Sue's The Mysteries of Paris
not only influenced Les Miserables
, it also gave rise to a subgenre of Gothicky novels about the dark underside of big cities, including London, New Orleans and Philadelphia (George Lippard's notorious The Quaker City
). Aristocrats with secrets, a prostitute with a heart of gold, criminals nicknamed the Schoolmaster and the She-Wolf, an evil lawyer, thwarted love, blackmail and conspiracy – this is a sprawling novel that packs in everything and then adds more.-Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"One might not think that a gargantuan Parisian novel, published in 150 newspaper episodes in the middle of the 19th century, would fill anyone's 21st-century bill as an absolute ripsnorter - but Eugène Sue's The Mysteries of Paris
does exactly that... Few books are more earnest, and few read so fresh, so gloriously now. Part of that freshness comes down to the laurel-winning translation by Carolyn Betensky and Jonathan Loesberg... Even a bibliographic-centric Schoolmaster will not find for you a better novel in this annum, or most others." -The Philadelphia Inquirer
"[Sue] remains a literary hero to both dissidents and boulevardiers. Despite his relative obscurity outside France, this new translation of what is undoubtedly his crowning literary achievement should go some way to introducing the great serialist to the English-speaking world."
-The Times Literary Supplement