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About the book
  • Published: 19 March 2018
  • ISBN: 9780241954478
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $30.00

The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables


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The Novel of the Century brings to life the extraordinary story of how Victor Hugo managed to write his novel of the downtrodden despite a revolution, a coup d'état and political exile; how he pulled off the deal of the century to get it published, and set it on course to become the novel that epitomizes the grand sweep of history in the nineteenth century.

The Novel of the Century brings to life the extraordinary story of how Victor Hugo managed to write his novel of the downtrodden despite a revolution, a coup d'état and political exile; how he pulled off the deal of the century to get it published, and set it on course to become the novel that epitomizes the grand sweep of history in the nineteenth century. Placing a century of scholarship into narrative form and packed full of information about the background and design of Les Misérables, this biography of a masterpiece nonetheless insists that the moral and social message of Hugo's ever-popular novel is just as important for our century as it was for its own.

  • Pub date: 19 March 2018
  • ISBN: 9780241954478
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $30.00

About the Author

David Bellos

David Bellos had his first taste of translation when he read a Penguin Classics edition of Crime and Punishment while sitting in the attendant's hut in the car park at Southend Airport; that same summer, he got his first interpreting job – helping a seafood seller to import Portuguese oysters from a middleman in France. He went on to teach French language and literature at Edinburgh, Southampton and Manchester, but it was only when he encountered Georges Perec's Life A User's Manual and was so convinced it should be read in English that he dared to think he too could become a translator. Since then he has translated many books from French and won numerous prizes, including the first Man Booker International Translator's Award and the Goncourt Prize for biography for the French translation of Georges Perec: A Life in Words. He is now Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton, where her directs the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He clings to the view that even the most difficult and complicated things can be spoken of in plain and comprehensible prose.

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Praise for The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables

“Written with clarity and wit; at once erudite and entertaining . . . [Bellos] restores Les Mis to its maker and his times”

Economist


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