Les MiserablesBook - 1998
It has been said that Victor Hugo has a street named after him in virtually every town in France. A major reason for the singular celebrity of this most popular and versatile of the great French writers is Les Misérables (1862). In this story of the trials of the peasant Jean Valjean--a man unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, and hounded by his nemesis, the magnificently realized, ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert--Hugo achieves the sort of rare imaginative resonance that allows a work of art to transcend its genre.
Les Misérables is at once a tense thriller that contains one of the most compelling chase scenes in all literature, an epic portrayal of the nineteenth-century French citizenry, and a vital drama--highly particularized and poetic in its rendition but universal in its implications--of the redemption of one human being.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
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This is a novel about a man named Valjean who is arrested for stealing a loaf of bread. He escapes and after much struggle to find a place to stay in, he is welcomed by a kind bishop who later changes Valjean forever. Valjean creates a new identity as a Mayor and influences everybody he meets (the kindest saint ever!) However, an investigator recognizes the Mayor as the convict from years before. As he tries to stay out of his sight, he is also trying to save this little girl named Cosette. A moving, compelling story... You better read to find out what happens!
Jean Valjean steals a piece of bread because his sister's children are starving. He is imprisoned for five years, but racks up a total of 19 for trying to escape. Once escaped, he breaks parole and creates a new identity; M. Mayor. Fantine, who had a child, Cosette, with a man named Tholoymes is abandoned by him, and is fired from her job in a factory. Cosette stays with an innkeeper and his wife(Fantine pays them, as she is unaware they treat Cosette as a slave), the two Thenardiers, who has three children; Eponine, Azelma, and Gavroche. She is rescued later by Jean Valjean, under the identity of M. Mayor. Jean Valjean feels responsible for Cosette after Fantine dies, and he raises her as his own, escaping Inspector Javert again, who is trying to catch him/find him. Years later when Cosette is 18, she meets Marius Pontmercy, a student, and also part of the Les Amis. The two fall in love. The Les Amis is a group of students(he main character ones are Jehan/Jean Prouvaire, Bousette, Bahorel, Courfeyrac, Gavroche, Grantaire, Combeffere, etc.) who are starting a revolution(the French Revolution). Many small subplot details happen, and then, at the barricade, Eponine saves Marius by blocking a shot, as she's in love with him; she dies. All the Les Amis dies, except Marius who is saved by Jean Valjean who went to the barricade. Jean Valjean saved Javert by pretending to shoot him and let him go free, as he was an infiltrator. Javert jumps off a bridge. Marius recovers and marries Cosette. Jean Valjean leaves to a convent, and Marius and Cosette join him after Thenardier tips them off to his whereabouts. Marius has no idea Jean Valjean saved him. Jean Valjean dies with Marius and Cosette by his side.
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