This book include Victor Hugo’s biography and his works.
The story begins in 1815 in Digne, as the peasant Jean Valjean, just released from 19 years' imprisonment in the galleys—five for stealing bread for his starving sister and her family and fourteen more for numerous escape attempts—is turned away by innkeepers because his yellow passport marks him as a former convict. He sleeps on the street, angry and bitter.
Digne's benevolent Bishop Myriel gives him shelter. At night, Valjean runs off with Myriel's silverware. When the police capture Valjean, Myriel pretends that he has given the silverware to Valjean and presses him to take two silver candlesticks as well, as if he had forgotten to take them. The police accept his explanation and leave. Myriel tells Valjean that his life has been spared for God, and that he should use money from the silver candlesticks to make an honest man of himself.
Valjean broods over Myriel's words. When opportunity presents itself, purely out of habit, he steals a 40-sous coin from 12-year-old Petit Gervais and chases the boy away. He quickly repents and searches the city in panic for Gervais. At the same time, his theft is reported to the authorities. Valjean hides as they search for him, because if apprehended he will be returned to the galleys for life as a repeat offender.
Six years pass and Valjean, using the alias Monsieur Madeleine, has become a wealthy factory owner and is appointed mayor of a town identified only as M____-sur-M__ (i.e., Montreuil-sur-Mer). Walking down the street, he sees a man named Fauchelevent pinned under the wheels of a cart. When no one volunteers to lift the cart, even for pay, he decides to rescue Fauchelevent himself. He crawls underneath the cart, manages to lift it, and frees him. The town's police inspector, Inspector Javert, who was an adjutant guard at the Bagne of Toulon during Valjean's incarceration, becomes suspicious of the mayor after witnessing this remarkable feat of strength. He has known only one other man, a convict named Jean Valjean, who could accomplish it.
Alcott, Louisa May: Little Women
Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice
Austen, Jane: Emma
Balzac, Honoré de: Father Goriot
Barbusse, Henri: The Inferno
Brontë, Anne: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Brontë, Charlotte: Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily: Wuthering Heights
Burroughs, Edgar Rice: Tarzan of the Apes
Butler, Samuel: The Way of All Flesh
Carroll, Lewis: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Cather, Willa: My Ántonia
Cervantes, Miguel de: Don Quixote
Chopin, Kate: The Awakening
Cleland, John: Fanny Hill
Collins, Wilkie: The Moonstone
Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph: Nostromo
Cooper, James Fenimore: The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen: The Red Badge of Courage
Cummings, E. E.: The Enormous Room
Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe
Defoe, Daniel: Moll Flanders
Dickens, Charles: Bleak House
Dickens, Charles: Great Expectations
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor: The Idiot
Doyle, Arthur Conan: The Hound of the Baskervilles
Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie
Dumas, Alexandre: The Three Musketeers
Dumas, Alexandre: The Count of Monte Cristo
Eliot, George: Middlemarch
Fielding, Henry: Tom Jones
Flaubert, Gustave: Madame Bovary
Flaubert, Gustave: Sentimental Education
Ford, Ford Madox: The Good Soldier
Forster, E. M.: A Room With a View
Forster, E. M.: Howards End
Gaskell, Elizabeth: North and South
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von: The Sorrows of Young Werther
Gogol, Nikolai: Dead Souls
Gorky, Maxim: The Mother
Haggard, H. Rider: King Solomon’s Mines
Hardy, Thomas: Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter
Homer: The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hugo, Victor: Les Misérables
Huxley, Aldous: Crome Yellow
James, Henry: The Portrait of a Lady
In the 2nd volume of “100 Books You Must Read Before You Die” you will find the remaining 50 works.
Victor Hugo's impassioned early work carries the same power and universality as Les Misérables. A vocal opponent to the barbarity of the guillotine, Hugo attempted to arouse compassion in the service of justice. This tale distills his beliefs and offers a highly significant contribution to the ongoing debate over the death penalty. A new Foreword by activist David Dow examines the message and relevance of Hugo's story to modern society.