Read The Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo James Hogarth Graham Robb Online


A new translation by Scot James Hogarth for the first unabridged English edition of the novel, which tells the story of a reculsive 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....

Title : The Toilers of the Sea
Author :
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ISBN : 9780375761324
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Toilers of the Sea Reviews

  • Raghad
    2019-04-26 01:58

    عمال البحر جميعنا ، او اغلبنا نعرف الكاتب الشهير فكتور هيجو.فيكتور هيجو هو مؤلف الرواية الشهيرة (البؤساء) ومؤلف (احدب نوتردام). في الواقع كنت انوي قراءة البؤساء لتكون اول ما اقرأه لفكتور هيجو . ولكن تجري الرياح بما لا تشتهي السفن ، فشاء القدر ووضع رواية عمال البحر امامي. لتكون اول ما اقرأه لفكتور هيجو . طبعا لن أصف لك مدى سعادتي عندما وجدت ان رواية عمال البحر امامي لانها من تأليف فكتور هيجو . فكتور هيجو ولطالما سمعت الناس يمتدحونه ومؤلفاته. حصلت على الكتاب عن طريق صديقة امي التي اعارتني بعض الكتب وكان بينها عمال البحر . بدأت في اول صفحة وشعرت ان الدنيا أسودت من حولي وشعرت بصداع في رأسي. الطبعة جدا قديمة (طبعة 2001) والنص شبه غير واضح و يحتوي على الكثير من الأخطاء النحوية. فترى نفس الأسم مكتوب كل مرة بشكل مختلف .في البداية أعجبني اسلوب فكتور ولكن احسست بالملل الى نهاية الرواية تحكي الرواية قصة شاب يدعى جيليات يعيش وحيدا يقع في حب فتاة اسمها دريشيت ابنة اخ السيد ليتري وهو بحار مشهور بمهارته وبراعته في الملاحة. يحدث ان سفينة السيد ليتري التي تسمى ديراند تحطمت على صخور دوفر . فتعلن دريشيت انها ستتزوج من يذهب ويحصل على المحرك من السفينة . يتحمس جيليات للقيام بهذا العمل ويذهب الى صخور دوفر محاولا اخراج المحرك من السفينة المتحطمة . ويقوم فيكتور بوصف المصاعب والمحن التي تعرض لها جيليات في رحلته . ثم يعود جيليات ليجد ان الفتاة التي واجه صعاب البحر من اجلها ، وقعت في حب الكاهن . فيضحي جيليات ويساعدهما على الزواج ما ازعجني هو التفاصيل المملة التي تدعو للمل الذي لا يطاق .و ما جعلني استغرب، انني معتادة على التفاصيل . لكن هنا ازعجتني جدا والتفاصيل مبالغ بها ، فمثلا استغرق الكاتب ما يقارب ال60 او70 صفحة لكي يصف فقط حال جيليات عندما ذهب لاستعادة السفينة . ولاكون صريحة ، تخطيت بعض تلك الصفحات لاني لم اعد قادرة على الإكمال . ولكن مع ذلك لم اترك الكتاب لاني لست معتادة على ترك اي كتاب من المنتصف في الحقيقة . خاب ظني جدا في فكتور ، وكما قال محمد عبده: كنت اظن وكنت اظن وخاب ظنيربما يجب لوم الطبعة وليس الكاتب . ولكني مع ذلك سأعطي الكاتب فرصة واجرب احدب نوتردام والبؤساء :)

  • Jan-Maat
    2019-05-11 23:51

    ***CAUTION*** This review contains full frontal male nudity (view spoiler)[ not actually illustrated, please contain your disappointment (hide spoiler)] Victor Hugo is maybe the best of the worst novelists or the worst of the best, the grandfather of fat awful airport novels, at once magnificent, and risible. To explain it differently, imagine a personal ignorant of religion(view spoiler)[ sorry, this is like something out of classical economics (hide spoiler)], and then imagine dragging them round the grandest cathedrals, then imagine shoving them into a library and tell them to read until they found the books that inspired those buildings - they would come back to you with the novels of Victor Hugo (view spoiler)[ either that or textbooks on architecture (hide spoiler)]. Everything is big, expansive, both extravagantly detailed and beyond the limits of reality. Characters are hewn from a block of pure myth dragged down from the mountains of epic. Everything is many times larger than life. Seriously speaking there are no characters in this book, only caricatures, or perhaps pure titans brought from the world of Homer, Hesiod, or Gilgamesh into the 1820s when this novel is set, one is pure malice, another strength and daring, another cunning and mighty, the only woman in the story is charm personified (view spoiler)[ at least that is what the author tells us, another word for a person who says 'Good Morning Sun!' every day with a curtsy at day break, is annoying (hide spoiler)]she has no other personality (view spoiler)[ but to be fair in a Hugo novel you don't really need one, your super power is quite sufficient for authorial purposes(view spoiler)[ equally every bold slash of primary colour which a different kind(view spoiler)[ ie lesser (hide spoiler)] of writer might develop into a character has their kryptonite (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]. I will not discuss the plot. Partly because the blurb on the back cover gives away 80% of it, only withholding the ending, but more, because the plot could be fairly detailed on a postcard, in bullet points, indeed if you imagine such a postcard in the style of one of my reviews, with spoiler text between every word and within each spoiler, further nested spoilers so that the postcard fully expanded is 430 pages of text then you've got a fair picture of what the novel is like. For example at one point one of the principal titans enters into a life and death struggle with an octopus, he is stark naked, tired, hungry and thirsty, the octopus is evil and has grasped his bare right arm, seductively stroked his chest and is about to...when Hugo breaks off the narrative for severalrelaxed chapters to discuss sea monsters and octopi, which are evil because they are ugly,and ugly in Hugo's opinion because they are evil (view spoiler)[ other people might regard them as ideal from the point of view of hugging (hide spoiler)]. In the pen of a different writer this would be terrible, but Hugo pretty much makes it work, arguably the digressions and non-pertinent material on Guernsey life, particularly the folklore are the best bits, although according to the endnotes Hugo didn't find the native folklore big enough and had to invent some worthy of his fiction.Anyway the plot is an irrelevance. What we have is an epic struggle,M A N versus N A T U R E, in the fight of the centuries, nature is, one notes, very big, and since ordinary man is nothing to nature, therefore Hugo needs Titans as suitable protagonists. The plot merely exists to provide loose reason for the titans to come into proximity with one another and to strip off their clothes to wrestle naked with nature (view spoiler)[ indeed there well be too much full frontal male nudity in this book for it ever to be turned into a children's cartoon, soap opera, or musical (hide spoiler)]in his preface Hugo wrote : Religion, society, nature: such are the three struggles in which man is engaged. These three struggles are, at the same time, his three needs...In Notre-Dame de Paris the author denounced the first of these; in Les Miserables he drew attention to the second; in this book he points to the third (p xxvi).A curious thing is that Hugo is quite detached, even cerebral in his approach given to philosophising and generalising about life, fate and zoology (gorillas, I learnt, are like tigers(view spoiler)[ either because of their stripes or their well known propensity for engaging in life and death struggles with naked men (hide spoiler)]). When at one point he writes that we had been with one of his titans in his anxiety, I swore - (view spoiler)[ by the verdant verrucas of Saint Veronica! sorry, some times it is hard to hold back such improper utterances (hide spoiler)] as the titan's emotional life as displayed by Hugo was flatter than a very flat thing: we know that he is obsessively in love and criminally stalking the titan who is charm personified, and he weeps once for his dead mother, and is sacred of women in the style of Christy Mahon in Playboy of the Western World, otherwise nothing. Alone, exhausted, working, hungry, and fighting naked with a naked Octopus, nothing, no inner life at all. Actually though the whole Man versus Nature theme transcends the traditional novel, he anticipates or is an early exemplar of symbolism, leaping there from Romanticism, the brief shorts of realism slipping off him as he flies through the air. As symbolist text then the major theme maybe isn't man wrestling naked to the death with nature but the relationship between and within the principles of similarity and dissimilarity. Therefore to spoil the ending (view spoiler)[ there is a happy ending, or an unhappy ending depending on which titan you are looking at, or better said the ending is in sympathy with the nature of all titans involved, happiness and unhappiness mere human notions too small for the vision of Victor Hugo.(hide spoiler)]He is an impressively bold and confident writer, one hundred pages in to the book, my impression was that he hadn't even begun his narrative, he was still telling me how fantastic his titans were. And sometimes he plainly runs with delight in his own invention way beyond what the narrative needs, as in his invention of the three boys out after bird's eggs who over-heard a significant conversation. Hugo can't resist having one of the boys as a pure and ultimate quintessence of boyhood,(yes, you can sod off Peter Pan!) Victor Hugo's boy abandons his own family to get a job and sleep on a pile of straw in the workshop, but he is also so pure a boy that he doesn't conform to work place discipline like some wage-slave, no, he gives himself days off to go hunting for bird eggs and investigate haunted houses when ever he pleases (view spoiler)[his employer would sack him and throw his straw on the street in disgust but for the fact that they only pay him two Belgian buns and a half handful of marbles once a fortnight (hide spoiler)]. Hugo is also droll and makes witty asides as he comments on the life and habits of people and while he philosophises generally which make it a pleasant and easy read.Symbolically the life and death struggle between the naked man who is terrified of women, held in a deadly embrace by a creature with a single orifice(view spoiler)[ though apparently real as opposed to literary octupi have at least two, more if gender requires (hide spoiler)], with only a stiff unbending tool (view spoiler)[ a knife (hide spoiler)]to defend himself with, makes a curious degree of sense (view spoiler)[ and cries out for a queer reading of the text, as does his potential father-in-law's evident delight in him as perfect spouse, or indeed the final marriage between 'gown and gown', indeed male power is related to celibacy here, true men are however fathers, but only through acquiring the children of others, not through weakening themselves by disposing of their own seed like lesser, womenly-men (hide spoiler)] like things come together in successful union, while the combination of opposites causes death, this paradigm will ultimately in Hugo's vision be changed by (drum roll, please)T E C H N O L O G Y machines will not conquer nature so much as allow the fruitful union of opposites - steam power is the fertile, productive child of the marriage of water and fire. So Hugo's near final vision of spring time as the wet dream of nature (pp424-5) is not as bizarre as it may sound but beautifully integral to the symbolism of the whole.I imagine this novel is best read in French, this translation reads fine, but one of Hugo's delights is particularities of the Norman-French patois of Guernsey, which doesn't have quite the same impact in translation into a uniform English. Hugo wrote this novel and interestingly Les Miserables while in exile from Second Empire France. Hugo lived in Hauteville House on Guernsey, his mistress was ensconced up the road, close but not too close, from memory I think his writing room was next to this one and had, in addition to the views, a standing desk for writing. I'm pretty sure that the downstairs rooms have carpet on the ceiling (view spoiler)[ its some years ago that I was there, and I was wearing clothes at the time,and memory is unreliable particularly when it bumps into imagination (hide spoiler)], add to that, that he was conducting seances and perhaps you can feel the unlocking of the imagination taking place in his skull at the time, gazing out at the sea, convincing the credulous that he was in contact with the dead, isolated from France but locked into a Francophone world.

  • عبدالعزيز المحيني
    2019-05-14 21:57

    بالنسبة لي هي أفضل ما كتب فيكتور هيغو، أفضل حتى من البؤساء، بحث فيها هيغو بالنفس البشرية وأظهر نبوغا في التحليل النفسي لدواخل ونوازع اللاشعور. كما أن حبكتها أحكم من حبكة البؤساء وأكثر تشويقا. أنصح بقراءتها.

  • Rick
    2019-04-28 18:49

    Of the three Victor Hugo novels most readily available in the U.S., The Toilers of the Sea is the least well-known and the one that Hollywood and Broadway have not transformed into pop culture hits. Set in the Channel Islands, where Hugo was exiled for a time, it recounts the heroic story of a local man who risks all the little he has, including his life, to rescue the engines of a shipwrecked steamer and win the hand of the steamer’s owner’s niece. Because it is Hugo there is much description and explanatory text of the channel, the islands, the weather, tides, sailing and the newly invented steamboats, the history and culture of these partly English, partly French islands, the making of revolvers, and the various sea creatures that play a role in the novel’s plot. These supportive essay-like chapters are almost always interesting, though they sometimes result is some funny transitions when Hugo begins a chapter that resumes his narrative as if the conversation he was picking up again was separated from its start by a few pages, not ninety. A friend of mine says that Hugo may be the smartest writer he has ever read and I think he might be right. If not the smartest, he is the most curious and generous in sharing what his curiosity nets in clear and precise prose. But the narrative (perhaps half the book, maybe a hair less) is compelling, an insightful examination of human nature with characters of great depth if somewhat monolithic nature (Gilliatt, Lethierry, his niece, the young minister are good; Rantaine and a few others are not just rogues but pure evil). Hugo is fascinated by extremes and the pressures and dilemmas they create for others. Despite the black and white nature of the characters, consequences are complex and have less than predictable results, which makes the reading rewarding. So does Hugo’s prose: “The scar of human work can be seen on the work of God.” “The dream world is the aquarium of the night.” “Facts are a rising tide.” “The human heart is a practiced spy.” “Nothing is more inept than integrity under threat from the law.” “Any number is zero when compared to infinity.” There are countless examples of such sharp, fertile observations. And the sustained descriptions are equally startling in their clarity and power. Hugo is one of the elite of the masters of world literature.

  • Teresa Proença
    2019-04-30 01:52

    "Os teimosos são os sublimes. Quem é apenas bravo tem só um assomo, quem é apenas valente tem só um temperamento, quem é apenas corajoso tem só uma virtude; o obstinado na verdade tem a grandeza. Quase todo o segredo dos grandes corações está nesta palavra: perseverando. A perseverança está para a coragem como a roda para a alavanca; é a renovação perpétua do ponto de apoio."— Victor Hugo, Os Trabalhadores do Mar— Victor Hugo, The Wave Or My DestinyCansei-me no alto mar a desencalhar o navio, a proteger-me de tempestades, a lutar com monstros. Mas aguentei tudo porque estava com Gilliatt... Estrelas por páginas:para as primeiras 187: 4; para as seguintes 138: 3;para as penúltimas 67: 5;para as últimas 8: 1000000.

  • لونا
    2019-04-26 22:10

    تجسيد رائع للصمت القاتل ... أنت الوحيد أيها القارئ من يعلم بحب جيليات لداروشات ...(view spoiler)[فجيليات الشاب الصامت المنعزل عن القرية يقع في حب مدللة والدها داروشات ... هذا الوالد الميسور مادياً يفقد ثروته بسبب غرق الدجاجة التي تبيض ذهباً "السفينة البخارية" فتخرج داروشات بإعلان زواجها من الشخص الذي ينجح في إنقاد المحرك البخاريتدور أغلب أحدات الرواية في وصف معاناة جيليات في انتزاع المحرك ومحاولة إنقاذه والبقاء حياً مع كثرة الأخطار التي تتربص لهينجح جيليات ويعود من سفره بالمحرك ولكنه يجد أن داروشات قد وقعت في حب غيره ... ولكنه يبارك هذا الحب ويهديها الكسوة الذي حضرها للزواج بها لتزوج بها "غيره" ... ويرحل عنها وعنَّا وعن الدنيا ويستقر في قاع البحر (hide spoiler)]قرأت أغلب روايات فيكتور هوغو وتبقى عمال البحر "الأروع" ... أنصح الجميع بقراءتها

  • Oziel Bispo
    2019-05-13 02:00

    Nunca em todos os meus anos de leitura me deparei com um personagem mais carismático mais encantador que Gilliatt. Quem já leu o livro sabe do que estou falando, e quem ler vai saber e se encantar.Esse livro é uma verdadeira obra prima. No começo o livro é um pouco confuso pois as histórias dos personagens são contadas separadamente, mas na parte final as peças vão se juntando e então aparece o encantamento e a admiração por esse fenômeno chamado Gilliatt .!!

  • Coincidence F
    2019-05-19 00:04

    رواية تقع في 3 اقسام و في كل قسم يوجد عدد من الكتب .لا أنكر أنّي بالبداية وقعت في لخبطة من طريقة هيقو بتقسيم الكتاب وتركيزه على كل شخصية بشكل منفرد ، حتى أني ظننت أنها مجموعة قصص عن بحّارين مختلفين ، لكن سرعان ماتتقاطع الأحداث وتترابط حكايا الشخصيات .الرواية مليئة بالدهشة . فيها من الحب الكافي بتحدي الصخور والبحر الهائج والجوع والعطش . وفيها من التضحية مايجعلك تسمع صوت العواصف وتتذوق طعم الملح وتحس بالبرد .تتألم لألم جيليات ، وتحس عظمة الطبيعة .أحببتها ، وأظنها من الروايات الي ستبقى بذاكرتي طويلاً

  • Ferris
    2019-04-28 22:51

    Imagine the perfect recipe, the perfect blend of elements. In many respects "The Toilers of the Sea" is that perfect blend. One part epic drama, one part satiric wit, one part ethnographic study of Guernsey Island in the mid 1800s, one part battle between man and nature, one part spiritual allegory, and the topping is two parts elegant prose. Yes, yes, it is a lot to take on, but Victor Hugo did it oh so well. How many authors can make long drawn out descriptive passages gripping? Hugo's prose is marvelous and his insight into human nature seems the result of astute, keen observation. This book, written during his exile on Guernsey Island, represents a veritable compendium of observation. His writing makes me want to hop a flight to Guernsey yesterday! I have witnessed storms such as Hugo describes and it sent shivers up my spine as he recaptured the sense of foreboding in the air just before a massive storm breaks!Drawbacks, unfortunately, they exist. Dialogue? Relationship between individuals? I get the sense that Hugo was aching with solitude and projected that into this novel. Character development is done really well, except that the characters rarely interact until the very end of the tale, and then quite superficially. If, as existentialists say, we are ultimately alone and judged by our actions, then this allegory is perfection itself!I loved it......

  • Ben
    2019-04-30 23:47

    You hear that? The earth just shook a little because Ernest Hemingway, after vomiting on himself, shook his fist in disgust as one more reader found The Toilers of the Sea. Victor Hugo, the modern era's poet philosopher, ponders Man's relationship with nature. He musters every ounce of his romantic emotion and universal sooth-saying while still dictating precise details regarding the actions, jargon and sciences of the cultural entity in the Norman archipelago. But, of course, a social dissentor like Hugo can't ignore the naggging urge to satirically bash superstitious nonsense and ignorant judgements rampant through the towns on Guernsey and Jersey. Neither can he ignore another ever-present urge to execute long-winded diatribes about his setting. Alas, as with Hemingway, one endures tortures in order to experience the feeling of ethereal satisfaction upon closing their book. Because Hugo wrote The Toilers of the Sea while in exile on the Channel, I thought his ideas about the conflict between man and nature might resemble the social conflicts between man and society. As I progressed through the book, I felt Hugo's hand paternally patting my shoulder as if to say, "It would have been a nice idea, but let's go a little deeper." And deeper we went.My perspective on Man's role and place within nature broadened immensely as I read about Gilliatt's struggles in the Douvre reef as he attempts to save the engines from the successful sea merchants innovative steam ship, the Durande. Symbolically, of course, the steam ship, like any other industrial development, stands as an afront to nature and, as Hugo so sarcastically insinuats, to God. In saving the engines from a ruined Durande, held captive in the Douvre rocks, battered by nature, Man asserts his dominance over nature, even when it volleys its harshest artilery at him. But something actually bothers me about Hugo's story. I found his personification of nature, his description of the sea and her power, embittered with human emotions like a formidable foe on a battlefield, excessive and tiresome. Hemingway high-five. Yet this distaste, to my surprise, led me down a path which Hugo may or may not have intended. At first, I noticed how Gilliatt derived meaning for his own life and struggles from viewing nature as a personified entity. Do men really struggle against nature, or themselves? Perhaps this perspective on nature derives from an emotional or conditional projection of ones own existence, therefore injecting value into one's ego. We view nature as an adversary because it bolsters our sense of cosmic importance, much like actual wars, which we wage oftentimes for principle, would solidy our place in a civilization and add credence to our ways of life. But then I wondered how Gilliatt could curse nature but subsist on its bounty for survival simultaneously. Why chastise a rock as a malicious adversary, part of a sea trying to destroy him, then watch that same sea indifferently smash and batter that same rock? Then I finally wondered why, at the end of it all, Gilliatt did not display any pride, any triumphant celebrations. What did he learn? What does he know now that I do not? Hugo revealed his philosophy on Man's relationship with nature - not against nature, not versus nature. As in so many other cases, especially with God, Man thinks of his foe only when he notices it blocking his own profit or prosperity. We think of ourselves at odds with nature only when the storm comes. We feel a peace, a happiness, even, I daresay, a unity with nature when Spring comes, the flowers bloom, the scented breeze sooths and the trees shade. Can we exist united with nature in these cases but then sever the treaty when the storm comes? Or ought we to be like the rock and endure the pleasant and the storm in the same fashion? Similary, Mess Lethierry, the Durande's owner who rises to immense profits and, after the shipwreck, dives into deep depressions and social ruin, must weather the calm and the storm. His daughter, who must marry one man while loving another, must endure such a calamity as she endured the bliss of riches and innocence before coming of age.But, again, what did Gilliatt learn? Why did he not return home as a triumphant war hero, happy in his newfound valued ego? Hugo will not tell us, but one might infer it from Gilliatt's actions - another Hemingway high-five. Without disclosing the final events of the novel, consider whether man himself exists as a benign part of the natural cycle. Man need not fight nature, except in his own ignorant egoism, but at a high level of understanding knows that, like nature, he is responsible to bring the calm, raise the flowers and provide the shade for others while enduring the destructive powers which the same nature brings. Man can end the storms in others' lives. He can endure the violence of the tempest and act out the beauty of Eden. He needs not stop one any more than the other. He exists as a part of the cycle, ready to pass on as easily as promote the well-being of his fellow man. Man ebbs and flows with nature no matter the contrary efforts and arguments for which he toils. He enjoys the ethereal quality of creation while respecting the power of destruction - embracing life and death both in their might and beauty. He cannot alter either and in fighting one he severs himself from the other in an ignorant display of fical egoism, benefitting only to himself, and loses before his adversary ever breaks a sweat.

  • Jim
    2019-05-25 23:08

    Not many people read Victor Hugo any more, and that is a shame. No one could write prose that is more emphatic and dramatic. No matter that it espouses 19th century values: At the same time it is like a precursor of existentialism.Gilliatt, the hero, is a Channel Island sailor who knows he sea as few people do. He is in love with Dérouchette Lethierry, whose father runs a steam ferry connecting Guernsey Island with the Breton port of St-Malo. When this ferry is deliberately sunk by its captain, Gilliatt undertakes to salvage the still workable engine and return it so that Lethierry could mount it on another vessel. He spends two months on an isolated rock in the English Channel trying to raise the engine and put it on his own little ship.The Toilers of the Sea is a study in evil (the captain who wrecks the ferry) and heroism (Gilliatt). The ending is so operatic, yet somehow it works.

  • Laura
    2019-05-13 01:46

    PREFACEReligion, Society, and Nature! these are the three struggles of man. They constitute at the same time his three needs. He has need of a faith; hence the temple. He must create; hence the city. He must live; hence the plough and the ship. But these three solutions comprise three perpetual conflicts. The mysterious difficulty of life results from all three. Man strives with obstacles under the form of superstition, under the form of prejudice, and under the form of the elements. A triple ἁναγκη weighs upon us. There is the fatality of dogmas, the oppression of human laws, the inexorability of nature. In Notre Dame de Paris the author denounced the first; in the Misérables he exemplified the second; in this book he indicates the third. With these three fatalities mingles that inward fatality—the supreme ἁναγκη, the human heart.Page 134:The Channel Islands are like England, an aristocratic region. Castes exist there still. The castes have their peculiar ideas, which are, in fact, their protection. These notions of caste are everywhere similar; in Hindostan, as in Germany, nobility is won by the sword; lost by soiling the hands with labour: but preserved by idleness. To do nothing, is to live nobly; whoever abstains from work is honoured. A trade is fatal. In France, in old times, there was no exception to this rule, except in the case of glass manufacturers. Emptying bottles being then one of the glories of gentlemen, making them was probably, for that reason, not considered dishonourable. In the Channel archipelago, as in Great Britain, he who would remain noble must contrive to be rich. A working man cannot possibly be a gentleman. If he has ever been one, he is so no longer. Yonder sailor, perhaps, descends from the Knights Bannerets, but is nothing but a sailor. Page 236:It is the self-willed ones who are sublime. He who is only brave, has but a passing fit, he who is only valiant has temperament and nothing more, he who is courageous has but one virtue. He who persists in the truth is the grand character.[Pg 236] The secret of great hearts may be summed up in the word: Perseverando. Perseverance is to courage what the wheel is to the lever; it is the continual renewing of the centre of support. Let the desired goal be on earth or in heaven, only make for the goal. Everything is in that; in the first case one is a Columbus, in the second a god. Not to allow conscience to argue or the will to fail—this is the way to suffering and glory. In the world of ethics to fall does not exclude the possibility of soaring, rather does it give impetus to flight. The mediocrities allow themselves to be dissuaded by the specious obstacles—the great ones never. To perish is their perhaps, to conquer their conviction. You may propose many good reasons to the martyr why he should not allow himself to be stoned to death. Disdain of every reasonable objection begets that sublime victory of the vanquished which we call martyrdom.Page 238:The pressure of darkness acts in inverse proportion upon different kinds of natures. In the presence of night man feels his own incompleteness. He perceives the dark void and is sensible of infirmity. It is like the vacancy of blindness. Face to face with night, man bends, kneels, prostrates himself, crouches on the earth, crawls towards a cave, or seeks for wings. Almost always he shrinks from that vague presence of the Infinite Unknown. He asks himself what it is; he trembles and bows the head. Sometimes he desires to go to it.This curiosity is evidently forbidden to the spirit of man; for all around him the roads which bridge that gulf are broken up or gone. No arch exists for him to span the Infinite. But there is attraction in forbidden knowledge, as in the edge of the abyss. Where the footstep cannot tread, the eye may reach; where the eye can penetrate no further, the mind may soar. There is no man, however feeble or insufficient his resources, who does not essay. According to his nature he questions or recoils before that mystery. With some it has the effect of repressing; with others it enlarges the soul. The spectacle is sombre, indefinite.Another great masterpiece by Victor Hugo, one of the greatest French writers.The English version of this book can be found at Gutenberg Project.

  • J.M. Hushour
    2019-05-21 22:51

    You know an author's legacy is going to the shitter when his or her most famous novels get translated into Disney cartoons and garish musicals. But what's worse is that the rest of your output gets duly ignored. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that "Toilers" might be Hugo's greatest work. It's definitely superior to "Notre Dame" and it gives "Les Miserables" a run for its money.Sublime and supreme, this is the ultimate tale of man against the world. Remember that English 101 crap about man vs nature? Forget all that. This is about humanity in nature, humanity as a conquering and chaotic devilry of a force, unbeatable only on its own terms, even God's. There's so much going on in this novel that charms, even the Melvillian interruptions for discussion of sea life and off-the-cuff discussions of semi-related topics to the main story are welcome.The plot? A lonely seaman goes to rescue a shipwreck crammed between two rocks on a deadly reef. Oh yeah, there's a girl. And a killer octopus. And crime. And murder. And the indomitable, simple idea that "It must be done". Hugo's genius not only lies in his telling of Gilliatt's tale, it's also in what he decides to leave out of the bulk of the novel: what everyone else is doing. But by the time you get to the harrowing final page, it'll all make sense.One of the greats!

  • Greg
    2019-05-23 23:55

    Like early Clive Cussler? Then this is a must-read literary classic for you: a singular hero, Gilliatt (versus Dirk Pitt, his sidekick Giordino, tons of high tech equipment, and Numa backup teams the world over in Cussler's world) must salvage the engines of ship which is wrecked, upright, between two massive rock towers springing from the ocean depths using the technology of the mid-19th century.. How he does it is amazing enough: why he does it and what happens afterward is icing on the cake. Of the four Hugo novels I've read, this is my favorite. Just one flaw: Hugo utilizes a heartbreakingly beautiful final which is just too similar to the end of his (also very good) "The Man Who Laughs". As the end of the novel approaches, I was thinking, "Oh no, please no, not again, where's a box of tissue..." That said, still, "Toilers of the Sea" just might be the greatest "Man Vs. Nature" in all of fiction literature. And even if you know the ending, there will be tears.

  • Vicki-shawn
    2019-05-01 19:45

    I know many people will disagree with me here, but this particular book was an aggressively tedious read. The story started off very well and held my interest tightly, unfortunately it soon was a struggle to care about the story as the narrative became extraneously descriptive. The tempo of this tale is incredible slow, as the author carries on describing the entire history of every little thing that appears in the story; I would say this book is twenty percent story and eighty percent needless tangents. Feel free to just read a summary of the book as the story its self is not worth reading all the mind numbing minutia.

  • Moon Rose
    2019-05-08 01:12

    Our life seems to stand on the precipice of an isolated island divided as it is by a great sea that separates us from knowing the course of our destiny. To live is to toil this sea---to swim blindfolded upon the great expanse of its infinite waters that incessantly make us work hard to bridge the gap between our life and the fulfillment of our destiny...The sea is symbolically strewn in the novel as the immutable rough path that we should all undertake without much choice. It is Victor Hugo's overwhelming representation of nature's ubiquitous presence against man, depicting with such lucidity its unpredictable proclivities as governed by an Unfathomable Power that is set above and against the veritable limitations and fragility of human life. Hence, making us all in Hugo's descriptive prowess eternally bound to this scheming and grandiose spell, always at the risk of peril to survive as we all become like Gilliatt, before meeting our death---its eternal slumber and subsequent peace as The Toilers of the Sea.This consequential restrictions of man against the invincibility of nature is the main thematic element of the novel, depicting man's continuous journey towards hope despite the sequential aftermath of despair and isolation that seem to naturally follow as invoked by man's sheer struggles and experiences with the unpredictability of nature, concentrating on its predatory instinct that seems to be imbued to all creatures that purposely appear not in accordance to what is aesthetically good, but more so with its malevolent alter ego and evil twin counterpart that darkens any form of hope with its hazardous form of violent destruction.Like Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, Gilliatt's character is honed with a golden heart of unselfish kindness, a radiating character of will and love in spite of being castrated from society, submerging himself in his own self-imposed isolation, appearing similar to the island of his own upbringing as Guernsey in his time seems to embrace its own solitude in the lonely sea of the Channel Islands.This veritable goodness on the part of Gilliatt though appearing to be quite peculiar at first glance as if bound to be out of place from the midst of the novel's evolving harsh environment, has a spark of unique differentiation in himself with transcendental qualities that result from his sheer detachment from society, filling him in his loneliness and solitude with profound meditative awe that provides an understanding of something, which in turn could not be articulated, but could only be reciprocated by the goodness of one's heart, setting him apart from the mere narrow-mindedness and deceit of the unthinking rest and yet, Gilliatt in spite of his humble self gifted with super human strength still succumbs to the weakness of his own heart at the end of the novel, a testament of beauty and love, of a good and kind man not spared even by fate, destined to perish from a life that is filled with untoward tribulations and eventful surprises.Somehow, Gilliatt has become Hugo's bait to the tumultuous sea, swallowed up whole to its very depths of uncertainty. With his true love for Déruchette crushed and burned, his only hope has turned into a sacrificial offering. With Gilliatt, Hugo demonstrated the cruelty of destiny that even to the very best of men, immunity is not given, not even in the form of a blessing as destiny incoherently strikes without much differentiation from what is good and from what is evil. ☾☯

  • hope mohammed
    2019-05-03 20:08

    #رواية لايمكن ان يقال عنها رائعة باكتفاء وصفي متواضع ، استطيع ان اقول اني افضلها على جميع اعمال #فكتور_هوجو في عمقها الانساني ، تشبه في قراءاتها التامل في الذات وستلاحظ وانت تقرأها ان علاقتك للبحر ستصبح معقدة اكثر .رغم قراءتي واعجابي في الماضي للبؤساء اجد روحي تعلقت في هذا الكتاب كثيرا اثبت هوجو لي حجم قلمه وبراعته في وصف الانسان المتوحد في رحلة جيليات البحرية وايضا للطبيعة وخاصة البحر المجرى_فتح الميم _ الغامض الكبير الحنون في وجه الشمس لكنه اكثر احلكاكا في المساء حين يصبح والظلام دامسا فيختلط خط السماء بالبحر ويصبحان كونا واحدا هنا الخوف يكبر ويصطرع في قلب الانسان الذي يتجرا ويخوضه ..يعرض هوجو البطل المعزول يعيش في مجتمع يعتبره منذ البداية غريب اطوار لانه غريب عن المدينة وتدور بين الالسنة الحكايا والتآويل فتنمو اعشاش الغموض والاساطير حوله ولايتشجع ليخوض معهم اويحاول ان يتداخل مع هذا المجتمع ، وفي قلب الرجل ينبت حب الانسة داروشات بنت اخ الغني يتيمة ولكنها ذات مال ولكن طبيعة جيليات المتوحدة يجعل وسيلة التواصل معها لا تتعدى النظر والموسيقى. التضحية التي قدمها جيليات ليفوز بقلبها بالقاء نفسه في البحر حينما قال الجميع لا ومن ثم يتنازل لها مرة اخرى ضد قلبه عن وعدها مفضلا سعادتها كانت نقاط شجاعة ايضا اضافها لشخصيته النادرة في الرواية ولكن بشكل ما تعتبر هذه التفاصيل ركن صغير من اصل الرواية والتي تركز طبعا على رؤى جيليات في خوصه مغامرته ضد الببر ضد الاعاصير والظلام الى جانب الكائنات البحرية الصعبة التاويل لحركاتها وسكناتها .الصمت هو سيد المكان وعقله لقد علقت في اوصاف هوجو وفلسفته التي اضافها في كتابه ، معروف ان بين هوجو والكنيسة حروب فقد كانت مؤسسة نفاق براي هوجو والكنيسة اعتبرته بعد ذلك خارجا عن الدين وحاربته بدورها وفي الرواية يصف هذا النفاق كثيرا فهو في مشهد يخبرداروشات ان تتزوج رجلا افضل من ان تتزوج كاذبا .. ايضا فلسفته في الوحدة والحب ااظنها مجازا عن وحدته هو التي عاناها ايام النفي فقد هجرته زوجته وقتها ومات ولداه وايضا مرض ابنته هو رجل يعرف المعاناة ويعرف ان يسبر اغواراها ويصفها كذلك ..ساذكر هنا بايجاز قصتي مع كتاب هوجو هذا فقد ابتعته منذ زمن بعيد يعود ل اثنا عشر سنة او اقل بسنة وكانت ايام دراسة وانشغال فاستثقلته واجلته حتى من الله علي بالزواج فاهملته اخدت كل كتبي ماعدا هو تركته في بيت الوالدين مع الزمن قرات البؤساء واحدب نوتردام احببتهم ولكني لااعلم لم تجاهلت هذا الكتاب طبعا الكتاب كان يتنقل من مخزن الى اخر ومن مكتبة الى ركن وبعد فترة تذكرته اخدته واضعته في كيس ما و بحثت لكن لم اجده فنسيته فترة حتى ظهر امامي مصادفة فلم اصدق ركنته جانبا وفي نيتي قراءته يوما ما ، وهاانا اليوم احمد الله انه عاد الي وقد قراته بعد عمر طويل لذا اضافة الى اعجابي الشديد به وبهوجو ممتنة لله الذي اعاده لي واتمنى قراءة الرجل الضاحك في اقرب فرصة لاني اعتبر هوجو من كتاب فرنسا الرائعين الذي تجد نفسك في تفاصيل ابطالها وحدة فالجان واحدب نوتردام وهنا وحدة جيليات في كف البحر والليل هم ابطال غير عاديين اجتماعيا في مجتمع لا يتغير رؤياه السلبية للمختلف ، وفي نفس الوقت قد تجد لهم من نفسك الشيء الكثير وهذه هي عبقريية الكاتب المفكر حين يكون حبر جمهوره ، فهو في كتاباته يجمع خيوط الفكر مع الطبيعة مع الانسان ويضعهم امام سكيولوجية مجتمع فظ كعادة المجتمعات المنساقة خلف الاشاعات والتاويل واضعا كل هذا الخليط تحت قبضة السياسة التي تخضع غالبا لرجل الدين فترى بعينه وتحكم بها ...خليط انبثق من المعاناة انصب ليملاء عيون وقراء هوجو ...

  • Sayaf
    2019-04-25 23:48

    "رواية الإنسان في مواجهته للطبيعة في سكونها وضجيجها، في روعتها ورعبها، بما يعيش فيها من كائنات لطيفة أو شياطين مخيفة، بما فيها من عناية إله عظيم، ومن ألسنة من نار وأشداق فاغرة لحيوانات اللعنة والغضب الإلهي. هي قصة الحضارة التي وضعتها يد الله وتركت للإنسان أن يختار دوره فيها، وأشاعات فيها الحركة إرادة الله الفائقة." عظيمة جداً. ورواية ملحمية

  • Sylvester
    2019-04-29 00:55

    A really meaty main character. Absolutely loved all the bits about his struggle salvaging the wreck - man against the sea - very epic-feeling and harkens back to Greek myth for me, you know, heroes unsurpassed, like Hercules or Achilles. And always with that tragic slant, which gives it depth of feeling. I was truly enchanted by the contrast of characters innocent of pain, immersed in their joy, with our hero, Gilliatt, standing on a rock lashed by the sea, a symbol of those who give all and never taste the reward. Hugo has an incredible gift, and I am sure this is not nearly his best writing. More! I want more!Some hours later...Yeah, the book has been steeping in my mind for the last while, and I had to go back and up the rating to 4*. It might even deserve 5*, because any book that clings to you and seems more and more true deserves to be recognized - but I'm holding the 5 as I think the next Hugo book I've got on the stack tops this one. I highly recommend this to everyone.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-05-22 20:00 W. Moy ThomasDedication:I DEDICATE THIS BOOK TO THE ROCK OF HOSPITALITY AND LIBERTY TO THAT PORTION OF OLD NORMAN GROUND INHABITED BY THE NOBLE LITTLE NATION OF THE SEA TO THE ISLAND OF GUERNSEY SEVERE YET KIND, MY PRESENT ASYLUM PERHAPS MY TOMBOpening:IA WORD WRITTEN ON A WHITE PAGEChristmas Day in the year 182- was somewhat remarkable in the island ofGuernsey. Snow fell on that day. In the Channel Islands a frosty winteris uncommon, and a fall of snow is an event.

  • Lamya ❀
    2019-05-19 20:46

    " فالحياة رحلة والفكر دليلها.. فإذا ما انعدم الدليل، توقفنا .. فيضيع الهدف وتنعدم القوة. كما أن للحظ قوة غريبة في حياتنا .. وكثيراً ما يصيب ويؤثر جداً في شخصيتنا الخلقية..أما الأمل، فهو تنمية النفس واقالتها .. ليس هناك ما يصمد امام المصاعب كلها سوى النفوس الكبيرة التي تمتع دائماً بالقوة.." This story touched my soul and made me tear up of how beautiful it is.

  • AlaaA
    2019-05-10 23:44

    اول روايه قرأتها في حياتي و أعجبت بي فيكتور هيجوا و قررت أتعلم الفرنسية علشان استمتع بكتاباته و شعره و بالفعل لكن للأسف لم اصل لهذه المحرحله بعد

  • Akankshya
    2019-05-14 01:55

    ending hard to digest!!!!real life does not always end smoothly.Although didn't want the ending to be this way,felt miserable about the end part but still liked altogether.

  • Johan Haneveld
    2019-04-29 21:05

    The Toilers of the SeaVictor Hugo is fast becoming my favorite author. Well, he’s still got to pass J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, but after reading The Toilers of the Sea I’m determined to find more of his work in translation. I have already found out about 93 and The Man Who Laughs being available and look forward to reading them. It doesn’t mean he’s easy to read though, Hugo is well known for going on long excurses about topics only tangientially related to the main plot. They can be a chore to read, and I understand how some people got the idea of publishing abridged versions of these books. And I myself am someone who appreciates narrative and plot in stories, and stopped reading Tolstoy because there the tale was meandering too much for my taste. Why then do I make an exception for Hugo, and heartily recommend the complete, unabridged tales, even though they contain thorough descriptions of e.g. life on the Canal islands? Well, in the first place, these descriptions are as I said, thorough. In the introduction to this work is noted that the first hundred pages of the novel are still one of the best introductions to Guernsey and the other islands in the vicinity (and they do give you a comprehensive view of life on these islands in the nineteenth century, plus I would never have known so much about steam engines if I didn’t read this book). In the second place, Hugo is a master of language, and even his long, long pontifications are a joy to read, and they are larded with insightful observations about human nature and, yes, it’s true, a lot of humor. Even the long, drawn out descriptions are fun to read. And in the third place, they create the necessary backdrop to really ‘get’ the tale. Hugo’s stories are strongy connected to specific times and places, and all the background information adds to it. Hugo creates in his readers’ mind a strong sense of place, to really get the feel of the circumstances, and I believe all details add to this. Only then the tale will really speak to the reader. In essence it’s not that complicated a story. A steamer is beached on a reef out in the sea. The daughter of the owner promises to marry the man who returns the ship, and Gilliat, an outcast, a dreamer, but also something of an engineer, takes up her offer. Over the course of several months he struggles with the sea, with storms, with monsters. With blind force. He overcomes, but is himself overcome, not by the ocean, but by the human heart. Hugo’s descriptions made me involved with Gilliats struggle, that takes on metaphoric characteristics. And there’s a real beauty here too: when Gilliat discovers the under water cave, for example, the description is lyrical. Same with the storm, in all its power. Really recommended. And find the version containing Hugo’s drawings. The man was an artist as well.

  • Bruce
    2019-05-01 19:11

    I consider Victor Hugo the apotheosis of a romantic writer, in whose fictional universe love, honor and commitment are the most worthy and noble of all human choices, though often made at great cost. This cost is usually tragic in his novels, but revealing, not flaws in the universe, but the relative insignificance of all calamities, even death, beside such choices.The conflict of Toilers of the Sea puts the love, honor and commitment of its hero, Gilliatt, in the starkest possible relief -- so much so that it finally strains the credulity of the reader. But this is really only a flaw from the perspective of superficial realism. From such a standpoint, (view spoiler)[ Gilliatt's committing suicide because the woman he loves chooses someone else is an example of extreme neurosis bordering on psychosis. But Hugo's esthetic goal is to provide the intensest possible experience of loyalty to values, and one is overawed and inspired by his vision of man's heroic nature, even if Gilliatt's actions at the end are questionable. (hide spoiler)]

  • Sarah Abd el-wahab
    2019-05-22 20:06

    لا أتخيل وجود شخص في هذا العالم مستعد للتضحية بحبيبته لأجل إرضائها وتنفيذ رغبتها في ارتباطها بشخص آخر مثلما فعل جيليات!!! أعتقد أنه كان من الممكن اعترافه لها بحبه قبل حدوث ما حدث!! ولكنه فضل التضحية!! وفي النهاية حصل على قدره وهو الموت...فكان هذا جزاء تضحيته!

  • Capsguy
    2019-05-12 02:51

    Most beautiful thing I'm yet to read.

  • Matar Mohammad
    2019-04-26 19:06

    كالعادة هوقوفي رقيه و أناقتهيتحفنا بهذا العمل الخالدجيليات حيث الصدق و الانسانية وكل القيم في ابهائهاهذه الشخصيةلن يمحيها الزمن

  • Sara Dallmayr
    2019-05-24 19:08

    It feels as though I have been aboard this book for months. I mean this in the best possible way. I had not read any Victor Hugo as an adult. His style of story telling, his fastidious nature of description of minute detail after minute detail, he leaves no side of any stone or wrinkle untold or untouched. I found the condensed language to be refreshing. The book is a clinic of the sea, the toiling of the human spirit, a mystery, pure poetry. I will say Hugo's affliction for the beauty of youth - especially the female variety - to be a bit obsessive, almost to the point of cliché. Also, like Les Miserables, there is the older gentleman "father/not a father" benefactor to the rescued innocent girl with her transcendental beauty. Hugo encourages us to look beyond the physical appearance to the true nature of beauty, then immediately proceeds to praise physical beauty. I'll have to think that over a bit, but I forgive him. No one else tells a story and covers every single facet, physical and spiritual. In the beginning, he's also quite funny, reminding a bit of Mark Twain in his wry observations of human superstitions and religious contradictions. I'm going to miss reading this book. It was a rewarding journey.

  • Vicky Hunt
    2019-04-26 21:03

    The Man Whose Ship Came In... In Pieces--Spoilers!Another great work by Hugo. I'd thought The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Mis were his greatest works, and had never even heard of The Toilers of the Sea, until I stumbled across a hardback copy in a local used bookstore. It was definitely unlike either of his earlier books. But, I certainly was lulled unsuspectingly into that ending. The novel is written in a more mature style than Hugo's earlier works. But, typically, he takes many side excursions on a variety of topics throughout the main storyline. Normally, he has his characters in France, and surrounded by humanity. This time, they are surrounded by the sea... an honest arbiter of justice in all the affairs of man, or so it would seem through much of the novel. (view spoiler)[The side excursions cover a variety of topics mostly dealing with nature and life on the harsh Island of Guernsey (probably misspelled) to which he spent a number of years politically exiled earlier than the 1866 date of publishing the book. But, the main storyline deals with Gilliatt, a mysterious young man whose mother appears on the island with him as a small boy. She dies and leaves him alone. He becomes a recluse there in their cottage fishing for his living from the sea. Eventually he takes a quest to retrieve the engine from a shipwrecked steamboat belonging to Mess Lethierry, a local businessman who has lost everything; all for love and hope of marriage to the businessman's adopted niece, Deruchette.While on the rocks out at sea salvaging the steam engine, he undergoes fierce battles with the sea, a tempest, the shipwreck, and an octopus. He even finds the corpse of the captain of the shipwreck, with the stolen money belonging to Mess Lethierry tucked safely in a moneybelt. He returns to Guernsey with much of the ship in pieces on his small sloop, and presents the fortune to Mess Lethierry as a local hero. The story is indeed beautiful. But, the hero discovers inadvertently that Deruchette is in love with someone else. So, in those last final pages, he arranges for them to run away together using his own wedding plans, ring, and the trunk of clothes his mother had made for his one-day bride. After all these selfless acts, he sits on a rock on the coast and watches them sail away on the sea, while the tide comes in... being drowned on a rock in the sea. Yeah. I know. Right. That's just totally unexpected, or at least it was for me. You're welcome for the spoilers. I decided that for the purpose of this review that I could not avoid the spoilers. The book definitely comes across as a political allegory. But, more than that I was surprised because the tone of the book had been quite optimistic. The sea had managed to justify all the wrongs committed by the captain and the former partner of Mess Lethierry. Then, to have the hero swallowed up by the sea is just a total plunge into despair for Hugo. I expected a good ending for Guillatt, up until the tide came in and his eyes disappeared beneath sealevel. What was I thinking. I should have seen that coming. It is an exceptional work, and well worth reading. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading Hugo's novels. But, expect a wandering meandering tale... and a pessimistic ending. At least for the hero. Mess Lethierry, the bussinessman has his ship, which he is happily rebuilding. One win for the bussinessman. One loss for the toilers of the sea. (hide spoiler)]