It is quite a challenge to write a review about Les Misérables. But I guess now I understand why it is so famous, and I can tell you that: it deserves it. We all know (at least French people do) Cosette, Jean Valjean, Gavroche and the Thénardiers even if we haven’t read the book (yet). But who are they? That’s what you’ll get to know in this masterpiece.
Written by Victor Hugo and first published in 1862, Les Misérables is considered as one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. And nearly two centuries after the beginning of the story, this book is still striking.
In a few words, the story begins in 1815 and ends in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris. It follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.
With Les Misérables, you travel back to a post-Napoleonic time, right after he has been sent to Saint Helena, when the royalists and the republicans fight for their ideas, while others fight to survive.
In this book, you will discover a new face of Paris. You will live in the cloisters, you will fight at Waterloo, you will go to jail, you will suffer from hunger and cold. But you will also find hope, joy, redemption and even love where you expect it the least.
This is only a faint picture of what reading this book feels like. Nobody can deny Victor Hugo’s genius. He can make a candle in a dark and cold room shine like a sun.
Un chef d’oeuvre.