I am currently directing a student version of Les Miserables (the musical) with high school students, and am re-reading the novel. The great universal themes represented remain great, 28 years after I first read it in English, and a similar number of years after reading an abridged version in French. There is much of relevance today, and, I am finding on a second read, more humor and irony as well. If you have the time, read it. If you don't, read it anyway!