Les Miserables by Victor Hugo has been much celebrated in part, thanks to theater and musical productions in the past century. However, Hugo wrote this lengthy masterpiece in 1862. I am guessing most people are familiar with the basic storyline. What made this masterpiece worth the time it took to read, it is that I gained a great deal of additional insight into the characters as well as the tumultuous times in France which proceeded it.
This novel is a philosophical statement disguised as a story about a man who is branded and hunted for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving relatives. The novel is jam-packed full of Hugo’s lengthy pontificating. So much so, that it became annoying. As I muddled through many of these sermons, I lost track of where the story left off.
Still, this novel holds exceptional value in a historical perspective. Revolutions were taking place around the world. I think Hugo sought to make sense of the common man’s longing for freedom. His characters portray the good, the bad, and especially, the victimized.
I highly recommend this novel. It’s a classic!