Author(s): David Bellos
GUARDIAN AND ECONOMIST BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017 Winner of the American Library in Paris Book Award, 2017 '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 Mis rables 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 Mis rables - 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 Mis rables 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' tat 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 Mis rables, 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 Mis rables is available as a Penguin Classic, in an acclaimed new translation by Christine Donougher, with an introduction by Robert Tombs.