Book Review: “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo


Les Misérables  by Victor Hugo

*Summary taken from the back of the book
  Les Misérables, the story of Jean Valjean, who stole a loaf of bread to feed some hungry children and paid for his act by years of misfortune. It is a marvelous story- at times breathless with action and adventure, again tender and appealing, it’s pages filled with as many emotions as life itself. And what a varied and extraordinary group of characters! Marius the student and lover; Cosette, the adorable child who became the foster-daughter of Jean Valjean; Javert, the implacable detective’ the Thénardiers with their genius for evil- these and literally a host of others reflect the immense scope-the amazing force and fire of Hugo’s genius. “Take it all in all,” says Stevenson of this masterpiece, “there are few books in the world that can be compared with it.”
My Thoughts:
I first heard of this book from a dear friend’s blog, “all things bright and beautiful”  by Petie {go there for reviews on other classic novels.}, and probably would never have read the book (or saw the movie!) if it weren’t for her love and recommendation of it. 😉
For me, Mr. Hugo’s writing is hard to follow, but not impossible to interpret scenes from it. Speaking of scenes (this may contain some spoilers), the most special and “wow” moments came when Valjean adopted Cosette at the Thénardiers inn (the scene when Valjean presents the doll to Cosette was super sweet), the scene where Marius and Cosette finally meet (definitely an “awww!” moment), and Gavroche, Eponine, and Valjean’s death. Call me crazy, but I enjoy reading a good death scene, especially if it makes me cry (which  hardly ever happens by the way).
Now for the big question: Would I read it again? The simple answer is yes, but only after I visit a few other places first. 😉
Also, it’ll probably be best to read the book after you’ve watched the movie. Mainly because (for me anyway), it makes it easier to imagine the scenes. 🙂
Favorites Quotes:
“The devotion of one man had given strength and courage to all.”
~pages 47-48, Les Misérables
“Eponine let her head fall back upon Marius’ knees and her eyelids closed…and said to him with an accent the sweetness of which already seemed to come from another world: “And then, do you know, Monsieur Marius, I believe I was a little in love with you.” She essayed to smile again, and expired.”
― page 456, Les Misérables
“…Gavroche had fallen only to rise again; he sat up, a long stream of blood rolled down his face, he raised both arms in air, looked in the direction whence the shot came, and began to sing….he fell with his face upon the pavement, and did not stir again. That little great soul had taken flight.”
― page 485, Les Misérables
 So, if you’ve read the book, seen the movie, and/or watched the play…
which do you think is better? 😉
Take care everyone!

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