Les Misérables

By Victor Hugo
Translated by Charles E. Wilbour
Read by Frederick Davidson

12.07 Hours 01/01/1995 abridged
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Set in the Parisian underworld of the early nineteenth century, Les Misérables follows the adventures of Jean Valjean, once an honest peasant, who was imprisoned for nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving family. A hardened and bitter criminal upon his release, Valjean is transformed when an act of compassion by a priest he robbed saves him from returning to prison. Changing his identity and his ways, Valjean becomes a successful industrialist and eventually the town mayor. Taking compassion on the poor, he raises the orphaned daughter of a prostitute as his own, never telling her of his shady past. Yet he is haunted by it, still pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert, who does not believe in moral redemption. When Valjean's daughter, Cosette, falls in love with a young revolutionary, Javert concocts a plot to catch both the lawless peasants and the elusive Valjean once and for all. Full of suspense, romance, and powerful social commentary, this sweeping epic became the gospel of the oppressed and is widely considered one of the greatest French novels of its age.

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Summary

Summary

Set in the Parisian underworld of the early nineteenth century, Les Misérables follows the adventures of Jean Valjean, once an honest peasant, who was imprisoned for nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving family. A hardened and bitter criminal upon his release, Valjean is transformed when an act of compassion by a priest he robbed saves him from returning to prison. Changing his identity and his ways, Valjean becomes a successful industrialist and eventually the town mayor. Taking compassion on the poor, he raises the orphaned daughter of a prostitute as his own, never telling her of his shady past. Yet he is haunted by it, still pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert, who does not believe in moral redemption. When Valjean's daughter, Cosette, falls in love with a young revolutionary, Javert concocts a plot to catch both the lawless peasants and the elusive Valjean once and for all. Full of suspense, romance, and powerful social commentary, this sweeping epic became the gospel of the oppressed and is widely considered one of the greatest French novels of its age.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“When I was fifteen, I was completely bowled over by Les Misérables. All my life long I have continually been discovering fresh aspects of Hugo’s genius.” André Maurois
“A sprawling, robust novel.” Daily Mail (London)
“A humanist masterpiece.” Guardian (London)
“Its historical sweep, during the brewing of the French Revolution, is large, and its emotional sweep even larger.” AudioFile
“Davidson’s exquisitely nuanced interpretation of Les Misérables expertly reflects the excellence of Hugo’s literary and political classic.” Booklist (audio review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (1802–1885) was a poet, novelist, dramatist, and leader of the romantic movement in France. He also played an active part in political life. His literary works best known in English include Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Ninety-Three.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 12.07
Audience: Adult
Language: English