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Though it sold briskly when first published in 1866, Toilers of the Sea, by Victor Hugo (1802-1885), is rarely read in the U.S. today. In time for the bicentenary of Hugo's birth, Modern Library has commissioned a new translation by Scot James Hogarth for the first unabridged English edition of the novel, which tells the story of an illiterate fisherman from the Channel Islands who must free a ship that has run aground in order to win the hand of the woman he loves, a shipowner's daughter. Gilliat, the embattled fisherman, contends with sea storms and monstrous predators that Hugo describes in exhilarating detail. Intended to be part of a triptych with Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the book laments the living conditions of impoverished workers, while celebrating their ingenuity and discipline.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
James Hogarth was educated at Edinburgh University, and was later undersecretary in the Scottish Office.
Graham Robb’s many books include Victor Hugo: A Biography, which won the 1997 Whitbread Biography Award.
Hugo was the greatest storyteller of all time: the tightest structures (with some exceptions), most integrated themes, most complicated yet logical plots, almost addictive tempos... Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2003 by Toiler
This is a fantastic story. If you have to choose one Hugo book to read this should be the one. The sheer tenacity and ingenuity of the protagonist will improve your outlook on... Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2002 by J. Kane
This has to be one of Victor Hugo's lesser-known masterpieces. The descriptions of people, time, and place are rich and vivid, and full of pathos. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2001 by Ryan Carr
I own the Collected Works of Victor Hugo, 15 vols. Last summer I found the time to read all of them. Read morePublished on May 28 2001 by Angry Mofo
Hugo's story of one man's ultimate struggle with the sea illustrates the fantastic wonders, dangers, and joys of the ocean. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2000
This visionary novel about a loner who rescues, singled-handedly, the engine of a wrecked steamship far out at sea, is the purest expression of the heroic in man that Hugo ever... Read morePublished on Nov. 9 2000 by Mr. A