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The Last Day of a Condemned Man [Paperback]

Victor Hugo
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

26 Oct 2010
An unabridged edition, to include the original ballads and French argot with contiguous translation and footnotes -

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Product details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Watchmaker Publishing (26 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603863869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603863865
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 20 x 12.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Victor Hugo was born in Besançon in 1802, the youngest of three sons of an officer, who took his family with him from posting to posting, as far as Italy and Spain. Victor's prolific literary career began with publication of poems, a novel and a drama, Cromwell, the preface of which remains a major manifesto of French Romanticism. The riot occasioned at the first performance of his drama Hernani (1830) established him as a leading figure among the Romantics, and Notre-Dame (1831) added to his prestige at home and abroad. In exile in Brussels, Jersey and Guernsey he published some of his finest works. Only with Napoleon 111's defeat and replacement by the Third Republic did Hugo return, to be elected deputy, and later senator. His opposition to tyranny and continuing immense literary output established him as a national hero. When he died in 1885 he was honoured by interment in the Panthéon.

Product Description

Review

The message could be delivered by any present-day liberal, about any extreme punishment. -- Amnesty International --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Only edition in print of this passionate work by Hugo. It includes preface of 1832, a manifesto of Hugo's personal opinions.
Thought-provoking piece by Director of Amnesty International, UK --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying and magnificent! 24 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
WOW!! I read it through in one go last night. I couldn't stop. This is one of the most compelling and superbly handled books I've ever read. Hugo conjures up huge numbers of images from the grotesque to the demonic to the beautiful. The tension gets greater and greater. As the book goes on time slows down so we get more and more detail as the condemned man's final hours draw closer. The first person narrative works perfectly and I felt myself strangely drawn to this mysterious character (we don't know what crime he has committed) as the reader is brought right into the man's final thoughts. This book is stunning and my admiration for Hugo increases every time I think of it. A magnificent read, chilling and harrowing right down to the final moments. Superb.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so little has changed - will we ever learn? 30 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
When a man dies not by nature or accident but by decree, knowing and waiting for that moment, what becomes of that man; what becomes of society?
The fear is overwhelming. It grips the reader as that fateful day draws near. Written expertly in the first person, giving an urgency to the prose, it is simple and eloquent. I found myself empathizing with the unknown man. And how could I not? I was completely absorbed in his harsh reality my heart racing, head pounding. It's an instinctive reaction - survival. The inhumanity of society is abhorrent to punish in this way and Hugo makes you feel disgusted and appalled at what is about to happen. And to a guilty man! We do not know what crime has been committed but it is clear that he is not innocent. Hugo does not distract the reader with a crime. It is irrelevant. This is a story of punishment. The issue is the death sentence alone.
Hugo gives convincing arguments as to why the death penalty is not only crude and inhumane but ludicrous and farcical. Who is truly being punished? It's a sociological and ethical tour de force. Originally published in 1829 without an author's name (only a preface stating that this may be an actual account), this novella was deeply shocking to the french of that time and its effect has not diminished.
Vehemently opposed to the death penalty, Hugo encapsulates his fears about the fatalism in french society in the early 19th century. Equally as relevant today it's almost inconceivable to think that around 3000 people are "lawfully executed" each year around the world. This is a tragic statistic. Perhaps the politicians of these nations should be forced to read The Last Day of a Condemned Man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and thought provoking book 4 Mar 2012
By London
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very interesting read - about the last day of a man sentenced to be guillotined - what he thinks about, how his thoughts change, and what he thinks back to. A short and very readable story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight 27 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read throughout, though writing is a bit hard to understand something. I like how it makes one feel after wards.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing 28 Mar 2014
By LC1
Format:Paperback
This is a remarkable book. Bleak, powerful and thought-provoking - it stayed with me long after I had finished reading it. The reader shares his anxiety, uncertainty, fear and despair and clutches to the faint glimmer of hope of a pardon. Gripping.
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