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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who am I? Dee dum de dum
I defy anyone to read this book and to not burst into song!
This book is two books in one.
Firstly it is the story of individual lives that intertwine with each other and history. I love this story (which this is broadly the same as the musical).
The book deals with how the underprivileged (the miserables) are let down by society as a whole. It also deals...
Published 22 months ago by Fergus

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book but perhaps not the best translation.
I love Les Mis - it is a classic for a reason and the story is timeless and still relevant today. However, I find this translation a bit archaic and stilted in its use of language which is probably down to the fact that it is from 1887 but that makes it a tough read. While it is worth having, there are more modern translations available (albeit for a price) which might...
Published 20 months ago by Mrs. Lynsey Bailey


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who am I? Dee dum de dum, 23 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
I defy anyone to read this book and to not burst into song!
This book is two books in one.
Firstly it is the story of individual lives that intertwine with each other and history. I love this story (which this is broadly the same as the musical).
The book deals with how the underprivileged (the miserables) are let down by society as a whole. It also deals with good and evil people and how, for those who have lost their way, there is always the chance for reformation. Most famously Jean Valjean constantly battles with his conscious. Other characters receive opportunities to better themselves but do not always do so.
There are some beautiful sections of this book dealing with love and duty.
The characters in the book are developed in great detail which is wonderful as you feel that you have a complete picture and understand the reasons why the characters act as they do.
The other book is the social history of France which is the setting for the story. These are long winded passages that I do not feel add anything great to the book. I feel that these are included purely because Victor Hugo wanted the book to be an epic! I found myself skipping some sections. However if you are interest in French history you may love these sections.
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120 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better the second time!, 10 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
I recently reread this and found myself liking it a lot more the second time. Having seen Les Mis on the West End, it's easy to forget how the story develops and I particularly enjoyed learning more about the Cosette character, who features heavily in the novel and not so in the musical. If you've never read Victor Hugo, it's worth downloading this from Kindle and giving it a try. You won't be disappointed.
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126 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete and Unabridged, 4 Jan 2011
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
This is 'Les Mis' in all its full glory. The translation is by Isabel F Hopgood, and there is an active table of contents. On its first publication it has to be admitted that this particular book wasn't that popular with the critics, but was immensely popular with the reading public, it was already being translated throughout Europe by the end of the year.

It is highly unlikely that you are not aware of the basic story as it has been filmed many times, is a musical and in other formats. You may have read the abridged version before, which personally I hate, but if you have never read the complete version before I should warn you that this isn't perfect. The story does get bogged down at times with things that are not germane to the main plot line. However this is still a book that is very well worth reading and I am glad that I now have it on my kindle. I won't have to go out and buy any more editions when my latest copy falls to bits, and also as it is a very large book it is nice to have it in just a file format.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts of a Kindle reader, 13 July 2011
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Ivan Proctor (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
This is a wonderful, sprawling, majestic book. You can't help wondering what readers made of it at the time of publication a century and a half ago. Much fiction written then concerned the gentry or even the aristocracy and here is a profound account of poverty and struggle in many forms.
It is a book that you have to accept on its own terms. The plot creaks with a whole series of coincidences and it moves forward by fits and starts. Characters are given to making long speeches that don't advance the action and the author is quite ready to interrupt the flow of the novel with digressions of several chapters on such subjects as the role of slang in a language or the history and development of Parisian sewers. You just have to stick in there. It's a great novel and it develops in its own way. But you can see why abridged versions are on the market.
This isn't abridged. It's the real McCoy. In all honesty I doubt whether I would have tackled a 1200+ page paper version so Many Thanks to my Kindle for getting me into it and through it. The Kindle edition is well set out and navigable down to individual chapters. I noticed some typos but no more, I suspect, than you would find in a paper edition. And it's for nowt! I found it a great way into someone who, for me, was a new author and I'd recommend anyone to take the plunge and give it a go.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's looooooong!, 11 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
I started this book in May 2012, reading an hour or more every day, and I'm not a particularly slow reader. Over three weeks later I wasn't even a quarter of the way through.

So be warned, this is a long book! Not of course that that means it is no good, far from it, but the problem I have with really long novels is that I tend to lose track a bit.

This is especially so with Les Miserables as the characters in the first part of the story have been left behind while the author digresses into a lengthy description of the Battle of Waterloo. I imagine that when the original story of Jean Valjean etc. is picked up again I will have forgotten who some of the minor characters are. And to me, it is very frustrating when you are really getting into the story of Jean and Cosette to have it interrupted by a 'history lesson'!

Update - I have been reading this for almost 2 months and I am about 40% through the book. I am considering about downgrading my 4 star rating. After the 'Waterloo digression' the story of Jean and Cosette really picked up the pace. They are being hotly pursued through the alleys and back streets of Paris and escape into a Convent. What happens next?... Well, what happens is that we get pages and pages and pages of the history of Convents and Monasteries in France. Then after another interesting episode in the life of Jean Valjean we get a lengthy history of the 'Gamin' or street urchin of Paris. Personally, I find these digressions only faintly interesting, peppered with names of people who I neither know nor care about. I have started skipping through these parts of the novel. I am beginning to understand why there are so many abridged versions of this book!

Update - 3 months now and I am 80% of the way through. At the moment I am in another long section about the barricades. It's not a bad part of the book compared to some others but to me the whole thing is frankly getting a bit tedious. I am determined to finish it though. I would definately go for an abridged version in future, I seem to have spent such a long time on this book and I could have read at least half a dozen normal length books in the same amount of time.

Update - Nearly finished at last, but Mr Hugo has done it again. After an exciting battle at the barricades where nearly everyone has been killed, Jean has made a daring escape into the sewers. It's pitch black, he is being chased, will he get out alive? Unfortunately, before we are allowed to find out, the author decides we need a nice long history lesson on the sewers of Paris. When they were built, who built them, what they are called, how long they are, etc. etc. I give up.

I finished this book in August, so it took 4 months but towards the end I was only reading for 20 mins or so per night. It will be good to read something else now! Overall it is not a bad book, 3 or 4 stars in my opinion. The core story of Jean, Cosette and Marius is really good, the ending is very well done, I just found that the way it was written was too rambling and went off on a tangent far too often for my taste. I imagine that one of the abridged versions which omits a lot of the 'history' stuff would be a much more manageable read. Life is a bit too short to spend 4 months on one book!!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest novels of all time, 10 Feb 2011
This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
This wonderful book of some 1300 pages can be read over a few months. Each chapter is short and quite easy to read - just go through it half an hour a night. The characters slowly develop until you live the fascinating times with them. The drama towards the end will captivate you, and you will probably wonder how they dared to twist such a glorious tale into a three hour musical. Well, I did!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book but perhaps not the best translation., 8 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
I love Les Mis - it is a classic for a reason and the story is timeless and still relevant today. However, I find this translation a bit archaic and stilted in its use of language which is probably down to the fact that it is from 1887 but that makes it a tough read. While it is worth having, there are more modern translations available (albeit for a price) which might well be more accessible for those who are struggling with this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!! You must have patience..., 8 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
Loved the depth of history and the way the characters triumph through their struggles. This is a classic and a translation... so consider, but you won't be disappointed with the history you learn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond criticism?, 14 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
Too long, too sentimental, too many coincidences, but the man was unique. No-one before or since has or could write like Hugo. A shining example of an Everest of literature standing majestically above today's avalanche of tweets. I pity anyone who doesn't have the attention span to see this book through to the end. At least now you have a film and a musical to help you, plus an excellent precis on Wikipedia. Like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, an excellent translation (19c?).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tres Miserables!, 1 Sep 2013
This review is from: Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Edition)
I downloaded this version because it was free - save yourself the time and don't bother. It is so poorly translated that many sentences don't make any sense. I gave up after only two chapters.
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