Warning! reading Les Miserables will inevitably result in an extended intellectual endeavor to fully appreciate the scope, dramatic implications and historical import of this phenomenal work. For example, based upon Hugo's enrapturing depiction of the Battle of Waterloo, I spent many days studying additional historical accounts, so that I could more fully appreciate his prose. Due to the length of his historical dialog, there is a temptation to skip past the historical descriptions - don't do so! This is a work to be addressed in similar manner to a fine wine - read slowly, carefully, ultimately with incomplete, but more reverent understanding. To this acolyte of classical literature - one of the greatest "novels" every written.