15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The mind of a genius, the work of a lifetime,
This review is from: Les Misérables (Modern Library) (Hardcover)
As close to flawless as you could come, no other author can match the storytelling and characterisation. Describes a turbulent period in France, with incredible political and social commentary. Hugo's monumental work explores many themes i.e. why the Restoration was a backward step, the difference between a revolution and a riot; he describes many life's experiences and emotions: the myriad ways people can fall between the cracks into destitution (Fantine, Montepercy); one of the greatest descriptions of falling in love (Marius and Cosette) and how it feels to be in love, the greatest description of a battle (Waterloo), the desperation of a convict (reminds of Henry Charrier -Papillon), the making of men (Marius), unbounding heroism and selflessness(Eponine, Jean Valjean); explores patience, loss, asceticism, rebellion, fulfillment, nationalism, the administation of justice and the overriding theme is CONSCIENCE. I read this and then discovered that Hugo's own daughter lived in Barbados for a number of years living 'on the edge' of destitution. Small world.