The Toilers of the Sea (Modern Library Classics) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Toilers of the Sea (Modern Library Classics) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Toilers of the Sea (Signet Classics) [Mass Market Paperback]

Victor Hugo , Isabel F. Hapgood
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £5.89  
Hardcover £22.07  
Paperback £6.37  
Mass Market Paperback, Nov 2000 --  
Unknown Binding --  

Book Description

Nov 2000 Signet Classics
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Reprint edition (Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451527720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451527721
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,592,961 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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE ATLANTIC wears away our coasts. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugos critical eye captures island life well. 19 May 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book tells the story of characters surrounding the setting up of a ferry service between Guernsey and St.Malo. The island life is almost tightly knit, but the book interweaves sub-stories of all Toilers of the Sea, fisherman, smugglers and ferrymen. We follow the main story of Gilliat, who for the love of Deruchette has sworn he will return the shipwrecked remains of Mess Lethierry's ship - the Durande. Gilliat sets out on this impossible mission with just a small boat, a few basic tools and just his raw wits pitted against the sea. The boat is lodged in between the two rocks of the Douves and must be freed before the sea smashes the carcass and is lost forever. The story never waines and often turns to the unexpected. This is a study of life in the 1800s on a small island with all of the revolutions happening around it, and how these interweave in the characters lives.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best novels ever written 24 Dec 2012
This novel is an under-appreciated treasure with everything rolled into one - love story, small-island drama, epic adventure, crime, tragedy. I just couldn't put it down. The prose is exquisitely written. Unlike one of the other reviewers, I don't think the novel gets bogged down in useless descriptions. To the contrary, it's Hugo's earlier works that are overloaded with descriptions, which aren't in any way integral to the plot. Hugo does not lose his focus here.

Gilliat is an unusual sort of hero, quite unlike anything you will have come across before. He falls passionately in love with Deruchette, a girl he barely knows, and sets off on this deadly quest to win her hand in marriage. (If you enjoyed "Love in the Time of Cholera" you should certainly read this novel.) Out on his boat, Gilliat's adventure takes on a somewhat mythic status, battling with the sea and an octopus, at the mercy of the elements. Isolated and alone, Gilliat is forced to look inwards. I won't spoil the ending, but I will just say that you will be weeping. Hugo is a master of finales and none are more brutal and perfect than this one.

This book will change you forever. At the very least, its images will stay with you forever.
This is the first Amazon review I have ever written, but I was compelled to, given the apparent lukewarm reception of the other reviewers.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag 7 Dec 2008
I had mixed feelings about this one. The first 140 pages were quite colourful and absorbing, albeit complete with the lengthy digressions and evocative descriptions of buildings, especially old and dilapidated ones, that are typical of Hugo's prose. However, the next 140 pages were very dull and overblown, with endless description of rocks and sea and storms and a wrecked ship, with no characters other than the central one. After a while, I simply had to skim most of this section to get to the more interesting final section. That was worth it, with a bittersweet and tragic ending. So a mixed bag, a book of two halves, not in the same league as Les Miserables or Hunchback, but worth having got through in the end.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Toilers of the sea 5 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Got this book as a Sunday School prize aged 13 circa. 1950. Can't believe I actually got through it then! It's heavy going in places, Victor frequently leaves the story line to describe unrelated but historical and interesting events. Well it's Victor Hugo, and who am I to judge! Would I recommended it ? Well only to a fan of Victor!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toilers of the Sea Book 16 Jan 2014
By Wilf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was delivered quickly and is a good book to read. Very pleased with the transaction which was dealt with efficiently.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category