"The Man Who Laughs is Victor Hugo's best novel. (Curiously enough it was the one least understood by his contemporaries.) It is not a work of historical fiction, as its background of eighteenth-century England suggests, but a symbolic fantasy - an abstraction enacted on a profound metaphysical level. It is a work in which Hugo's imagination, freed of lesser concerns, creates a universe built in his own image and likeness. It is a dramatization of his view of man's existence presented in the form and the violent action of a suspense story."
- Ayn Rand