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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
After reading so much modern garbage over the years I decided to take on a few classics to see just why they are referred to as such.
I now have no doubts.
Some may find the style old fashioned, some of the descriptive passages too long etc. Don't let that put you off.
If you decide to take this book on (both unabridged volumes - no less) then I am sure...
Published on 5 Nov. 2007 by J. Mckay

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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too wordy, but a fantastic plot
Lord, alot of people will probably hate me for that statement, but it's true. I bought this booka fter seeing the musical in the west end. It took me over a month to read it (that's along time for me) and I came close to throwing it in the bin a few times, but I am certainly glad I read it, and not just for the feeling of immense acheivment. However, I do feel...
Published on 15 Nov. 2005


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic, 5 Nov. 2007
By 
J. Mckay "johnnyred" (england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
After reading so much modern garbage over the years I decided to take on a few classics to see just why they are referred to as such.
I now have no doubts.
Some may find the style old fashioned, some of the descriptive passages too long etc. Don't let that put you off.
If you decide to take this book on (both unabridged volumes - no less) then I am sure that by the end of it you will come to the same conclusion as I.
That this is possibly the best piece of work you will have ever read.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a story inseparable from history, 22 Nov. 2009
By 
LittleMoon (loving my life in the rain) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
It's not an easy job to try and condense the 1000+ pages of Hugo's 2 volume epic fiction into an Amazon review; nor is it any easier to "rate" it.

It would be enlightening to say that a modern reader drawn here on the back of the musical, and looking for the story, might well not even finish the novel, being fed up with its frequent digressions. Certainly, there are vast tracts of impossibly detailed historical commentary that interrupt the narrative flow with scant regard for the 21st century's time-pressed reader. Jean Valjean's flight through the sewers is a timely place for Hugo to explain the history of Paris' underground system; the time spent in the convent is preceded by a 10 page meditation on convents; the battle of Waterloo takes 30 pages of our time, albeit one of the more readable asides.

Roger Clark's useful introduction suggests that Hugo felt it was necessary to expound (albeit with his great skill and erudition) on the historical context of his characters' world; it is a story that was for him inseparable from the times that made it: Les Miserables is a critique of a city and a nation embodied in text. Still, this will be of little consolation to readers looking for the adventures of Jean Valjean, and Inspector Javert.

Yet, Hugo's storytelling skill is considerable. The opening of the novel is one I will always remember, the creation and story of the figure of Monseigneur Bienvenue is brilliantly realised. The novel's fictional characters, and the story itself, are compelling; thrilling at times, and definitely melodramatic; there's a sense of the theatrical about it all. The wronged hero Jean Valjean has his suitably cold nemesis in that pillar of the law, Javert - at one point Hugo terms them the "spectre and the statue": one made of shadow the other made of stone. Marius and Cosette bring the novel its romantic element; their blossoming, withering and revival of love is as compulsive as it is sentimental. Many other equally memorable characters are encountered along the way: the repulsive Thenardier family; the tragic and pitiful figures of Eponine and Fantine; the incorrigible street-child Gavroche. All this is played out against the Parisian streets, with the filth of the sewers, the paradise of a garden, or the subversive structures of the barricades never too far away.

From a literary perspective, Les Miserables is a magnificent work that can be read, and re-read on so many different levels, that it is hard to overestimate its significance. From a general reader perspective, Hugo is a frustrating writer whose verbose wanderings will probably be one of the most severe tests you will find in a novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorious Valjean !, 30 April 2013
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This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Again I must say I have not really gotten through all of this novel ( Still on Vol 1 ) but I love it. The book goes into far more detail than any of the movies that have been made, so there were places and people I did not even know about! It starts by introducing people way back in time, and Valjean and the story we all probably know does not start until way later on in the book! However it is compelling reading and if you can bear with it I promise you, you will not be sorry ! Enjoy it, it is wonderful!
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too wordy, but a fantastic plot, 15 Nov. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Lord, alot of people will probably hate me for that statement, but it's true. I bought this booka fter seeing the musical in the west end. It took me over a month to read it (that's along time for me) and I came close to throwing it in the bin a few times, but I am certainly glad I read it, and not just for the feeling of immense acheivment. However, I do feel that this book has an amazing storyline, and it is easy to see why it is a classic. Defintley a very clever man, Victor Hugo, as there was alot of politics behind this book. The love stories, the story of struggles, triumphs and no hope really touched me, and I felt as if I could almost touch France as it was through this book. Not for a light read, but if you want something with real meaning behind it, this is your book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Novel., 6 April 2014
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This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This book is not the theatre show or film, it is a gritty account of the inequalities of French society in the 1800's. Hugo intertwines reality with fiction expertly, and uses his own experiences to bring additional colour and life to the story. It is a social and political commentary of his time. His account of The Battle of Waterloo is very insightful, even though it is, understandably, somewhat biased toward the French point of view. Be preared for a long hard read. If you can stick it out it is very worthwhile.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book, 5 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Great book unfortunately I didn't realise this was book one (volume 1) and I hadn't ordered volume 2 my mistake.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such an Epic Tale!, 3 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Ever since I was a child I have loved this book reading it over and over again, or so I thought until, whilst packing to move house I found the book and I found that the book I had been reading over and over as a child was actually only the abridged version! How stupid was I?

So I bought volumes 1&2 of this book and OMG I love it even more. I have always been a fan of the musical (read the 'abridged' book before I saw the musical) and the new film is fantastic also (In my Opinion). This is a classic novel that, to me, still beats most others. I could honestly read it time and time again, even at its immense length.

I would thoroughly recommend this to any lover of books/reading, it is a must read, and a fantastic product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 14 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Don't be put off by the size of these books, or by the dense and slightly convoluted beginning. The books have so much more to offer than the film/ theatrical versions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars purchase of vol 1 & 2 les meserable"s., 23 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
To amazon
As always when I purchase anything from you I am very impressed
and happy with the product and service. I am going to enjoy reading
volume 1 & 2 of les miserable"s that I have so promply received.
mr. ford.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant..., 15 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I liked this unabridged version of Les Miserables because it gave me lots of insights into the author's views on life in France and Europe in the nineteenth century. I t gave me a lot to think about.
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Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics)
Les Misérables Volume One: 1 (Wordsworth Classics) by Victor Hugo (Paperback - 5 Jan. 1994)
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