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The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
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The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (original 1831; edition 1947)

by Victor Hugo

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7,365None474 (3.94)224
Member:wisewoman
Title:The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Authors:Victor Hugo
Info:Dodd Mead & Co. (1947), Hardcover
Collections:My Library, Read in 2008
Rating:
Tags:Classics, Historical Fiction, French Literature

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (1831)

1001 (48) 1001 books (48) 19th century (212) 19th century literature (35) classic (389) classic fiction (42) Classic Literature (55) classics (377) ebook (33) fiction (1,038) France (274) French (298) French fiction (43) French literature (334) gothic (50) historical (36) historical fiction (136) Hugo (35) literature (326) Middle Ages (50) novel (191) own (34) Paris (191) read (56) Roman (73) romance (41) to-read (149) translation (45) unread (84) Victor Hugo (48)
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Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is my first Victor Hugo, and the comments I had previously heard about the vividness of his descriptive prose were certainly proved by this work. By the halfway point in the book, it seemed as if not very much had happened yet, but once I got used to the style, I didn't really mind. The story has a satisfying ambiguity to it; there is not just a black and white delineation between hero and villain, nor are the moral points of the story overtly spelled out. The reader walks away with lots to think about from the plot alone; intermingled with this are Hugo's interesting ideas about how literature has supplanted the role of architecture in society (in a chapter which, strangely, was almost lost to history). Many have posited the role of Notre Dame itself as a character in the book, but Hugo too almost becomes a character, in that the way this story gets told probably could not have been told the same by anyone else. This is one of those strange books that doesn't take hold as an immediate favourite and yet won't get its hooks out of you.

The Barnes and Noble edition features a nice introduction by Isabel Roche, who in the series' featured "Inspired by This Work" section is far kinder to the Disney version of this story than I would have expected. Her footnotes are immensely helpful throughout the book, her endnotes less so. If you are a reader who perpetually gets exhausted by having your pinky finger in the back of a very large volume, skipping the few pages of endnotes probably won't bother you too much. ( )
  quaintlittlehead | Mar 30, 2014 |
In some ways, this reads like an odd book. If you read it for the story involving Esmeralda, the beautiful young gypsy girl, Quasimodo the hunchback bell-ringer and Frollo the archdeacon, you may be put off or annoyed by the digressions into the layout of Paris, or the architecture of Notre Dame, or a treatise on architecture in general and why newer isn't always better. For me, I found it created some odd pacing and I wondered if perhaps at one time it was more common to set a scene in such minute detail. But in reading about the book after the fact, I see that in many ways, the story about Esmeralda and company are actually the digressions from the main text, which was Hugo's views about Gothic architecture. Well, it's probably a good thing he put a story around all of that, or it probably would have been a hard sell. (His views, by the way, boil down to "Kids these days! Get off my lawn!")

So all right, back to the story that people actually want to read - the gypsy, the bell-ringer, the handsome captain, the archdeacon, and of course, the goat. While reading, I was a little surprised by how few good guys there were - it was very interesting to see that beauty didn't equate to good in Hugo's world. In fact, the moral of the story might be instead of "all that glitters is not gold," "all that glitters is not only not gold, it's got a sharp edge that was probably dipped in poison." As far as the writing goes, for a novel written in the early 1800s, the story skipped along quite quickly, and although some twists were telegraphed far ahead of time, others weren't at all. Well worth the read.

Recommended for: people who only know the Disney version of the story, those intimately familiar with Paris, people who prefer animals to humans.

Quote: "And then, from morning till night, I have the happiness of passing all my days with a man of genius, who is myself, which is very agreeable." ( )
  ursula | Mar 24, 2014 |
It was interesting to read "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" after reading Victor Hugo's masterpiece "Les Miserables." I really enjoyed "Hunchback" but couldn't help but feel it was like reading "Les Miserables" light.

Central to the story is Notre Dame-- around which most of the action takes place. A corrupt priest, a gypsy girl with a counting goat and, of course, the hunchback in the title, are interesting (and at times frustrating) characters. The story moves long aside from Hugo's trademark digressions into French history.

I liked this book a lot, but if you're only going to read one book by Hugo in your lifetime, this isn't the one, of course! ( )
  amerynth | Mar 15, 2014 |
Lots of tangents make it a little slow, but I like it. Speaking of Disney (which I wasn't), I don't like what Disney did to this story, making Frollo such a horrible villain. He adopted Quasimodo voluntarily when no one else would look at him, thank you very much. That's completely unfair. The rest of the story and characters also bore little or no resemblance to the book, but what would you expect? Anyway, it's thought-provoking. ( )
  krista.rutherford | Jan 3, 2014 |
Although I would have preferred that Mr. Hugo's digressions, such as the one about architecture through history, had been stuck in an appendix; I still enjoyed most of the book. The scene where poor Quasimodo was defending Notre Dame was very exciting. Imagine my dismay when I eagerly changed to the next CD and discovered Mr. Hugo had decided to interrupt the action for an annoying-sourly amusing-creepy scene involving King Louis XI, his finances, and some prisoners. Esmeralda's escape attempt left me tense even though I knew what to expect from my late mother's copy of Plot Outlines of 100 Famous Novels. There were times I wanted to scream in frustration at our heroine, but she wasn't even 17, poor kid.

There's far more going on than any movie could hope to cover. Speaking of movies, I wonder how kids who grew up on the Disney version are going to react if they have to read the book for school. (One of my sisters read The Hunchback of Notre Dameit in school decades ago and remembered enough of the plot to be able to discuss it with me. That's staying power!)

Mr. Guidall's narration was very good, too.

I'm sorry that I waited so long to read this classic. While I think I can appreciate it more as a middle-aged adult than I would have in high school or college, I can think of books I had to read then that were much less enjoyable than this one. ( )
  JalenV | Dec 17, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (212 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hugo, Victorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alger, Abby LangdonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Antal, LászlóTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bair, LowellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckwith, James CarrollTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sturrock, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
וולק, ארזTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Exactly three hundred and forty-eight years, six months and nineteen days have passed away since the Parisians were awakened by the noise of all the bells within the triple walls of the city, the university, and the town, ringing a full peal.
Quotations
Endlich neigte sich der geschworene Buchhändler der Universität, Meister Andry Musnier, zum Ohre des Kürschners der Kleider des Königs mit den Worten:

"Ich sage euch, Herr, das Ende der Welt ist nahe. Man sah nie solche Ausgelassenheit der Studenten. Die verfluchten Erfindungen des Jahrhunderts richten alles zugrunde, die Kanonen, Serpentinen, Bombarden und vor allem die Buchdruckerkunst, diese andere Pest aus Deutschland. Keine Manuskripte! Keine Bücher! Der Druck tötet den Buchhandel! Das Ende der Welt ist nah."
Stets dachte ich, werde es von mir abhängen, den Prozeß zu verfolgen oder fallen zu lassen. Doch jeder böse Gedanke ist unerbittlich und bestrebt, zur Tatsache zu werden; und da, wo ich mich allmächtig glaube, ist das Verhängnis mächtiger als ich. Ach, ach, das Verhängnis ergriff dich, überlieferte dich den furchtbaren Rädern der Maschine, die ich im Dunkel baute. Jetzt bin ich dem Ende nahe. (Claude Frollo)
Die Liebe gleicht einem Baum; sie sproßt von selbst hervor, treibt tiefe Wurzeln in unser Sein und grünt oft noch auf einem gebrochenen Herzen.
Dom Claude begann aufs neue: "Ihr seid also glücklich?" - Gringoire erwiderte mit Feuer: "Auf Ehre, ja! Zuerst liebte ich Frauen, dann Tiere; jetzt liebe ich Steine. Sie sind ebenso unterhaltend wie Tiere und Frauen, aber nicht so treulos."
Der Priester legte die Hand auf die Stirn. Es war seine gewöhnliche Bewegung; dann sprach er: "Wahrhaftig, Ihr habt recht!"
Peter Gringoire war so glücklich, die Ziege zu retten, und erlangte auch einigen Beifall im Tragödien-Dichten. Nachdem er, wie es scheint, alle Torheiten gekostet hatte, die Astrologie, Alchimie, Philosophie und Architektur, kehrte er zur albernsten Torheit, der Tragödie zurück; das nannte er: Ein tragisches Ende nehmen.

Auch Phoebus von Chateaupers nahm ein tragisches Ende: Er verheiratete sich.
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This is the major work for The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. Please do not combine with abridgements, adaptations, etc.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451527887, Mass Market Paperback)

This extraordinary historical novel, set in Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, is the haunting drama of Quasimodo, the hunchback; Esmeralda, the gypsy dancer; and Claude Frollo, the priest tortured by the specter of his own damnation. Shaped by a profound sense of tragic irony, it is a work that gives full play to Victor Hugo's brilliant historical imagination and his remarkable powers of description.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:49 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

In fifteenth-century Paris, a disfigured man named Quasimodo, who was abandoned as an infant in the cathedral of Notre-Dame and now lives in its bell tower, must come to the aid of a beautiful gypsy girl named Esmeralda after she repels the advances of the cruel archdeacon Don Claude Frollo.… (more)

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22 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140443533, 0451531515

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