679 Installments—Entirely free
Les Miserables, Victor Hugo's 1862 masterpiece, tells a story of personal turmoil in the midst of the traumatic political and social upheaval of nineteenth century France. At its heart is Jean Valjean, a man whose entire life was changed when he stole a loaf of bread to feed his starving family. Thrown into prison and forced to serve a harsh sentence for his simple crime, Jean Valjean struggles to recover his faith in the world after his release. A false identity and the reputation built by his generous heart allow him to temporarily evade the cruel consequences of being forever branded a convict. However, over the course of the next several years Valjean falls into trouble again, and is forced to remain on the run from the law. The ruthless inspector Javert makes it his goal to find Valjean and return him to prison, regardless of the good deeds he has done. With human emotion and drama splashed upon the canvas of fierce historical conflict, Les Miserables is one of the most powerful works of European literature.
Back to top
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was born to parents on either side of the Napoleonic/Royalist conflict of nineteenth century France. Hugo's father was an officer in Napoleon's army and his mother was a passionate Catholic, loyal to the king. Growing up largely with his mother, Hugo took her rather conservative views as his own. Life experience and personal reflection, however, would eventually bring him to the opposite side of the spectrum. By the end of his life Hugo was both beloved and reviled for his strong liberal views. As a young man, Hugo found success as a poet and playwright, turning to fiction in 1831 with his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was not until after many years of work that Hugo produced his greatest novel, Les Miserables, which debuted in 1862. Although Hugo's vocal protests against the mid-century French leader Louis Napoleon forced him to live in exile for many years, when he at last returned home in the 1870s, he was celebrated as one of the foremost creative spirits and political figures in France, an honor he holds to this day.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
So long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century-- the ...
Reviewed by hawkmoon on Jan 21, 2013
the nicest story
Reviewed by Yogeswari on Sep 17, 2011
A must read for every person
Login to review this book
Not yet registered?
Ratings for 'Les Miserables' by Hugo, Victor