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The Man Who Laughs [Paperback]

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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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Item Specifications...

Pages   672
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 5.98" Height: 1.65"
Weight:   2.16 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 19, 2006
Publisher   Norilana Books
ISBN  1934169005  
ISBN13  9781934169001  

Availability  132 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 05:45.
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More About Victor Hugo

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Victor Hugo (1802-1885), novelist, poet, and dramatist, is one of the most important of French Romantic writers. Among his best-known works are The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) and Les Miserables (1862).

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...
  1. Bantam Classics
  2. Classic Starts
  3. Clothbound Classics
  4. Dover Books on Literature & Drama
  5. Dover Thrift Editions
  6. Enriched Classics (Pocket)
  7. Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
  8. Express Classics
  9. Modern Library (Hardcover)
  10. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  11. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  12. Penguin Classics
  13. Reimann Classics
  14. Signet Classics
  15. Single Title Classics
  16. Stepping Stone Book Classics
  17. Tantor Unabridged Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( H ) > Hugo, Victor
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
6Books > Subjects > Romance > General

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!
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.

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