This a really great book about social and political life in 19th-century France. I would not dare to compare Hugo with Dickens, but somehow that idea might creep into the mind of the reader. The story is poignant, dramatic, raising some important ethical and universal questions on human development and societal justice. Hugo's talent is undeniable, although his narrative may be classified as a bit historically slanted, allegedly. The English version is worth applauding indeed, as it reveals the challenges of interpreting from French; whereas both languages boast their long history, a lot in common in terms of Latin origin, notwithstanding their own unique development and evolvement. For a linguistic researcher, such parallels need noting.