Click here to return to the main site.

Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Classics Illustrated
No. 7 - Les Miserables


Author: Victor Hugo
Adapted by: Alfred Sundel
Artist: Norman Nodel
Classic Comic Store Ltd
RRP: £2.99, US $4.99
ISBN: 978 1 906814 17 5
Available 02 March 2009

Les Miserables is set in the early 19th century and focuses on the lives of several characters over a 20 year period. The narrative follows the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean, as he seeks to redeem himself and the police officer, Javert, who is constantly on his heels...

The Classics Illustrated series was originally printed over a 30 years period - from 1941 to 1971. It introduced generations of children to some of the most famous stories ever told. Now, Classic Comic Store Ltd is reprinting these publications so that a new generation of children can discover these classics tales.

Volume 7 is Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. Sadly nowhere in this collection are we told what the original publishing date was for this comic book edition, something that I'm sure would be of interest to the more mature reader.

At the back of this collection we also get a brief biography of Hugo; plot and themes running through the story; discussion topics; and a timeline - so that you can understand a little more about what was going on in the world at the time the original book was published. I'm assuming that these were also originally targetted at schools, and the back section are also handy as teacher's notes.

What's great about this series is that it attempts to bring some of the best literature into the homes of children who would probably never discover the original books on their own. So, once they've read the comic book and know the story, there's a panel that entices them to search out the original book so that they can read the story as intended.

The only slight problem I had was that the story, as reproduced here, was a little difficult to follow in places. More could have been done to make the plot a little clearer, especially as this is designed to retell the tale to younger readers who will then hopefully go on to read the original book.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£2.69 (
£2.99 (
£2.99 (
£2.69 (
$4.34 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.