The French historical novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo begins in 1815 and ends with the June Rebellion, better known as the Paris Uprising of 1832.
The story follows the life and redemption of ex-convict Jean Valjean. After years on the run from a policeman named Javert he makes the life changing decision to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette.
Les Misérables in stage form has been a global sensation for nearly 30 years. To date more than 60 million people in 42 countries have seen the longest running stage musical performed in 21 languages.
A film version of Les Misérables starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway hit theaters nationwide on December 25, 2012. Critics say that fans of the novel and stage production will appreciate the gritty, heart wrenching performances in the adaption, but others may perceive them as too serious and humorless.