Item description for The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo...
Victor-Marie Hugo (1802-1885) wrote L'Homme Qui Rit (The Man Who Laughs) in 1869. One of the greatest French novelists, poets, playwrights and socio-political figures of his time, he is probably best known for having written Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) (1831) and Les Misrables (1862), but The Man Who Laughs is a romantic masterpiece that deserves an equal measure of acclaim. The incredible love story of the man whose face has been disfigured into a laughing mask in childhood, the loyal blind girl who gives him her heart, and the cruelty of the privileged aristocracy whose laughingstock and savior he becomes, is remarkable in its emotional impact. But do not be deceived. The timeless trope of Beauty and the Beast is redefined here, for surfaces are misleading, and not everything is as it seems. The slow-paced, stately richness of descriptive detail is reward in itself for the reader looking for delicious immersion in the drama of history, but coupled with the depth of human insight, and the glimpse into a historical era and mindset, this is a timeless classic.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 5.98" Height: 1.65" Weight: 2.16 lbs.
Release Date Aug 19, 2006
Publisher Norilana Books
ISBN 1934169005 ISBN13 9781934169001
Availability 132 units. Availability accurate as of Apr 29, 2017 03:26.
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More About Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was the son of a high-ranking officer in Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand Army. A man of literature and politics, he participated in vast changes as France careened back and forth between empire and more democratic forms of government. As a young man in Paris, he became well-known and sometimes notorious for his poetry, fiction, and plays. In 1845, the year that he began writing his masterwork, Les Miserables, the king made him a peer of France, with a seat in the upper legislative body. There he advocated universal free education, general suffrage, and the abolition of capital punishment. When an uprising in 1848 ushered in a republic, he stopped writing Les Miserables and concentrated on politics. But in 1851, when the president proclaimed himself emperor, Hugo's opposition forced him into a long exile on the British Channel Islands. There, in 1860, he resumed work on Les Miserables, finishing it the next year. With the downfall of the emperor in 1870, Hugo returned to France, where he received a hero's welcome as a champion of democracy. At his death in 1885, two million people lined the streets of Paris as his coffin was borne to the Pantheon. There he was laid to rest with every honor the French nation could bestow.
Victor Hugo lived in Besancon. Victor Hugo was born in 1807 and died in 1885.
Victor Hugo has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Man Who Laughs?
My Favorite Hugo!! Jul 16, 2008
I have read almost all of Hugo's novels and I feel he was a master beyond most as far as story telling goes. This particular books is ingenious with the various characters and the twists and turns and the tragedies and political statements. It broke my heart, while exciting me to cheer on the lead character in his efforts to right the wrongs of the parliament. I loved the characters of this books and the story line and I would strongly recommend it to any who are fans of "Hunchback" or "Les Miz" (forgive me). While I really loved Les Miz (and again, it broke my heart, as did the musical,which I thought was brilliant), this is the one that stayed with me. I read it many years ago and have a number of copies (some very old). When I bought this movie, I had no expectations, and I was amazed to see how much of the story was included. It was brilliantly produced, directed and acted. Even though it is a silent movie, it speaks volumes. I highly recommend the book and then the film. I also urge everyone to see the musical "Les Miserables" because it is all so wonderful. Hugo was a true master!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Apr 15, 2008
I come to the conclussion that The Man Who Laughs is the most descriptive, saddest, romantic and most beautifully written book that Victor Hugo has written. It is unfortunate that this book doesn't have the standing that Les Miserables or Our Lady of Notre Dame occupies. Also, it is a very hard to find book, specially in Spanish, which is my first language. The traduction is done extremely well (I have verified it with a Russian version I have). It is highly recommended.
For those who want more from a novel Jan 1, 2008
This is a difficult and demanding read, but entirely worth it for those who want more from a novel. The story is of a confrontation of moral opposites set in England in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as a deliberately disfigured outcast named Gwynplaine faces a powerful conflict between the simple life of a mountebank, with the love of a pure-hearted blind girl, and the power, glamor, and corruption of nobility, with the love of a depraved, self-loathing noblewoman. Gwynplaine's disfigurement hides his true identity from all, including himself; and out of the eventual revelation of this truth, Hugo constructs a magnificent and heart-wrenching symbolic drama that is as filled with meaning as anything you'll find in literature. Again, this is not light reading, and it is not made for those who prefer to breeze through an action thriller in an afternoon.
Hugo has much to say about the destructive nature of political power, as well as the envy and injustice that conspire to keep the high and low in their respective places. The Mohawk Club of the nobility exemplifies these themes through their vicious and destructive pranks, victimizing the helpless in the name of "fun."
Hugo's contempt for the period's institutions of power is evident throughout the novel; on the wicked Barkilphedro's rise to prominence, he writes: "He had crawled where he wanted. Flat beasts can get in everywhere. Louis XIV had bugs in his bed and Jesuits in his policy. The incompatibility is nil." Clearly this is a novel of ideas, written by one who had a great deal to say and knew how to express it. Even so, I must acknowledge that Hugo's expository passages, although witty, impassioned, and eloquent, occasionally become a distraction from the story.
Hugo's style is astonishingly lofty, in a way that just doesn't happen in the present day. It is an ambitious and demanding discipline, now so far gone that we scarcely even know to miss it. As such, it may strike today's readers as unnatural and overdone; or so it did to me, at first. But by the finish, I was fully seduced into Hugo's stylistic world, and left unable to choose what to read next -- for what is there today that is even conscious of this standard of craftsmanship? I can only imagine how much of the effect of this high language is lost in translation from the original French.
If you are interested in this book, I strongly recommend the Paper Tiger edition, with its afterword by Shoshana Milgram. This afterword was of great use in understanding the book's ending, which to me was difficult; it clarified how the ending was necessitated by the novel's overall theme -- and it made the extent of Hugo's achievement that much more evident.
Quality Literature Nov 30, 2007
This is extremely well written and the story is easy to follow. The story had me smile and cry. The method that Victor Hugo collected the sections of this book is similiar to the style Ayn Rand used in writing Atlas Shrugged-my favorite book. The Man Who Laughs is one I think every Victor Hugo fan would want to read and read again--I loved it!
Timeless classic... Sep 21, 2007
I read this book as a teenager, along with "Toilers of the Sea," Ninety Three" and "Hunchback of Notre Dame." I have re-read only "Toilers of the Sea" and found it as riveting now as were all of Hugo's book then. I can't imagine a library system not containing these timeless classics or their being out of print.