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Toilers of the Sea (Version 2)

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By: (1802-1885)

Toilers of the Sea (Version 2) by Victor Hugo is a captivating tale of one man's struggle against the forces of nature. Set on the island of Guernsey, the story follows the protagonist, Gilliatt, as he battles a giant octopus in order to salvage a shipwreck and win the heart of his beloved Deruchette.

Hugo's vivid descriptions of the treacherous sea and the island's rugged coastline make the setting come alive, adding to the tension and drama of Gilliatt's quest. The author's rich prose and attention to detail create a sense of urgency and desperation that keeps the reader engaged from start to finish.

The character of Gilliatt is complex and multi-dimensional, eliciting both sympathy and admiration from the reader. His determination and courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles make him a compelling and relatable protagonist.

Overall, Toilers of the Sea (Version 2) is a gripping and emotional tale of love, sacrifice, and the indomitable human spirit. Hugo's masterful storytelling and vivid imagery make this novel a timeless classic that will resonate with readers long after they have turned the final page.

Book Description:
The book is dedicated to the island of Guernsey, where Victor Hugo spent 15 years in exile. Hugo uses the setting of a small island community to convert seemingly mundane events into drama of the highest caliber. Set just after the Napoleonic Wars, Toilers of the Sea deals with the impact of the Industrial Revolution upon the island. The story concerns a Guernseyman named Gilliatt, a social outcast who falls in love with Deruchette, the niece of a local shipowner, Mess Lethierry. When Lethierry's ship is wrecked on a perilous reef, Deruchette promises to marry whoever can salvage the ship's steam engine. Gilliatt eagerly volunteers, and the story follows his physical trials and tribulations, as well as the undeserved disapproval of his neighbors.
This is a recording of the Isabel Hapgood translation, long considered the best of early translations of the work. - Summary by John Greenman


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