Extended Audio Sample

Les Miserables Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Les Miserables (Unabridged), by Victor Hugo
4.00000328141048 out of 54.00000328141048 out of 54.00000328141048 out of 54.00000328141048 out of 54.00000328141048 out of 5 5.00 (304,746 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Victor Hugo Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Audio Length: Release Date:
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Les Miserables is widely regarded as Victor Hugo's finest work and a masterpiece of European literature. Published in 1862, the epic novel is set in the underworld of early 19th-century Paris and tells the story of Jean Valjean, a peasant imprisoned for the minor crime of stealing a single loaf of bread. An honest man driven to crime only by the desire to see his sister's starving family fed, Jean is molded into a hardened criminal by the resulting 19 years (lengthened from an original 5-year sentence for numerous escape attempts) that he spends in prison. After his release from prison he meets the kindly Bishop Myriel who inspires him to reform and become an honest man again. Living under the alias Monsieur Madeleine, Valjean manages to become a prominent and successful factory owner and eventually even the mayor of his town. In spite of his success and new life, he still finds himself haunted by a minor crime he committed shortly after his release from prison. He manages to arouse the suspicion of the town's police inspector, Javert, who feels certain that he knows Madeleine's true identity and doggedly pursues him in a relentless quest to prove his suspicions correct.

Set against the stark backdrop of 19th-century revolution-torn Paris, Les Miserables is a sweeping work that deftly deals with themes of moral failings and redemption, justice, politics and human rights. Acclaimed worldwide as one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century, it has inspired an award-winning Broadway musical as well as several film adaptations.

Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

Hugo describes early 19th-century France with a sweeping power that gives his novel epic stature. Among the most famous chapters are the account of the battle of Waterloo and Valjean's flight through the Paris sewers. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Reviews

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Cherrie Platon | 2/13/2014

    " Beautiful tale of love and compassion. Wordy at times; but worth every second of my reading time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Marla Glenn | 2/7/2014

    " This is going to take forever to read, but that's OK because it's a remarkable novel in so many ways. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Sjbeale | 2/3/2014

    " Fantastic story - it would have been the best book I've ever read without question were it not for some of the rambling chapters about classical history. That said, it's still an absolute work of art, even in translation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Gavin Smith | 1/24/2014

    " I really enjoyed this. The prose in it can be fantastic once it gets going. It's worth reading for the description of Waterloo alone. "

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About the Author
Author Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (1802–1885) was a poet, novelist, dramatist, and leader of the romantic movement in France. He also played an active part in political life. His literary works best known in English include Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Ninety-Three.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.