I got the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo,but if they are the same title and author can the text be different?so i got the book...i start reading it and it makes no sence what so ever.so just to...

I got the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo,but if they are the same title and author can the text be different?

so i got the book...i start reading it and it makes no sence what so ever.so just to make sure nothings funky...i have an assignment on it and on the paper it says a long quote and it says its found on page 56 but when i turned to page 56 there was no such quote like that...how is this possible?
can someone please,please,please help me out.

Expert Answers
hi1954 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There have been many editions of this work published since 1862, and no two will have the exact same page numbers.  This is often true of many books, but in the case of Les Miserables this can be pretty extreme, since the original is quite long and even most modern abridgements run well over eleven or twelve hundred pages, so it is very easy to find editions with very different page numbers.  I'm not sure that I have seen any modern unabridged editions.  Many times lines, sentences, paragraphs and entire sections which are important are left out of one edition or another, and different translations will phrase the same passages differently.  The original English edition left out the comment of a French general at the Battle of Waterloo, and some editions leave out the entire battle.  You should find out which edition your textbook or teacher is requiring, and try to find that one, or talk with your teacher about this.

The book itself revolves around the life of the character Jean Valjean and his personal transformation(s), as well as the life of his "daughter" and her lover, and the less documented but important personal transformation of the police prefect Gerard.  The text is an encyclopedic panorama of French life in the decades after the fall of Napolean, and you may need direction from your teacher about what exactly is being asked of you.