NPR

'Novel Of The Century' Is A Lively Companion To 'Les Misérables'

David Bellos' new book is a comprehensive guide to Les Misérables, and a compelling story in its own right, packed with detail about the creation and publication of Victor Hugo's massive masterpiece.
Source: Marian Carrasquero

The choices you make in the face of desperation, the morality of violent resistance to injustice, the ever-widening chasm of social inequality: Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables is unquestionably relevant today. Hugo himself said, "I do not know if it will be read by all, but I wrote it for everyone." But at around 1500 pages, the book's sheer size may intimidate some readers — even devoted fans refer to it as "the brick."

Luckily, Princeton professor David Bellos has provided a handy introduction with The Novel of the Century

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min read
Brad Pitt On Making 'Ad Astra,' Processing Trauma And Channeling David Bowie
The actor stars in a new science-fiction blockbuster about more than just an astronaut on a space mission: "We wanted to do something very sincere and raw and painfully honest," he says.
NPR5 min read
He's Trying To Fill In The Gaps On Google Street View — Starting With Zimbabwe
Not every corner of the world is yet on Google Street View. Tawanda Kanhema sees these gaps as a kind of digital divide, so he volunteers to photograph and upload some of the places left off the map.
NPR2 min read
Patriots Release Antonio Brown After Another Sexual Misconduct Allegation
The New England Patriots cut Brown from the team on Friday after a second woman accused the wide receiver of sexual misconduct. Brown faces a civil suit accusing him of raping a former trainer.