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Les Misérables - Abridged Version with Movie Photos

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Abridged Edition of Les Miserables including photos from the 1998 film staring Liam Nesson.


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Abridged Edition of Les Miserables including photos from the 1998 film staring Liam Nesson.

30 review for Les Misérables - Abridged Version with Movie Photos

  1. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    This is without question one of the most beautifully written novels I've ever read. Jean Valjean is quite possibly the most complex and compelling character you will meet in a work of literature of this magnitude, and the lives and personalities of the secondary characters are interwoven into subplots that make it almost an easy thing to get through the 1400+ pages of this book. I read the novel after seeing -- and falling madly in love with -- the musical, and this is one of the rare cases in w This is without question one of the most beautifully written novels I've ever read. Jean Valjean is quite possibly the most complex and compelling character you will meet in a work of literature of this magnitude, and the lives and personalities of the secondary characters are interwoven into subplots that make it almost an easy thing to get through the 1400+ pages of this book. I read the novel after seeing -- and falling madly in love with -- the musical, and this is one of the rare cases in which familiarity with one helped me to appreciate the other more; naturally the musical had to cut out and/or alter significant portions of the novel's plot in order to fit a reasonable time frame, but even as I read the novel and discovered all the things that were left out of the musical, my respect for the artistic choices made for the latter were increased tenfold. Of course the characters were portrayed in significantly richer detail in the novel, Fantine and Marius in particular. The adult Cosette, however, is singularly droll in both the book and the musical, paling in comparison to the character of Eponine in both; Hugo seeks to set Cosette up as the perfect angelic virgin, and in doing so, he makes her both unrealistic and mind-numbingly boring -- this is my only complaint about the book, other than the ways in which Hugo sometimes deals with women in general, though you have to consider that he was, to some extent, a product of the times. Hugo does shoot himself in the foot in one way; his plots are so absorbing that I found myself temporarily skipping over chapters-worth of exquisite prose to find out what happened next, as Hugo had a nasty little habit of setting up wonderfully tense scenes full of suspense and intrigue, only to present you with something like the history of the French sewer system on the next page. But his descriptions are every bit as rich and wonderful as his action plots; my favorite line from the novel is, "Every bird that flies has a shred of the infinite in its claw," which can be found in the middle of a breathtaking paragraph praising the complexities of the natural world, but I cannot for the life of me remember what that was supposed to relate to in terms of the actual storyline of the book. This book is not to be missed. But if you have too short an attention span, then at the very least, see the musical, on Broadway or better if you can. There is, after all, a very good reason why they call it the greatest musical of all time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    What can be said that has not been said? It is a masterpiece, a classic. It is a tragedy, a romance, and a historical fiction. It explores the redemptive power of love, social injustice, and where law conflicts with morality. Jean Valjean - has there ever been a more perfect protagonist? He is capable of both amazingly heroic and maleficent actions. He is constantly conflicted, doggedly pursued, and and more than once inspired to greatness through the worst of circumstances. An ex-convict with a g What can be said that has not been said? It is a masterpiece, a classic. It is a tragedy, a romance, and a historical fiction. It explores the redemptive power of love, social injustice, and where law conflicts with morality. Jean Valjean - has there ever been a more perfect protagonist? He is capable of both amazingly heroic and maleficent actions. He is constantly conflicted, doggedly pursued, and and more than once inspired to greatness through the worst of circumstances. An ex-convict with a golden heart and the strongest of moral consciences. You are forced to experience the slow decent of individuals, where the well-intentioned are often too late to save those that are being crushed by the cogs of society - it is The Miserable Ones after all. The background is that of of a society that has perhaps suffered a decent as well, culminating in an 1832 Parisian rebellion. This book really delivers on every point. If I had to make one criticism it would be the repetitive use of the word ineffable - for some reason I cling to things like a word that just seems to keep creeping in over the course of a book and it makes me twitch a bit.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Bryant

    Can't find any words to say right now ... this was one of those all-absorbing books to me that will take some time to digest. :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lubna

    That was beautiful... There's so much to the story that makes it a great work of literature. And i absolutely loved all about it. And as i mentioned before, I have been wanting to read this all my life, and now i regret not reading it sooner. The instant i finished the book I just anted to start it all over again.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Les Miserables deserves all the praise that has been heaped on it over the centuries. It really was a thing of beauty. To me, this book explored what it means to love in all its different forms. Highly recommend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ✧ k a t i e ✧

    I DID IT. I FINALLY CONQUERED LES MIS! And oh my god was it a whirlwind of emotions. And way more depressing than the movie (but I think it's unfair to compare this to the movie and vice versa since they're both good in their own ways). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This version is a lot smaller than what I was expecting which is good since I have to read this within a month. One day I’ll read the full version, but for right now, I’ll stick to this.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zulfiya

    A huge, humongous reading marathon has come to an end. There are hardly enough words and sentences to clearly delineate my impressions. It is the book that can be defined with virtually every literary adjective from the word bank. The book made me cry, made me feel, made me happy, made me euphoric, ecstatic, made me mad, and befuddled me on a number of occasions. This mammoth book is a political, religious, and social stand, historical fiction, a compendium of lectures, Greek tragedy, Hugo's c A huge, humongous reading marathon has come to an end. There are hardly enough words and sentences to clearly delineate my impressions. It is the book that can be defined with virtually every literary adjective from the word bank. The book made me cry, made me feel, made me happy, made me euphoric, ecstatic, made me mad, and befuddled me on a number of occasions. This mammoth book is a political, religious, and social stand, historical fiction, a compendium of lectures, Greek tragedy, Hugo's commentaries, and an interesting story of rebirth and compassion, self-discovery, and love. Hugo is using a very unusual narrative voice. On one hand, it is a traditional third-person narrator whose story of Jean Valjean, Cosette, and Marius touches the hearts and minds of many readers. On the other hand, it is the voice of a political and historical commentator who often takes forays into the fields of philosophy, history, and even linguistics. It is also the voice of an editor who comments the intents and motives of his main characters. In general, the book is an eclectic and weird combination of a heart-breakingly beautiful story, implacable political and social opinion, and populism. The spiritual debate is one of the strongest in the novel, and one can see how Hugo is torn between the two parental influences: a devote, nearly mystical Catholic mother and a pragmatic, atheistic father. Of course, he had to placate his reading audience, but one can feel quite unmistakably how behind the curtain of religion, Hugo in fact is relying on kindness and love as universal concepts and NOT religious ones exclusively. Religious values are turned into universal humanistic values, and maybe this is also a part of the long-standing clout of this novel. The other greatest achievement of this novel is that despite the number of revolutionary battle scenes in the book, the main and most palpitating scenes take place in hearts of its main characters: moral emotional struggles of Jean Valjean and even Javert are on par with Dostoevsky's passages. On a side note, Hugo is a master of suspense: there are multiple scenes that are executed and written with the breathtaking precision that makes Hollywood writers envious and keeps readers on the edge of their reading seats. Hugo is also in total and perfect control of the main plotline with not a single character left forgotten, in oblivion, or returned out of nowhere. As a personal discovery, I believe the novel is also a tragedy a la Grecque: a limited number of people can not escape Fate and meet each other again and again in new circumstances and sometimes under new names. Javert even has his own hamartia (a personal flaw) - Criminal Law is the only guidance book - that eventually, like in any Greek tragedy, leads to his demise, literally in his case. Overall, I immensely enjoyed the novel and Hugo's ability to appeal to his readers' hearts and minds even many years after his death. It equally appeals to history buffs, social reformists, thinkers, intellectual elitists, and romantics who enjoy good story-telling.

  8. 4 out of 5

    midnightfaerie

    One of my favorite stories of all time. As Larry the Cucumber would say "I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob." It has everything in it: suspense, love, romance, war, honor, drama, betrayal, among a myriad of others. Eponine was my favorite character by far, and honestly, Coset annoyed me a bit. I think for everything she'd been through, she could have had a little more depth. Out of all the classics I have read, and this is definitely one, this is in my top 5 of all time. I had already seen the One of my favorite stories of all time. As Larry the Cucumber would say "I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob." It has everything in it: suspense, love, romance, war, honor, drama, betrayal, among a myriad of others. Eponine was my favorite character by far, and honestly, Coset annoyed me a bit. I think for everything she'd been through, she could have had a little more depth. Out of all the classics I have read, and this is definitely one, this is in my top 5 of all time. I had already seen the broadway show in NY city and was in love, but Hugo cemented it for me with this tome. If you only read one classic in your whole life, I highly recommend this one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diana Bautista

    I'M CRYING

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christy Lindsay

    After reading the unabridged version last year knew I wanted to read this aloud to my kids (ages 7-15), so picked up this abridgment. I highly recommend it. This abridgment was so well done. It very much kept the heart of the story and left out all of Hugo's ramblings.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    I wish I had read Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, in French. That does, in no way, disparage the lush, intelligent, and skillful translation by Isabel F. Hapgood, but the feel of the book was so French. The few phrases included in French rolled off the tongue so beautifully (even without my knowing what they meant). I feel like it would have been even a more sensual experience in its native language. That said, even in my native language I had to look up at least one word on every page using the I wish I had read Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, in French. That does, in no way, disparage the lush, intelligent, and skillful translation by Isabel F. Hapgood, but the feel of the book was so French. The few phrases included in French rolled off the tongue so beautifully (even without my knowing what they meant). I feel like it would have been even a more sensual experience in its native language. That said, even in my native language I had to look up at least one word on every page using the Kindle dictionary feature. Such was the richness of language employed by Hapgood. Almost everyone knows the story…the play has graced virtually every stage in America and elsewhere, from high school auditoriums to community theater to local professional productions to Broadway. The movie garnered numerous Academy Award nominations. But the play is not the book. The book is 755 pages long and probably only 100 of those pages are specifically detailed in the play, and even then, almost in outline, without the resonant detail in the book. The parts of the book that were not the plot struck me in an unexpected way. At first I felt I needed a degree in French History to understand the background. To really have a grasp on what was described, I felt a Masters in French literature would have helped. To fully understand all of Hugo’s analogies, similes, metaphors, and references, a Ph.D. in world history, literature and architecture would have helped. Having none of those, I was initially lost in page after page of descriptions of the Battle of Waterloo, discussions of French wars gone by, international posturing, architecture, the history and structure of the Paris sewer system, ancient mythical references, religious rites and practices past and (at the time the book was written, 1862) present, and countless other meticulous details. Intricate descriptions that at first seemed superfluous, verbose, and tedious washed over me with a subtle effect that both educated me and created intense suspense and vividness in the constantly, though slowly emerging story of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, Cosette, Marius, Thénardier, and the rest. It seems trite to say I loved this book, though I stress that I did. It was so much more than a typical reading experience. It was an enormous jigsaw puzzle strewn with chaos surrounding a neat package of a story that was moving, heart wrenching, heartwarming, and devastating, often all at the same time. The title is apt. Everyone in the book was miserable at one time or another, and mostly all the time. It was not a fun book. But to be treated to the full panoply of human emotion so beautifully expressed, to be swept under the spell of the unrelenting, almost superhuman Valjean, made it a magnificent experience. I am so rarely disappointed when I read the classics. I guess that’s why they endure.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    I feel like this book was inspired by God to give us a glimpse of what humans are capable of. It is powerful illustration after powerful illustration of the contrast between light and darkness. Jean Valjean's commitment to living according to his conscience is so far amplified beyond my own, I found myself mentally screaming at him to reveal himself to Marius as his savior. Come on!! Enough is enough! The message is so beautiful and the pages are filled with memorable gems. I love the "Count of I feel like this book was inspired by God to give us a glimpse of what humans are capable of. It is powerful illustration after powerful illustration of the contrast between light and darkness. Jean Valjean's commitment to living according to his conscience is so far amplified beyond my own, I found myself mentally screaming at him to reveal himself to Marius as his savior. Come on!! Enough is enough! The message is so beautiful and the pages are filled with memorable gems. I love the "Count of Monte Cristo" feel of how connected all of the characters are and how high the stakes are in the plot. I think Hugo is in love with Cosette. I saw the musical in college, but I didn't know the music or the story going in to it. Consequently, I fell asleep in the nosebleed section. So, now I'll be watching it again for the first time ;)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Mercer

    I've always been intimidated by the length of Les Miserables, but it was worth getting into. I have previously tried to read other translations without success, but the Norman Denny translation was exceptional. The language was beautiful. Victor Hugo created something pretty amazing. Despite his occasional unnecessary elaboration, the plot flowed and drew me in. Most of his characters felt real. In particular, it was enjoyable to get inside Jean Valjean, Javert, and Monsieur Thenardier's heads. I've always been intimidated by the length of Les Miserables, but it was worth getting into. I have previously tried to read other translations without success, but the Norman Denny translation was exceptional. The language was beautiful. Victor Hugo created something pretty amazing. Despite his occasional unnecessary elaboration, the plot flowed and drew me in. Most of his characters felt real. In particular, it was enjoyable to get inside Jean Valjean, Javert, and Monsieur Thenardier's heads. Looking back on all les miserables in the story, Hugo portrayed a wide variety of different sufferings and injustices. From Fantine and Eponine to the students dying at the barricade and, of course, Jean Valjean at the center, every story is moving. The one flaw in the book, for me, was Cosette. She comes from such a sad beginning but in the end is ignorant of the suffering around her.

  14. 5 out of 5

    JhoTenor

    Les Miserables is beautiful. I can find no other words more fitting to describe it but that. It is tragedy, love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and a whole lot of other words and meanings delicately woven to create such a beautiful master piece. It is one of those very rare books where your expectations were high, yet the real thing will prove itself ten or a hundred times better than you expected it to be. Les Miserables deserve all the praise it is getting and more. I have read the abridge version and Les Miserables is beautiful. I can find no other words more fitting to describe it but that. It is tragedy, love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and a whole lot of other words and meanings delicately woven to create such a beautiful master piece. It is one of those very rare books where your expectations were high, yet the real thing will prove itself ten or a hundred times better than you expected it to be. Les Miserables deserve all the praise it is getting and more. I have read the abridge version and I'm looking forward on reading the unabridged one someday. I hope it will be just as wonderful, if not better, than the one I read. "And then, do you know, Monsieur Marius, I believe I was a little in love with you."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Piper

    If you only know the movie version of the story, then the book is a must-read. This is now one of my all-time favorites.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    One of my favorite books when I was a child. I didn't even realize it was the abridged version. I bought it at the Luther College bookstore when I was there for Dorian Music Camp.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Muhammed Farrag

    Justice . Law . Love . Sacrifice

  18. 4 out of 5

    Salha AlSaeedi

    Les Miserables! Oh my goodness! This is one of the most amazing and heartbreaking novels I've ever read! It's a masterpiece, a classic. A combination of tragedy, romance, and a historical fiction. It absolutely, without doubt, deserves all the praise that has been heaped on it over the centuries. Although this version is abridged, I'll still give it 5 stars. And I wish there were a 10-star option because this doesn't compare with the other books I've given 5-star ratings. Highly recommended!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Reem

    I was in awe by the time I finished this book. My emotions were literally all over the place.  Les Misérables makes Shakespeare's tragedies look like birthday parties. I loved everything about this book. Absolutely everything; the complexity of the plot, the conflicts, the suspense, the style of writing... I loved how all the characters were somehow connected. What I loved even more, was Victor Hugo's method of suspense. He'd present the scene ignorantly, without mentioning any of the characters' n I was in awe by the time I finished this book. My emotions were literally all over the place.  Les Misérables makes Shakespeare's tragedies look like birthday parties. I loved everything about this book. Absolutely everything; the complexity of the plot, the conflicts, the suspense, the style of writing... I loved how all the characters were somehow connected. What I loved even more, was Victor Hugo's method of suspense. He'd present the scene ignorantly, without mentioning any of the characters' names, then reveal the familiar personas in the end. “The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.” He creates a web of the tragic stories of outcasts in France, then weaves them together into one, emotional book. Jean Valjean proves that a man should not be defined by his past. Javert shows how kind actions can thaw a man's frozen heart. We get to see the injustice that was enacted upon the poor; how it can transform humans into heartless creatures. We get to see firsthand how poverty can thrust some people into wickedness and greed, and toughen others. We even get a glimpse of the passionate spirit of the youth sacrificing for the freedom of their country. “If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned!” Les Misérables is a book that presents the lives of outcasts in France during the Revolution. It explores human morals and emotions and analyzes them. It is hauntingly deep yet beautiful. It's a tale of love, sacrifice, conscience, justice, law, desperateness, cruelty and man's relationship with God. “You ask me what forces me to speak? a strange thing; my conscience.” 

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    I read this in the summer of my sophomore year in college. I was deeply immersed init when my Romance Languages professor asked me how I was enjoying something.. but I didn't catch what he said. I asked him to please repeat himself and he smiled and asked "How are you enjoy "Lez MIZ-er-ah-bles"? It was at that point that I realized I didn't even recognize the title in French and we laughed about it. The oddest thing about the book is that, even in translation, it retains a French title! I have o I read this in the summer of my sophomore year in college. I was deeply immersed init when my Romance Languages professor asked me how I was enjoying something.. but I didn't catch what he said. I asked him to please repeat himself and he smiled and asked "How are you enjoy "Lez MIZ-er-ah-bles"? It was at that point that I realized I didn't even recognize the title in French and we laughed about it. The oddest thing about the book is that, even in translation, it retains a French title! I have often wondered why that was. This was a difficult book to imerse oneself in; the characters were just sort of pathetic in the beginning, but you sensed that something was about to change.. and so it does. I read an unabridged copy the first time and then came back to read an abridged version, missing some 400 pages of what someone thought ancillary information. In point of fact, I found it difficult to follow the abridged version. I don't care if it takes an extra 300 hours to read; I don't think it's the real book unless you read all the intricate description that so adequately makes the case for class poverty at the time. Each little descriotion, such as that of the French sewers, is a masterpiece of literature on its own. This is a wonderfully warm and human book that begs the reader to take his or her time.. and undersatnd it in all of its facets, not just the final revelation of the one saved man.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shaimao514

    Les Miserables by the French writer Victor Hugo starts with the release of Jean Valjean after 19 years of imprisonment. It reveals the journey he went through until he met Cosette, a little girl whom he took as his own daughter and the struggles that followed throughout his life. Other characters were also introduced throughout the novel and were connected to one another in a beautiful flawless manner. His work illustrates the lives and personalities of the characters while giving a detailed des Les Miserables by the French writer Victor Hugo starts with the release of Jean Valjean after 19 years of imprisonment. It reveals the journey he went through until he met Cosette, a little girl whom he took as his own daughter and the struggles that followed throughout his life. Other characters were also introduced throughout the novel and were connected to one another in a beautiful flawless manner. His work illustrates the lives and personalities of the characters while giving a detailed description of their feelings whether it’s loss, misery, anger, fear, happiness or love. I think Hugo has the ability of touching the heart of every reader in an unimaginable way. This novel unveils the tragic attempts of the French revolution to reach freedom. The style of writing, description and sometimes the language used is quite different from what I usually read. Reading a classical book always satisfies me because the authors present exquisite descriptive paragraphs that allow you to close your eyes and dive into your imagination. I would recommend this book to all 13 year olds and over.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I finished this book last night at 1am and tried not to wake up Chris with my quiet sobs. You can't escape this kind of story with out shedding a few tears. This is a great story and should be read by all, especially those who are trying to understand how a follower of Christ should live. We all make choices that will sculpt the kind of person we will become. Jean Valjean can give even the most wretched person hope for a good change of course. I read the abridged version and eventually want to r I finished this book last night at 1am and tried not to wake up Chris with my quiet sobs. You can't escape this kind of story with out shedding a few tears. This is a great story and should be read by all, especially those who are trying to understand how a follower of Christ should live. We all make choices that will sculpt the kind of person we will become. Jean Valjean can give even the most wretched person hope for a good change of course. I read the abridged version and eventually want to read the unabridged version. Maybe someday I'll get really ambitious, learn French and read the original French version.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mikebado

    Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is quite simply one of the most beautiful and affecting books ever written. More than just a compelling and finely woven narrative, Hugo’s work contains themes of social injustice, philanthropy, sacrifice and, most importantly, redemption presented so skillfully the reader cannot help but question his or her own moral makeup. Hugo delivers these messages through well-crafted scenes that are rich in imagery, filled with irony, and stocked with characters that are full Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is quite simply one of the most beautiful and affecting books ever written. More than just a compelling and finely woven narrative, Hugo’s work contains themes of social injustice, philanthropy, sacrifice and, most importantly, redemption presented so skillfully the reader cannot help but question his or her own moral makeup. Hugo delivers these messages through well-crafted scenes that are rich in imagery, filled with irony, and stocked with characters that are fully defined. Les Miserables is a work of art in the truest sense.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed

    Since I read the arabic version of the book, I have to say it wasn't very appealing. Despite the fact that Les Misrables contained some of the best literary elements, symbols, and societal conflicts, it contained the "repetition" element. As a 21st century human, I find redundant story lines to be extremely boring since Disney bored the hell out of us with it's born poor, and ended up the richest man in town stories.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Janalee

    I wish there were a 10 star option because this doesn't compare with the other books I've 5-starred. This is the abridged version and I felt like I cheated or was cheated having not read the big 1400 pager. But wikipedia filled in the blanks and answered some questions. Still want to read the big one at a later date. I'd also say this book directly contrasts Atlas Shrugged - which I also really liked.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy Edwards

    The novel Les Mis is a five-star work. I gave four stars to this edition because it does not cite the translation/translator and the cover says "complete and unabridged," even though it is abridged. Notwithstanding those caveats, this edition worked very well for our school purposes and hopefully my students will be inspired to read the full work one day.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Johannes Solano

    My review is not based on the entire book but on a specific abridged edition translated by C.E. Wilbour and wih an introduction by James K. Robinson. This is not the edition you want purchase and read for it does not give this masterpiece any justice; cutting more than 50 to 60% of the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cat (cat-thecatlady)

    Really enjoyed it. Now I want to read the unabridged version

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aria

    I enjoyed the 1st 1/2 of this book. Second 1/2 was boring as hell. Tedious. Once Marius was introduced the story changed & I really kind of hated it. Hard-skimmed to reach the unsurprising end, & I'm glad it's over. I'm sure this was a better tale in its time, & I've no doubt it could be streamlined into a nice visual retelling now, but reading this was a mixed bag. Apparently this is the condensed version of the original, so am glad at least I wasn't trying to read the original work I enjoyed the 1st 1/2 of this book. Second 1/2 was boring as hell. Tedious. Once Marius was introduced the story changed & I really kind of hated it. Hard-skimmed to reach the unsurprising end, & I'm glad it's over. I'm sure this was a better tale in its time, & I've no doubt it could be streamlined into a nice visual retelling now, but reading this was a mixed bag. Apparently this is the condensed version of the original, so am glad at least I wasn't trying to read the original work. That must really be something.

  30. 5 out of 5

    هيله؛ من حبة الهال...

    Wonderful beautiful dramatic story...

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