Les Miserables is possibly the most remarkable work of fiction I have ever read. I have read it multiple times, including the full text and many different abridgments. I admit that despite it being my favorite book, I do not enjoy reading the entire original text each time. I am not a French scholar, a war historian, nor do I have any particular fascination with the French Revolution or Napoleon.
But I love this story. The first time I read an abridged version, I was shocked to see that Fantine was almost an afterthought; she was barely mentioned in the book. There were many glaring differences that I thought destroyed many of the characters, and thus the true power of this book. I have also read longer abridgments which include all the necessary portions, but still find it necessary to include vast descriptions of the sewers of Paris, and the Battle of Waterloo.
I finally decided to abridge the book myself. I only omitted those parts I found to be completely superfluous, unrelated to the narrative, or distracting from the flow of the story. I have attempted multiple times to contact World Library, Signet Classic, Random House, and any publisher of Les Miserables I can find. I have tried to obtain the rights or ask about possible publication - I have never received a response in any form from anyone. I have no interest in money. I did not write the book, I did not translate it. I simply love it, and wanted a version of it that I could fully enjoy, every single time. I thought others might enjoy it as well.
The original text contains over 540,000 words. My abridgment contains less than half that at under 254,000. I do not claim this version to be complete, I claim it to be enjoyable and readable.
For those who want to read it online: Here's Part 1.
For those who want to download the e-book for your kindle, nook, tablet, etc: Here is the free version of the e-book.