Les Miserables : It is hardly surprising that Victor Hugo's 1862 masterwork should have inspired one of the most phenomenally successful musicals in the history of the Broadway stage. Les Miserables has long been recognized as one of the finest novels of all time, a brilliant fusion of unforgettable characters and universal themes. Its hero is Jean Valjean, the noble peasant imprisoned. A sweeping story of love and honor in the depths of the Parisian underworld, immerses us in an epic struggle between good and evil, and carries us onto the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a realism that is unsurpassed in modern literature. We experience the desperation of the prostitute, Fantine; the amorality of the rogue, Thenardier; and the unquenchable desire of all human beings to be genuinely free. Hugo saw Les Miserables as a means of dramatizing his bitter criticism of French society, but the novel that resulted transcends its own time and place. It's an ever-fascinating story, a sweeping spectacle that dazzles the senses as it touches the heart, and this audio edition captures its lasting greatness.