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The Novel

F. Marion Crawford

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Purpose” in very big letters.

IN art of all kinds the moral lesson is a mistake. It is one thing to exhibit an ideal worthy to be imitated, though inimitable in all its perfection, but so clearly noble as to appeal directly to the sympathetic string that hangs untuned in the dullest human heart; to make man brave without arrogance, woman pure without prudishness, love enduring yet earthly, not angelic, friendship sincere but not ridiculous. It is quite another matter to write a “guide to morality” or a “hand-book for practical sinners” and call either one a novel, no matter how much fiction it may contain. Wordsworth tried the moral lesson and spoiled some of his best work with botany and the Bible. A good many smaller men than he have tried the same thing since, and have failed. Perhaps “Cain” and “Manfred” have taught the human heart more wisdom than “Matthew” or the unfortunate &ldqu. . . Read More

Community Reviews

What makes a favourite book?

In this case, I will have to say: one single character that broke my heart and shaped my idealism and stirred my anger: Gavroche Thénardier.

"Si l'on demandait à la grande et énorme ville : Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela ? elle répondrait : C'est mon petit."

One of thos...more

Jamás he leído nada igual. Ni lo haré. Ya sé que eso suena exagerado, pero sé perfectamente que no leeré nada tan bueno de nuevo. Los Miserables está a un nivel que solo Victor Hugo puede llegar a tocar.

Les Misérables can be translated from the French into "The Miserable Ones", "The Wretched", "The Poor Ones", "The Wretched Poor" or "The Victims". So, as you will have concluded, this is not a happy book.

In fact, it is the very opposite of fluffy happiness. It is a story about the lowest and dark...more

هناك لحظات تكون فيها النفس جاثية على ركبتيها مهما كان وضع الجسد"وفي السجن تزداد مرارتك و يسود قلبك
في كل انواع"السجن"التي نرتمي وراء قضبانها"باختيارنا"سيزداد ظلام ارواحنا
فما بالك لو سجنت 19سنة لسرقتك رغيف خبز؟

خير تعمل شر تلقى
حسنا هذه احدى الكلاسيكيات العتيدة التي احقد عليها لانها"بوظت دماغي"..عن...more

873. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title. However, several al...more

This will be another review-as-I-go!

First, a thank you to Rachel for recommending the Fahnestock and MacAfee translation, which is wonderful so far!

Next, a question: Why have I been so drawn lately to these 1,500 page 19th century behemoths? War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punish...more

I'm in the minority unfortunately. I thought the book was okay. I was hoping it would blow my mind and be a favorite like The Count Of Monte Cristo, as I was afraid of that book too, but alas, it was not =(

I might as well put the ole spoilers tag up on here! Oh and even though Jean's name will be...more

I chose to read the hefty Victor Hugo classic for my thirtieth birthday, &, let me tell you, the experience was One Biiiig Bitch. I mean, why EVEN go to the 200 + year old text when the Broadway musical exists! THAT work of art exudes all beauty and majesty in one continuous song that unites...more

Let's say that I could choose a single book with the guarantee that every man, woman, and child would read it. I would not choose my top three favorites, nor would I choose the one whose remnants are permanently inked upon me. I would choose this one. You argue, the length! The time period! The c...more

One of the "biggest" book I've ever read, and I remembered Mick Foley's "warning" about a big book.

"A big book is like a serious relationship; it requires a commitment. Not only that, but there's no guarantee that you will enjoy it, or that it will have a happy ending. Kind of like going out with...more

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