The Novel of the Century

  • by David Bellos
  • Narrated by David Bellos
  • 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Putting a century of scholarship on one of the world's most enduring popular novels into accessible, narrative form, this new approach to a classic of world literature is written for a wide general audience. Packed full of information about the book's origins and later career on stage and screen, 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'etat, and political exile; how he pulled off the deal of the century to get it published; and how he set it on course to become the novel that epitomizes the grand sweep of history in the 19th century. This biography of a masterpiece also shows how and why the moral and social messages of Les Miserables are full of meaning for our time.


What the Critics Say

"Anyone who loves Hugo, France, and the French language will revel in this delightful book that explains all the intimacies of 19th-century French life." (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


A gripping and clever biography of a novel, full of valuable insights into Hugo's mind and French history. A reading writer's dream.
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Whispersync worked well.

I enjoyed every page of this explanation of my favorite French novel. You will too. The author, the times and the limits of technology in the 19th century. They all play a wonderful part of the story. Now I'll go back and read this wonderful book again. With a better appreciation.
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- King John IV

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-21-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio