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Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Hugo sweeps readers from the French provinces to the back alleys of Paris, and from the battlefield of Waterloo to the bloody ramparts of Paris during the uprising of 1832. First published in 1862, this sprawling novel is an extravagant historical epic that is teeming with harrowing adventures and unforgettable characters. In the protagonist, Jean Valjean, a quintessential prisoner of conscience who languished for years in prison for stealing bread to feed his starving family, Les Misérables depicts one of the grand themes in literature - that of the hunted man. Woven into the narrative are the prevalent social issues of Hugo's day: injustice, authoritarian rule, social inequality, civic unrest.

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