Saturday, July 16, 2016

Les Misérables

by Victor Hugo

Reading this book was a humbling experience. I really, really should have gone back to college for a humanities degree; or at least taken time to google the gazillion references M. Hugo makes to French history, European history, ancient history and classical literature. At least I got the religious allusions. Anyway, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean, a man who, as a young man, was arrested and convicted for stealing a loaf of bread. He spends the rest of his life either in prison or looking over his shoulder for the people who want to put him back in prison. It's a remarkable novel and a great bargain. Because, you see, while Jean Valjean is the hero of the novel, almost all of the supporting characters get their own novels, intertwined with Jean Valjean's novel. Okay, maybe only a couple get novels. The rest get novellas. All together in one very thick book. Written in some of the best flowery prose the 19th Century produced. You should get a copy and then put on your shelf after you read it, just like I did.

LibraryThing link


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