action of the story to go off on a tangent. Some of them I can forgive him for, others are just so very boring. It’s not that the parentheses are not relevant to the story, but it comes off as appendix material thrown into the middle of a good story line and it gets frustrating after awhile. Especially because, while the action is fast-paced and interesting, the parentheses are slow-going and Hugo comes off as too pedantic, because there are So. Many. Details! His research is admirable, but really, you just want to get back to the story. The reason for all the parentheses is, I think, that Hugo saw himself as more than ”just” a novelist – he wanted to change things. In The Hunchback … he wanted to save Notre Dame, in Les Mis he wants to shed some light on the many (mal)treated outcasts in France, and especially to change the criminal laws that made the galleys such a fearful place. And I respect that, and while there are interesting asides (I found the parenthesis on the criminal Argot very interesting) there are, as I said, many boring parentheses that you have to force your way through. Or skip, if that suits you better. Come to think of it, there are elements in this book that would normally annoy me – Hugo is pedantic and preachy and stuffs his religion down my throat, yet it doesn’t annoy me in Les Mis. Maybe it’s because he writes it in a non-irritating way, maybe it’s because it suits the story, maybe I am willing to accept it because the rest is so brilliant. Whatever it is, Hugo doesn’t annoy me. And I can only urge you to read the unabridged version of Les Misérables. You are going to love the story and the characters, and you can find out for yourself what you think of his parentheses. I think you will miss out if you get an abridged version, so take the time to sit down and read this one. And make sure you have plenty of time on your hands. It takes a few minutes to get through it☺ But it is time well spent!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Incorrigible_bibliophile

    I now understand why this is considered to be one of the greatest books of all time. I laughed. I cried. I spent anxious hours on the edge of the couch as I furiously read through pages to find out what happens to the characters. My only regret....that I didn't read this years ago. I now understand why this is considered to be one of the greatest books of all time. I laughed. I cried. I spent anxious hours on the edge of the couch as I furiously read through pages to find out what happens to the characters. My only regret....that I didn't read this years ago.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Suchith vyloppilly

    hmmmmm i wonder at the perseverance gone into writing this book. Unlike new authors, this book is a a reference book in the subjects that the author has put his breath on. And he is thinker who has dared to churn the raw world and call an evil an evil on its face. The book would touch anybody who has a heart and who dares to endeavour to keep it pure and sacred. a nasterpiece recommended for life's warriors whose war is first and formost with himself. hmmmmm i wonder at the perseverance gone into writing this book. Unlike new authors, this book is a a reference book in the subjects that the author has put his breath on. And he is thinker who has dared to churn the raw world and call an evil an evil on its face. The book would touch anybody who has a heart and who dares to endeavour to keep it pure and sacred. a nasterpiece recommended for life's warriors whose war is first and formost with himself.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Inês Alves

    I watched the musical when I was in lockdown and it was magical. I immediately felt the connection with the characters, the story and the music. So, I decided to read the book and, I can say, that I wasn't disappointed. It took me a while to finished the whole book, I was kinda overwhelmed at first because of the length and the style of writing but it was worth it. About the book itself, I really loved it. I already knew the story because of the film but I was so amazed by the differences. There I watched the musical when I was in lockdown and it was magical. I immediately felt the connection with the characters, the story and the music. So, I decided to read the book and, I can say, that I wasn't disappointed. It took me a while to finished the whole book, I was kinda overwhelmed at first because of the length and the style of writing but it was worth it. About the book itself, I really loved it. I already knew the story because of the film but I was so amazed by the differences. There were parts of the movie that didn't make any sense for me, but in the book explains a lot better or happens in a complete different way. The only thing that I though it was harder to follow up with the story was, when narrator decided to pause the story and tell us about the social and economic conditions of the action. It was interesting at first but they were really long descriptions and I though that some of them were really uncalled for. It didn't added up anything to the actual story, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the readers skip ahead this specifics parts. I gave it 5 stars because, even though I already knew the plot I still cried like a baby. This is very unusual for me because I never cried watching a movie or reading a book. I connected so much with this story that a whole month had past since I finished it and I still think about it. I even had planned to only rate 4 stars because of what I mention on the previous paragraph but I also can't forget how this book affected me. In the end I had to give the maximum because of the emotion connection, the love for the story and the realization that I wanted to re read the whole thing the instant I finished.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Durrant

    See under Tome I below.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I made it to the end (not without a few tears shed over the boys of the barricade)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lauren K

    YAY! Finally finished Les Mis! Review: So I finally tackled this monstrous classic. It took me well over two months to get through the first volume and several weeks to get through the second. There were many times I considered giving up and times I felt completely lost. In fact because of the intimidating page count I started to jot down my thoughts in a journal-like fashion to keep a record of my thoughts. I knew that when I got to the stage where I sat down to write the review it would be a dau YAY! Finally finished Les Mis! Review: So I finally tackled this monstrous classic. It took me well over two months to get through the first volume and several weeks to get through the second. There were many times I considered giving up and times I felt completely lost. In fact because of the intimidating page count I started to jot down my thoughts in a journal-like fashion to keep a record of my thoughts. I knew that when I got to the stage where I sat down to write the review it would be a daunting task. My forethought was pointless because I stopped taking notes halfway through the first volume, so this is going to be quite an ad hoc review! I won’t go into too much detail about the plot because this book has been reviewed innumerable times before and if you’ve thought about picking up this classic then my review probably won’t sway you either way. So here were my initial thoughts… ■I feel a little lost. I want to connect with just one character but haven’t thus far. Tempted to give up. ■Finally the story begins! A man arrives, a traveller on foot all day. He’s tired and hungry and turned away from the local Inns. He’s interested me… ■Hmm… I’m thinking this bishop may be a main character in this story ■Madame Magloire is in a panic! ■Ah so this stranger is John Valjean and he’s from the galley where he was sent for stealing a loaf of bread. ■Hmm… Hugo has gone off on a tangent here about the philosophy of good and evil… ■It’s the year 1817 and I’m a little lost… there’s mention of Napolean ■Hugo mentions the Latin Quarter in Paris- I’m going to be staying there! ■What a horrible fate for Fantine. ■Poor Cosette. And so the cycle of epiphanies and confusion continue through to the end of volume one and into volume two. Hugo really strays from the story A LOT from philosophical debate to what Napolean was up to and the situation of the war. Even though I enjoy reading about history I don’t particularly enjoy information dumping that doesn’t relate directly to the characters in the story. I must say I did find things made a lot more sense in the second volume and I finally had the future of Cosette and Marius to hold onto and the story felt like it then had a purpose. Marius was quite an interesting chap, sometimes I admired him, sometimes he frustrated me and other times I thought he was a bit of a drama queen. Nevertheless, I was glad to see him and Cosette come to their senses by the end. Cosette though I warmed to her as a child I thought her a little difficult to connect with as an adult… she was portrayed as a bit foolish and dense at times. Les Miserables, what do I say? I’m glad to have picked you up and flipped through those 1000 pages but I was even more glad when I turned the last page and filed those books away on my bookshelf!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I am rendered utterly verklempt by the second volume of Les Mis. So much so that I finished reading it at 2am, tried to go to sleep, could not, turned on my laptop to write a review, wrote half a review, pressed the wrong button, and promptly lost it all. In short, very few books have ever had such a strong emotional effect on me in recent memory. Victor Hugo is a master of literature. If I might pick out some sections that are especially memorable... Should I warn for spoilers? Gavroche is my fa I am rendered utterly verklempt by the second volume of Les Mis. So much so that I finished reading it at 2am, tried to go to sleep, could not, turned on my laptop to write a review, wrote half a review, pressed the wrong button, and promptly lost it all. In short, very few books have ever had such a strong emotional effect on me in recent memory. Victor Hugo is a master of literature. If I might pick out some sections that are especially memorable... Should I warn for spoilers? Gavroche is my favourite character. His home in the elephant, his inadvertent adoption of his two younger brothers, his adventures and constant retorts are magnificent, but what stays most with me is his tragic, noble, yet crazy death. Then the account of his brothers in the Jardin Luxembourg that followed! It was unbearable. Enjolras also has a place in my heart, and I adored his soaring speech at the barricade once it was clear that all who remained were doomed. His death with Grantaire was so painful. Victor Hugo's admonishments to those who glory in the majesty of nature whilst ignoring the privations of humanity was also incredibly powerful, and I loved his discourse on utopia. Valjean's estrangement from Cosette was upsetting, but the ending of the novel with his death had a bittersweet rightness about it. The parallel notions of duty between Javert and Valjean were powerfully done, too. I also learned the history of the Paris sewers. After having my soul inflamed with revolutionary passion and then crushed with despair, sewerage proved a welcome respite. What a novel. I have so many feelings. I dread only to think what power it must have in the original French.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amira Mahdy

    An epic by Hugo . He painted his masterpiece precisely , each minor detail acquired the attention of his colouring brush. Les Miserables is an epic painting . Historical events entangled with society as well as the very depths of human souls of which he says is the only thing grander than the sky. Singing the 'gamin' rhymes, going to the galleys, meeting bandits as well as bourgeois and royalists, combats for freedom at barricades as well as the most exhausting combats within the soul : Conscienc An epic by Hugo . He painted his masterpiece precisely , each minor detail acquired the attention of his colouring brush. Les Miserables is an epic painting . Historical events entangled with society as well as the very depths of human souls of which he says is the only thing grander than the sky. Singing the 'gamin' rhymes, going to the galleys, meeting bandits as well as bourgeois and royalists, combats for freedom at barricades as well as the most exhausting combats within the soul : Conscience ... all in all, Hugo himself in his preface dedicated his work to the whole human race : " So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and co SO long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine, with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing 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 yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless. "

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    “Aimez-vous bien toujours. Il n’y a guère autre chose que cela dans le monde: s’aimer.” // “Love each other well and always. There is nothing else but that in the world: love for each other.” That’s a wrap!! It took 6 months but I read the last page of Les Misérables in French last night. ❤️ When I finished my 20 minutes of Les Mis on Friday afternoon and realized I only had about 30 pages left, I freaked out a little bit. Reading this book has become such a big part of my daily routine. There wer “Aimez-vous bien toujours. Il n’y a guère autre chose que cela dans le monde: s’aimer.” // “Love each other well and always. There is nothing else but that in the world: love for each other.” That’s a wrap!! It took 6 months but I read the last page of Les Misérables in French last night. ❤️ When I finished my 20 minutes of Les Mis on Friday afternoon and realized I only had about 30 pages left, I freaked out a little bit. Reading this book has become such a big part of my daily routine. There were certainly days when it felt like I was just checking another box on the to-do list, but most days it brought me so much joy. I am going to miss it. I wanted to really savor reading this last section. After seeing the musical multiple times and bawling at the ending each time, I knew I needed to give myself the time and space to really absorb it. The last time I saw the stage musical was in Lausanne, and it was in French, which gave me the idea to one day read the book in French. I was pregnant with my youngest at the time. Eleven years later….lol. I have so many feelings. I’ve read my share of classics but this one is so unique in its scope. There is so much depth to every character. Hugo can definitely ramble and there are chapters that to go on for pages about things that did not seem to matter to the story, but they always tied in somehow. It was so worth it to read the unabridged version. And it was SO worth it to read it in French, something I never thought I’d be able to do. Reading in English is a pleasure for me and so is reading in French, but it is more work. I now know that all French is equally challenging, no matter what century it was written in, for me at least. 😊 Les Misérables is above all a story of redemption. Jean Valjean is inspired to change his life after an act of grace and forgiveness. All of the characters are so vivid to me now. Reading Fantine’s backstory brought so much joy and then broke my heart. The evil Thenadiers show such a stark contrast to Valjean’s inherent goodness. Javert’s internal struggles were surprisingly emotional for me to read. Marius and Cosette are so ridiculously in love that they are blind to everything else. Enjolas, Marius and the students fighting at the barricade - their dedication to the revolution was heartbreaking and inspiring. Eponine and Gavroche are good people in spite of their parents. Valjean’s love for Cosette and how he puts her safety and happiness above everything else. I could go on and on. This will *definitely* forever be one of my favorite books of all time. I know it’s “just reading” but it feels like a big and unique reading experience. ❤️

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pam Baddeley

    This Wordsworth edition carries on from mid-way during a section about Marius. This second half of the book, similar to the first, has several big essays on connected subjects. Here they include such topics as the slang used by the underclass, the street children of Paris, and the Paris sewers. I must admit to skipping the odd page here and there to get back to the story. The storyline itself was more straightforward in its telling, not skipping around in time quite as much. The main issue with t This Wordsworth edition carries on from mid-way during a section about Marius. This second half of the book, similar to the first, has several big essays on connected subjects. Here they include such topics as the slang used by the underclass, the street children of Paris, and the Paris sewers. I must admit to skipping the odd page here and there to get back to the story. The storyline itself was more straightforward in its telling, not skipping around in time quite as much. The main issue with this second volume was that I didn't like the character of Marius who spends most of his time mooning around once he falls in love with Cosette and not taking notice of what is going on around him. He also is very indecisive such as when he fails to carry out a crucial action when he is supposed to be summoning the police to prevent the possible murder of a good-natured older man, Cosette's father as he thinks, by Thenardier and his cronies. (Of course the reader knows that this is really Jean Valjean who is in danger of being sent back to the galleys if the police know who he really is - and the police inspector in charge is Javert, his old adversary.) He allows his prejudices and inability to ask a straight question when necessary to do a grave disservice to Jean Valjean as the story comes to a close. I also did not take to Cosette - although she is the light of both Marius' and John Valjean's lives she came across as a non-entity, and is treated always as a such with a "don't bother your pretty little head" attitude shown towards her when matters such as finances arise. She spends the whole book having no interest in the dangers she and Valjean are in, and is in fact oblivious, even though it is only nine years since he rescued her from the Thenardiers. Although she was a child, she was old enough to understand something at least of her childhood - she is about sixteen or seventeen by the time she gets properly together with Marius I think. Her failure to even ask what is going on shows a vapid complacency which the author seems to believe is the charm of women. What I did like was the character of the young street urchin, Gavroche. (view spoiler)[I found his fate the saddest of what happens to the insurrectionists who otherwise were pretty much indistinguishable. (hide spoiler)] I also found the ending very sad, especially as to me it seemed unnecessary if Marius had only been less of an idiot. On balance therefore I rate this second volume also as a 3-star read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It’s always difficult to begin a review since there is so much that needs to be said. Let’s just start with my initial reaction upon completion of the book: wow. After I finish a book, I usually begin a new one almost immediately. After all, there are so many books on my reading list that I can’t afford to waste any time! It took me 24 hours to start a new book after Les Miserables, and even then it was half-hearted. I spent 30 days reading the 1,000 page tome; even my co-workers would say, “Ar It’s always difficult to begin a review since there is so much that needs to be said. Let’s just start with my initial reaction upon completion of the book: wow. After I finish a book, I usually begin a new one almost immediately. After all, there are so many books on my reading list that I can’t afford to waste any time! It took me 24 hours to start a new book after Les Miserables, and even then it was half-hearted. I spent 30 days reading the 1,000 page tome; even my co-workers would say, “Aren’t you done with that book yet?” Now that I’m finished, I miss it. That might sound odd to anyone who hasn’t experienced the emotion but the truth remains that Les Mis took up residence in my life and now refuses to go quietly into the night. And that’s just fine with me. Les Miserables is a tense, gut-wrenchingly tragic comedy that will oscillate a reader between heartbreak and joy so many times and so abruptly the front cover should have a warning label. Victor Hugo is nothing short of brilliant. His ability to create characters and weave their stories into a cohesive narrative is unparalleled. His attention to detail, his specificity (perhaps too much for some), give the story a vivacity, a soul. He makes the reader genuinely care for the characters because they’re not mere characters, they’re people. He gives them more than names and faces, he gives them hopes and fears and troubles and doubts and joys and everything that humans experience. My heart ached many times while reading Les Mis but it also thrilled and leapt. Les Mis is, more than anything else, a story of redemption. Undoubtedly, the story belongs to Jean Valjean and his struggle to purge his soul of the sins of his past. The book is also filled with longing, searching; each character is seeking something: Jean Valjean: redemption from his past Fantine: her daughter’s well-being Javert: justice Marius: honor, particularly in regard to his father Thenardier: money Each character is tested, pushed to the very breaking point, to see what he or she is willing to sacrifice for the sake of obtaining that precious goal. For all, that sacrifice is mighty, and through all action their nature is revealed. Hugo strips his characters to their very soul and exposes what they are beneath the shell society and even those closest to them see. This is another of the author’s themes: reservation of judgment. A convict is a hero and savior, a prostitute is modest and a loving mother, a young man—a child, really—is an honorable and incorruptible idealist, an innkeeper and father is a scoundrel and a criminal without scruple, and on and on. These characters fight against stereotypes as they fight also against each other and their own shortcomings. No wonder the book is so long! How can so much life be crammed into few pages? No book is perfect, obviously, and Les Mis has its flaws. Most readers would probably point to Victor Hugo’s penchant for long-winded digressions from the main plot as a major issue. I agree to some extent. Forty pages dedicated to the Battle of Waterloo, for example, seem like overkill. However, each tangent has a purpose. Hugo wants readers to know every single detail so they don’t miss out on anything or have any questions once the “action” resumes. The details are what enrich the story and elevate the writing, especially when one of those tangents suddenly takes on purpose 300 pages later. One of the few things I disliked about the book was Hugo’s insistence on defending his digressions. He self-consciously tells the reader flat out, “Hang with me here, this information will come in handy later.” Hugo repeatedly breaks that invisible barrier between reader and author, reminding us that there’s a guy holding a pen who is telling the story. These instances, though numerous, are not enough to truly detract from the value of the book. The one real problem I have with Les Mis is the character of Cosette. She is fascinating for all the wrong reasons: namely, that she is so downright dull. As a young girl, Cosette is strong, courageous—she has a personality! Then she grows up and is less than a shadow of herself. She cares about flowers and birds and her hormone-driven crush on Marius—she lives in a dream world where nothing unpleasant touches her. She is fickle and trite and flighty. Was she so traumatized as a child that she forgot her enslavement and subsequent rescue? She would make a great subject for a psychological study about children with PTSD. Cosette is also nothing more than an object. The reason she has no personality is because she has no need of one. Her purpose is simply to exist and inspire action in the men around her. Jean Valjean and Marius worship and idolize her, as M. Guillenormand does later. She is called an angel, she is compared to the sun, and Marius speaks at length of possessing her. Cosette functions as a tool, a prop, and is therefore undeveloped. (What makes this so upsetting is that it is contrasted with her simple vibrancy as a child—such potential wasted!) Her one redeeming quality is that she does not behave like a spoiled rich girl, though that is basically what she is after coming into Jean Valjean’s care. She seems to be just as naïve about society and reputation as she is about the revolution and scandal going on around her. Even after becoming Baroness Pontmercy she (and Marius) doesn’t throw her money around at all, a credit to Jean Valjean’s parenting and Marius’ character. I also have two regrets in regard to Les Mis; the first is that I just don’t have the knowledge base to fully grasp the social commentary. Hugo obviously felt very strongly about how the citizens of his beloved France lived and were treated. He makes references to a plethora of historical figures and events that I, quite frankly, don’t get. Second, I don’t read or understand French. I’m sure there are editions of this book out there that provide translations for the all the French words, poems, and songs included in the novel but I didn’t read one of those. Especially considering the very last words of the novel are four lines of French, it would have been nice to know what was written. My reading was also slowed by my inability to even guess the pronunciation of French names. (I didn’t even know how to say Jean Valjean until I saw a trailer for the movie.) I sometimes took to giving nicknames to characters or just skimming over those Frenchie words. This is a mere trifle but still worth mentioning as it was a regular occurrence. To conclude, I must say this is one of the greatest books I have ever read. By “great,” I refer to quality of writing, storytelling, depth of meaning, soundness of plot, interpretation and revelation of the human spirit, and every other criterion someone could demand for an entrant of the western canon. Victor Hugo has created a masterpiece and one that deserves reading.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashgan

    Hello one of my top 10 favourite books <3 No wonder it's considered one of the greatest classics in the 19th century. It deserves it, I've read many classics but still this one was more ordinary than the others. It has everything, it gave me a trip back in time to the old France, I felt like I can see the streets, the buildings, even in historic events I can hear the riot, Hugo literally left no detail no matter how tiny, and I couldn't help but cry while reading it. Beautifully written.. Hello one of my top 10 favourite books <3 No wonder it's considered one of the greatest classics in the 19th century. It deserves it, I've read many classics but still this one was more ordinary than the others. It has everything, it gave me a trip back in time to the old France, I felt like I can see the streets, the buildings, even in historic events I can hear the riot, Hugo literally left no detail no matter how tiny, and I couldn't help but cry while reading it. Beautifully written..

  16. 5 out of 5

    Inês Catarina

    This book destroyed me. It's all I have to say. Been crying for over an hour. This book destroyed me. It's all I have to say. Been crying for over an hour.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nigel

    12 years to finish this one but so SO worth it for just the rich metaphors. That end tho😭😭😭😭

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ayden

    it's been awhile since I've read this book but i just found a note that i wrote while reading it so I figured I'd type it out here..... Cosette and Marius- I don't think I believe in love at first sight, particularly when it's not built on. But Hugo does so I can't really critique his beliefs. Well I can, but I believe that when it comes to love we don't have much figured out so who am I to contradict what Hugo believes is possible . I found it interesting that Cosette is scared of a stalker until it's been awhile since I've read this book but i just found a note that i wrote while reading it so I figured I'd type it out here..... Cosette and Marius- I don't think I believe in love at first sight, particularly when it's not built on. But Hugo does so I can't really critique his beliefs. Well I can, but I believe that when it comes to love we don't have much figured out so who am I to contradict what Hugo believes is possible . I found it interesting that Cosette is scared of a stalker until she finds out that he loves her then stalking is apparently OK. I will say that though I was criticizing throughout the book Marius’s deep love for someone that he doesn’t even know the name of. I have a great appreciation for the paragraph “ when they had finished, when they had told each other everything. She laid her head on his shoulder and asked him: what's your name? “ showing how unimportant superficial things are when it comes to love. Gravache- there's a hypocritical aspect to his ignorance to any other life and his imitation of the grubbers life. and i guess that now that I've added some of my opinions about les mis I might as well give a brief review biased on what I can recall. The story itself was beautiful but 2/3 of the book were completely irrelevant. Now I understand that jean valjean transformations was because of the pastor therefore making him crucial to the plot line. Butttttttt I didn't need to understand the depths of the psych of a character that was going to die in the beginning of the book particularly when our main character doesn't know him at all. And Hugo has this strange way of writing about a character where despite the fact that he gives us way too many stories so we can discern what an amazing person his character is. I still feel like I was spoon fed the characteristics and didn't really see anything for myself. The story itself is achingly beautiful but did I really need a history lesson of Paris's sewers? That was a rhetorical question but no, I did not. And the entire battle of waterloo???? I read online that it took Hugo 12 years to write this book and it's evident that he did NOT spend a lot of those years editing. I regret the wasted hours

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrada

    I finally managed to finish volume 2 of the unabridged version of Les Miserables nearly 2 years(!) after I started reading it. I really understand why this book has so many abridged versions to its name, it really feels like Hugo needed a stricter editor back in the day. Volume 2 has fewer ideological ramblings from Hugo than the first volume and some very engaging sections(Marius’ story, Cossette and Jean Valjean’s, Gavroche’s, Cossette and Marius’ love story), but also quite a few divagations I finally managed to finish volume 2 of the unabridged version of Les Miserables nearly 2 years(!) after I started reading it. I really understand why this book has so many abridged versions to its name, it really feels like Hugo needed a stricter editor back in the day. Volume 2 has fewer ideological ramblings from Hugo than the first volume and some very engaging sections(Marius’ story, Cossette and Jean Valjean’s, Gavroche’s, Cossette and Marius’ love story), but also quite a few divagations that considerably slowed down the main plot which is why my interest waxed and waned and I found myself putting it aside so many times to read more consistent and less frustrating books. I feel like I disliked the second volume less than the 1st, but it might very well be because, unlike the 1st volume which I forced myself to read beginning to end without interruption, I allowed myself to take considerably long breaks from it. I suppose it’s more tolerable in short bites. Let’s see if the 3rd volume will take me another two years to finish!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Having finished Les Miserables, I can now say that I preferred the musical, which was shorter, more emotionally engaging, and had more music in it. The book is very good, but the musical is excellent. I would also say the second half is more exciting than the first, being mainly about the inherently more exciting uprising stuff. One point I would like to make is this. People often comment about the pages devoted to the battle of Waterloo in the first half of the book. What they fail to mention is Having finished Les Miserables, I can now say that I preferred the musical, which was shorter, more emotionally engaging, and had more music in it. The book is very good, but the musical is excellent. I would also say the second half is more exciting than the first, being mainly about the inherently more exciting uprising stuff. One point I would like to make is this. People often comment about the pages devoted to the battle of Waterloo in the first half of the book. What they fail to mention is the, in my opinion much more, egregiously long section about the workings of the Paris sewer system.

  21. 4 out of 5

    cloudyskye

    I feel mean to give this just three stars, since it is a great big work of art and I'm basically not worthy to judge it. But I'm also quite sure I'll never read it again, considering the huge pile of mostly fluffier and thinner books still waiting for me after this one has stared at me reproachfully for months and months on end. Not anymore, oh joy! (War and Peace can wait a bit.) Just one thing: Volume one contains the best description of the battle of Waterloo I've ever come across. Weak French I feel mean to give this just three stars, since it is a great big work of art and I'm basically not worthy to judge it. But I'm also quite sure I'll never read it again, considering the huge pile of mostly fluffier and thinner books still waiting for me after this one has stared at me reproachfully for months and months on end. Not anymore, oh joy! (War and Peace can wait a bit.) Just one thing: Volume one contains the best description of the battle of Waterloo I've ever come across. Weak French and all. Now I'm off to see the movie ...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Volume 2 was considerably bettwer reading than volume 1. It was still a pretty miserable experience though. Cosette is probably the worst thing about the whole book. She's just so thoroughly vapid and so completely decorative. Volume 2 was considerably bettwer reading than volume 1. It was still a pretty miserable experience though. Cosette is probably the worst thing about the whole book. She's just so thoroughly vapid and so completely decorative.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katie Wood

    The toughest book I've ever read & possibly the best! Surprisingly enjoyed Volume 2 much more than V1 and found it easier to get through. Jean Valjean, is there a better hero ever? The toughest book I've ever read & possibly the best! Surprisingly enjoyed Volume 2 much more than V1 and found it easier to get through. Jean Valjean, is there a better hero ever?

  24. 4 out of 5

    L.H. Beynon

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The second half of this novel was, in my opinion, better paced. There were fewer annoying asides - although there were still too many. There were a lot of silly coincidences, which became tiresome. These were mostly to do with Thernardier turning up at the most unlikely and convenient points - none more so than at the end! Having said that, the fact that he never really got his comeuppance was, while not satisfying, realistic, which I liked. Cosette was not a well fleshed-out character. I know t The second half of this novel was, in my opinion, better paced. There were fewer annoying asides - although there were still too many. There were a lot of silly coincidences, which became tiresome. These were mostly to do with Thernardier turning up at the most unlikely and convenient points - none more so than at the end! Having said that, the fact that he never really got his comeuppance was, while not satisfying, realistic, which I liked. Cosette was not a well fleshed-out character. I know that this novel was a product of it's time, but she was just an empty vessel for the men in her life. There are moments when her characters is completely subsumed by Jean Valjean and Marius. She was infuriatingly infantalised. Even as a married adult, she was left out of important decisions. Ultimately, she felt like a prize for both Jean Valjean and Marius, which was disappointing. Jean Valjean's constant selflessness - apart from just once, while he was trying to keep Cosette and Marius apart - became highly frustrating, especially towards the end of the novel. However, I was pleased to see this called out by Marius. Marius was a strange character, who I started off not liking, came to like a little, began to hate and who, ultimately, I came to respect. I like the fact that he redeemed himself at the end of the novel, when he realised that he had been judging Valjean based on half-baked information, which was highly lacking in important details. However, this part of the novel was amazingly emotional. *Spoilers ahead*. The deaths of Eponine, Gavroche, Javert and Jean Valjean were very poignant and tragic: Eponine's sacrifices for a love who didn't love her back, were heartbreaking. Her death was pathetic and a good way to show what she had become. Gavroche was naturally generous and kind. He was, in a way, what Jean Valjean should have been. Not self-destructively selfless, but kind, generous, free, moral but practical. He didn't need to justify looking after himself. His death, after such a triumphant feet in helping the rebels, was shocking to read. I loved Javert. He was doing his duty. He always acted in the way that he thought right. He was clever and incorruptible. The moment that he realises how good Jean Valjean is, it makes him question the law, which is all he has stood for. He is destroyed by being saved by his nemesis. Allowing moral ambiguity into his life kills him. I was genuinely upset when he died. Jean Valjean's death was tragic and preventable, but ultimately quite cathartic. I was worried that he would die alone, but Marius and Cosette did a clichéd dash to the death bed and got there in time. I know that Hugo was trying to tell the story of the revolutions through the characters and he was showing the injustices of French society at that time, also through his characters. In my opinion, this worked very well, on the whole. What made this volume better than the first, for me, was that he showed more and told/lectured less. Even though parts of this book were infuriating, I couldn't help but care for the characters and want to know where the plot would take them. To me, that outweighs most of the other issues. Overall, I would recommend this novel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    A fantastic finalisation to the story. An in depth tale that explores characters as they undergo huge emotional, social and romantic conflicts. Suffering remorse for past sins, battling against social and monarchical disagreements and looking to repay old debts. The characters each have their own intricate and exciting stories that are deeply intertwined with one another. You'll find yourself in love, scared, remorseful, full of regret and full of hope throughout the book. The characters all have A fantastic finalisation to the story. An in depth tale that explores characters as they undergo huge emotional, social and romantic conflicts. Suffering remorse for past sins, battling against social and monarchical disagreements and looking to repay old debts. The characters each have their own intricate and exciting stories that are deeply intertwined with one another. You'll find yourself in love, scared, remorseful, full of regret and full of hope throughout the book. The characters all have a depth and motivation that you understand and appreciate but may not always agree with there is not a single character whose story you do not enjoy reading, even the "villains" of the tale have detailed motivations and well characterised stories. In addition, the Parisian setting itself acts as an additional character enhancing the atmosphere and allowing you to paint a detailed picture in your minds eye as the events unfold. Hugo does continue to explore certain aspects of the setting with a much deeper history that seems necessary yet does add to the overall picture created as you read, these chapters do stand out and occasionally pull you out of the main story but they are important for a first read but perhaps something to skim over with future rereads. Overall: An exciting and engaging read that leaves you wanting to return to the beginning the moment you have finished. A true classic tale that you will be glad to have completed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ele #FreePalestine

    Victor Hugo needs to remember that he is writing a novel, not a speech. While there is thankfully less prude-shaming in this volume, I think the first one was by far more powerful in terms of words and events. This one basically felt like the Deathly Hallows in that it was just like, yeah, I know they all died horribly in battle, yes, all very sad, but look! They get married! That makes up for the pain they suffered! *rolls eyes* I had really been excited for the rebellion in this book, but the a Victor Hugo needs to remember that he is writing a novel, not a speech. While there is thankfully less prude-shaming in this volume, I think the first one was by far more powerful in terms of words and events. This one basically felt like the Deathly Hallows in that it was just like, yeah, I know they all died horribly in battle, yes, all very sad, but look! They get married! That makes up for the pain they suffered! *rolls eyes* I had really been excited for the rebellion in this book, but the amount of time Hugo spends telling us about his views rather than the actual story made it fall flat (not to mention the shallow ending). It would have been much more effective if he had left the morals for the end of the story or so. Leo Tolstoy is much better at combining philosophy into his books, for even if you find his statements dull, they never take away from the stories. Content Warnings: Graphic violence/gore, war, crime.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    It is quite a masterpiece; an achievement for the author, but also for the reader to complete. You get so much from this story: inequalities, war, language, struggles, religion, etc. There is one thing you don't get, though: a voice for women. The female characters are just garbage. Fantine is a victim. That's it. She needs a man to save her: Jean Valjean. Unlike him, she can't succeed at saving herself. Mme Thenardier is obedient (we don't even get her real name). She is complementary to her hus It is quite a masterpiece; an achievement for the author, but also for the reader to complete. You get so much from this story: inequalities, war, language, struggles, religion, etc. There is one thing you don't get, though: a voice for women. The female characters are just garbage. Fantine is a victim. That's it. She needs a man to save her: Jean Valjean. Unlike him, she can't succeed at saving herself. Mme Thenardier is obedient (we don't even get her real name). She is complementary to her husband. Eponine has barely any character development and dies for a man. Cosette is the worst of all. She's described as this innocent, virginal and completely stupid character. Her main hobby is to admire herself and she's completely self-absorbed. All she cares about are looks and she knows nothing about the world.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Remi

    A Classic masterpiece. With this monument of French literature, Victor Hugo achieved his art by creating an extremely dense and very well developed story, a book that will stay into posterity. Les misérables is clearly a must read book to anyone interested by classical literature. It has been a great journey and pleasure despite the size of the volumes. It is an honor for France to count Victor Hugo as one of his writers.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ebster Davis

    "Waterloo" Going into this reading, I knew next to nothing about the battle of waterloo. I'm really curious to see if C (the guy who "won" the battle by simply being a defiant badass) was a real person. A lot of the chapter is really descriptive: I liked that the author put himself in the narrative and we get to have our virtual tour along side him. ('You can't drink from that well, there's skeletons in it...') Then he goes through recounting what happened in the battle and why he thinks it "Waterloo" Going into this reading, I knew next to nothing about the battle of waterloo. I'm really curious to see if C (the guy who "won" the battle by simply being a defiant badass) was a real person. A lot of the chapter is really descriptive: I liked that the author put himself in the narrative and we get to have our virtual tour along side him. ('You can't drink from that well, there's skeletons in it...') Then he goes through recounting what happened in the battle and why he thinks it happened that way. His perspective was kind of interesting: he pretty asks "who's fault was this disaster?" And his answer is that it was God's. Not in, like, a bitter/angry way ("Oh, why would a Just God (tm) let this happen to us?") but that this was God protecting the world from Napoleon's regime. I don't think that's a perspective we hear very much! I think we tend to see God's hand only in our personal lives, Victor sees it everywhere. Towards the end, he brings in a character we already know (the 'sergeant of waterloo' who is probs NOT even a sergeant and maybe NOT even French!) And introduces a new guy. I looked it up, and the whole landscape of the Waterloo area today is completely changed. :( I will never be able to go on that tour and see the things he did IRL: so my thanks to M. HUGO for escorting me across the barriers of time and space, making this adventure possible. "The Ship Orion" Everyone pretty much abandons Jean after they find out about his past. You get the feeling no one is even sure of exactly what he did, and no one cares to learn about the truth, it's just something they all gossip about. Everything he did takes on a sinister aspect (that woman he was trying to help? totes his mistress). "I love this guy!" becomes "I always knew there was something weird about this guy." The whole bit with the Orion reminded me of a chapter earlier in the book; where M. Hugo talks about how if you fall off a boat into the ocean no one tries to rescue you. You're considered lost and no one is gonna try and get you back in the boat. That's just not acceptable to Jean. There's also this whole chapter with Thenardier trying to figure out the truth behind this urban myth. I guess it's nice he's not a complete moron. "Accomplishment of the Promise Made to the Dead Woman" This one deals mostly with the Thenardiers' and Cosette. I get the feeling Mr Hugo's pretty much trying to tell us there are no bad eggs. I'm kind of on the fence with this one cuz it's clearly more complicated than that: M. Thenardier could have chosen to be an honest businessman despite his circumstances, and Cosette could have very well grown up to be a serial killer. (Maybe there are no good eggs? Maybe people aren't eggs...) (Anyone have any thoughts? Feel free to share. ) "The Gorbeau Hovel" I felt like this is his Honeymoon. Seriously the way this guy describes passionate aromantic relationships... "For a Black Hunt, a Mute Pack" Everything about Javert is just so contrived, but I have to admit he does make things pretty exciting. "Le Petit-Picpus" This story is about an order of nuns (and other people who live in this abbey community) who live this really repressed, sort of stunted, lifestyle. I'm supprised because so far this series has portrayed the Catholic faith pretty positively and its clear that this particular order is not progressive, it needs to change or it needs to die out (which it eventually does). "Parentheses" This book is basically an essay exploring what a convent (of any kind) is. It's basically a social structure people use to reach for god/the infinate. Hugo seems a bit on the fence about them. He admires the idea of reaching out to the infinite (that's basically what this whole series is about), but their way of going about it is flawed. "Cemeteries Take That Which is Committed Them" This one is mostly about Fauchelevent, Madeleine's former detractor-turned-ally, getting him out of a tight spot. It was pretty funny! Also, basically everyone "bends" the rules to their own advantage; Victor thinks this is a totally innocent thing: "A prince is nothing in the presence of a principle". I think I see what he's getting at, but I don't agree. What people value is fluid: Book!Valjean is a perfect example of that. How many times has Victor said stuff like 'Who knows..if [thing] hadn't happened maybe Jean would have gone to the dark side again...' ? People justify false principles all of the time: Just because you'd really like to bury your deceased friend in disneyland the chapel, doesn't exempt you from the next plague outbreak. ^^This message has been brought to you by Inspector Javert. Conclusion: To me, this volume is where I think I "Got" what M. Hugo is writing about. Especially after the "Waterloo" book. His way of making sense of the world really resonates with me: admitting that the world is not as it should be and yet insisting that nothing is senseless in life. A god that is at once cosmic and personal force: at once passive, and active...transforming the world through toil, dispair, and violence into something beautiful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Reading Les Misérables one tome at a time makes things a bit more interesting. I was surprised to realize that the story is very thin in this particular tome. Instead, Hugo dedicates the first third to Waterloo and then another third to discussing convents. The story is scattered between the two and maybe makes up another third. So in approaching this tome, be aware that it's slow, philosophical reading. That said, it's still very thought-provoking. Reading Les Misérables one tome at a time makes things a bit more interesting. I was surprised to realize that the story is very thin in this particular tome. Instead, Hugo dedicates the first third to Waterloo and then another third to discussing convents. The story is scattered between the two and maybe makes up another third. So in approaching this tome, be aware that it's slow, philosophical reading. That said, it's still very thought-provoking.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.