"Hugo's genius was for the creation of simple and recognizable myth. The huge success of "Les Miserables "as a didactic work on behalf of the poor and oppressed is due to his poetic and myth-enlarged view of human nature." V. S. Pritchett
"It was Tolstoy who vindicated [Hugo's] early ambition by judging "Les Miserables "one of the world's great novels, if not the greatest [His] ability to present the extremes of experience 'as they are' is, in the end, Hugo's great gift." From the Introduction by Peter Washington"