'Never mind those self-help manuals urging that some classic novel may change your life; in this sparkling study of the birth, growth and afterlife of Hugo's evergreen blockbuster, David Bellos argues that Les Miserables already has' Boyd Tonkin, Economist
'Any reader who hasn't yet embarked on Hugo's book might be converted to the idea by this one' Daniel Hahn, Spectator
The extraordinary story of how a simple tale of love and revolution, the poor and the downtrodden - Victor Hugo's beloved classic Les Miserables - conquered the world.
There has never been a book like it. It is the most widely read and frequently adapted story of all time, on stage and on film. But why is Les Miserables the novel of the century? David Bellos's remarkable new book brings to life the extraordinary story of how Hugo managed to write his epic novel despite a revolution, a coup d'etat and political exile; how he pulled off the deal of the century to get it published, and set it on course to become the novel that epitomizes the grand sweep of history in the nineteenth century. Packed full of information about the background and design of Les Miserables, this biography of a masterpiece nonetheless insists that the moral and social message of Hugo's ever-popular novel is just as important for our century as it was for its own. The Novel of the Century is a book as rich, remarkable and long-lasting as the novel at its heart.
Les Miserables is available as a Penguin Classic, in an acclaimed new translation by Christine Donougher, with an introduction by Robert Tombs.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 311 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm
Praise for Georges Simenon:
"One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories." --The Guardian
"These Maigret books are as timeless as Paris itself." --The Washington Post
"Maigret ranks with Holmes and Poirot in the pantheon of fictional detective immortals." --People
"I love reading Simenon. He makes me think of Chekhov." --William Faulkner
"The greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature." --Andr Gide
"A supreme writer . . . Unforgettable vividness." --The Independent (London)
"Superb . . . The most addictive of writers . . . A unique teller of tales." --The Observer (London)
"Compelling, remorseless, brilliant." --John Gray
"A truly wonderful writer . . . Marvelously readable--lucid, simple, absolutely in tune with the world he creates." --Muriel Spark
"A novelist who entered his fictional world as if he were a part of it." --Peter Ackroyd
"Extraordinary masterpieces of the twentieth century." --John Banville