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Les Miserables


Les Miserables Cover

ISBN13: 9780451525260
ISBN10: 0451525264
Condition: Standard
All Product Details


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.


This Signet Classics edition is the ONLY completely unabridged paperback edition available today.


Translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman Macafee, based on the classic nineteenth-century Charles E. Wilbour translation


With an Introduction by Lee Fahnestock

and a New Afterword




Victor Hugo's towering novel of Jean Valjean, his unjust imprisonment, and his lifelong flight from a relentless police officer.


Based on C. E. Wilbour's classic translation, this is the only complete, unabridged, pocket size translation available.

About the Author

The son of a high officer in Napoleons army, Victor Hugo (1802–85) spent his childhood against a background of military life in Elba, Corsica, Naples, and Madrid. After the Napoleonic defeat, the Hugo family settled in straitened circumstances in Paris, where, at the age of fifteen, Victor Hugo commenced his literary career with a poem submitted to a contest sponsored by the Académie Française. Twenty-four years later, Hugo was elected to the Académie, having helped revolutionize French literature with his poems, plays, and novels. Entering politics, he won a seat in the National Assembly in 1848; but in 1851, he was forced to flee the country because of his opposition to Louis-Napoléon. In exile on the Isle of Guernsey, he became a symbol of French resistance to tyranny; upon his return to Paris after the Revolution of 1870, he was greeted as a national hero. He continued to serve in public life and to write with unabated vigor until his death. He was buried in the Panthéon with every honor the French nation could bestow.

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clackamaslee, January 10, 2013 (view all comments by clackamaslee)
Congratulations for considering the arduous undertaking of reading this tome! While Hugo's digressions into the battles of the day, the design of the sewers, and the backstories of characters who meet the primaries only in passing might occasionally bog you down, you'll find it time well spent. After all, this story is about "The wretched poor" not just the convict and the criminal. There are many more people to get to know. You won't be sorry!

If you are looking for an unabridged English translation of what is one of the most inspiring works of fiction of all time, this is the one you want. The original translator was faithful to Hugo's prose. Then HIS translation was updated for readability while retaining the spirit of Hugo's poetry.

There is a more recent translation of the unabridged work that tries to update Hugo fir accessibility. In my opinion (having read both, and several abridged editions, as this is my very favorite book) the more recent translation tries too hard to be modern. The woman who translated it uses far to much slang that is disturbingly anachronistic for the setting. This isn't a glamor magazine, it's classic literature. Translators need to keep that in mind.

This is the translation that is understandable to English speakers without insulting the French. It is understandable to youth without offending the aged.
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Product Details

MacAfee, Norman
MacAfee, Norman
MacAfee, Norman
Hugo, Victor
MacAfee, Norman
Chris Bohjalian
Fahnestock, Lee
Signet Classics
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. :
Novels and novellas
Continental european fiction (fictional works
Epic literature
General Fiction
Paris (france)
Psychological fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
MM Picture Book
A Signet classic ;
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
6.94x4.17x2.30 in. 1.43 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Les Miserables Used Mass Market
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 1504 pages Signet Book - English 9780451525260 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Victor Hugo's towering novel of Jean Valjean, his unjust imprisonment, and his lifelong flight from a relentless police officer.
"Synopsis" by , Based on C. E. Wilbour's classic translation, this is the only complete, unabridged, pocket size translation available.
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