9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A literary masterpiece and ongoing classic,
By A Customer
This review is from: Les Miserables (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I read Les Miserables after becoming slightly interested in the musical. I read the book, and I was instantly obsessed. It is now my favorite book; I take it everywhere with me, and if I have to stand in a line or wait for a movie to start, I just pull it out of my backpack and open it at random.
Victor Hugo is without a doubt, a genius. His writing is so evocative of almost every emotion there is, and his power of description is amzing. He tends to digress at times, but it is worth reading the battle of Waterloo in order to read about Valjean, Javert, Fantine, the Thenardiers, Cosette, Marius, Eponine, and (my personal favorite) ENJOLRAS!
The Norman Denny is by far the best translation. The wording is like poetry, or music, instead of prose. Other translations are word-for-word, and while that is commendable, French sometimes is awkward, translated into English. Norman Denny translates the spirit of Hugo's original work.
I think that in order to be a member of humanity, Les Miserables should be required reading. It is magnificent, and I wish that everyone could enjoy it as much as I do.